I'm flying with Air India and I was looking in which loyalty programs Air India is a member. It turned out, that Air India has its own loyalty program called "Flying Return". From the homepage, it appears that Air India is the only airline that is part of "Flying Return".

Since I don't plan to fly again with Air India, this wouldn't be a good choice for me. So my question is: Is it really true that when flying with Air India, you can only earn miles for "Flying Return"?

  • When are you flying? Air India is set to join Star Alliance in the summer, so around then you'll be able to credit it to any *A carrier's program – Gagravarr Mar 11 '14 at 13:48
  • End of May and mid of June. – RoflcoptrException Mar 11 '14 at 13:50
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    @Gagravarr They've been "set to join the Star Alliance at the end of summer" for the past decade. I'll believe it when it happens. ;) – Ankur Banerjee Mar 12 '14 at 10:55
  • I just got an Email from Air India that they have joined Star Alliance. So it seems to be a fact know. – RoflcoptrException Jul 1 '14 at 7:12

Air India has bilateral partnerships with at least two programs:

There may be others; they have a number of codeshare partners, for example, and even though Air India is not listed as a partner on either's website, Austrian and Swiss also participate in Lufthansa's Miles & More program. Note that for frequent flyer accrual it is quite possible that accrual into Flying Returns on partner flights is permitted whereas accrual into partner programs for Air India flights is not.

Air India has recommenced integration into Star Alliance, its entry having been repeatedly delayed while it got its house in order, but will not formally enter the alliance until June 2014 or so at the earliest.

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  • I'm not really sure if I understand your answer correctly, but do you suggest that I should try to request the miles in the Miles and More program? – RoflcoptrException Apr 2 '14 at 15:14
  • If you have a Miles and More account, then yes, I would ask Air India to add your M&M number to your flight. Check that the number appears on your boarding pass, and be sure to save your boarding pass in case the flight does not automatically credit. Note, however, the accrual chart at miles-and-more.com/online/portal/mam/hr/earn/flight/… ; no miles are earned on E, I, L, N, O, P, R, S, T, U or X fares and G, H, K, M, Q, and W fares earn only 25% or 50% base miles. – choster Apr 2 '14 at 15:32
  • That would be great! I have already quite a lot of M&M miles and I'm always looking for more. Thanks! – RoflcoptrException Apr 2 '14 at 15:49

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