Whether you’re new to points and miles or an AvGeek, knowing more about airlines can help you achieve the best trip possible.

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At a glance

Alliances are partnerships that let airlines offer benefits, like elite status and redeemable miles, on partner flights. The three major alliances are SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld. Transferring points from one airline to another in an alliance lets you use them to get where you want to go, even if the airline you originally earned the points or miles with doesn’t fly to your destination.