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SkyTeam alliance guide: Member airlines, lounges and elite status

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

The SkyTeam alliance connects 437 million passengers annually to more than 1,000 destinations in 166 countries. The alliance began in 2000 with Delta Air Lines, Air France, Aeromexico and Korean Air.

You’ll find two SkyTeam alliance status tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. In this guide, we’ll discuss the SkyTeam airline alliance members, status benefits and lounges.

SkyTeam alliance members

Here are the airlines that are part of the SkyTeam alliance:

  • Aerolinas Argentinas
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ITA Airways
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Xiamen Airlines

You’ll notice that Aeroflot is missing from the above list, as the airline and SkyTeam agreed to temporarily suspend Aeroflot’s SkyTeam membership after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Related: The best websites for searching SkyTeam award availability

SkyTeam alliance status tiers

The SkyTeam alliance rewards frequent flyers of its member airlines with two SkyTeam alliance status tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. If you have elite status with a SkyTeam airline, you’ll also have Elite or Elite Plus status with the SkyTeam alliance. Here’s a look at both tiers.

SkyTeam Elite

If you have SkyTeam Elite status, you’ll get the following perks when flying SkyTeam airlines:

  • Priority reservation waitlist (if your fare permits it)
  • Preferred seating
  • Priority check-in counters
  • Priority boarding
  • Extra baggage allowance

One way to get SkyTeam Elite status is by having Delta Silver Medallion status. However, if you have the lowest tier of elite status with another SkyTeam airline, you likely also have SkyTeam Elite status.

Skyteam Livery KLM Boeing 777

SkyTeam Elite Plus

In addition to the benefits offered to SkyTeam Elite members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members also get the following perks when flying SkyTeam airlines:

  • Ability to book a full-fare Y-class reservation on sold-out long-haul flights (if you book at least 24 hours before departure)
  • Access to airport lounges worldwide with a guest
  • Priority baggage handling on arrival
  • Extra baggage allowance

If you have Delta Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion status, you’ll also have SkyTeam Elite Plus status. Likewise, the top tiers of elite status with other SkyTeam airlines also confer SkyTeam Elite Plus status.

Caveats for SkyTeam elite benefits

The benefits of SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus status sound great, but know that certain exclusions apply to the benefits. For example, preferred seating may not be available if you are traveling in basic economy. And if you’re traveling on a flight operated by Air France, you’ll only get complimentary preferred seats if traveling on a Y- or B-fare ticket.

In practice, SkyTeam is usually believed to be worse than Oneworld and Star Alliance when it comes to all member airlines honoring elite benefits consistently.

Related: How to get airline elite status

SkyTeam lounges

SkyTeam Lounge in Buenos Aires. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

SkyTeam has more than 750 lounges worldwide. In theory, you should have access to these lounges on international SkyTeam flights if you have Elite Plus status or are traveling in a qualifying premium cabin.

However, each SkyTeam lounge has a unique access policy, so I recommend referring to the SkyTeam lounge finder for access policy information. Some SkyTeam lounges only accept passengers flying select SkyTeam airlines.

SkyTeam lounge access

You can bring one guest into the lounge as an Elite Plus member when you’re traveling on a qualifying flight. Your guest must travel internationally on a SkyTeam airline, but they don’t have to be on the same flight as you.

Related: 5 ways to ensure you have lounge access before your next flight

Bottom line

The SkyTeam alliance offers useful benefits to elite members. However, it’s important to temper your expectations, as your benefits as an Elite or Elite Plus member will vary in practice depending on the airline you’re flying.

It’s best to check with the airline you’re flying before assuming you’ll get preferred seating or an extra baggage allowance if you have SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus status. Likewise, check the SkyTeam lounge finder before heading to the airport if you plan to use a lounge.