Oneworld alliance is the choice of most Australians because of the membership of Qantas, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific. When Alaska Airlines joins in December 2020 it will make 14 airlines across 180 countries and territories.
Oneworld frequent flyer has 3 standardised tiers.
Oneworld Ruby Privileges – This is the Silver tier and offers a few time-saving benefits like access to business class priority check-in counters, improved seat selection choices and priority when on flight waitlists.
Oneworld Sapphire Privileges – This is the Gold level tier for frequent flyers. It offers the same as Ruby Privileges plus access to airport lounges as well as most Oneworld airline business class lounges before your flight. It also gives priority boarding and luggage handling and depending on the airline baggage allowances are boosted.
Oneworld Emerald Privileges – Oneworld Emerald is the card to hold if you are a true high flyer! It offers privileges normally reserved for first class even if you are flying in economy. You will have access to first-class check-in counters and first-class lounges. Your luggage will get priority treatment while you can use the ‘Fast Lane’ through select airports. Baggage allowances are increased by 20kg or by one additional bag. You will get the plum pick of seats before online check-in opens.
It is important to know that Oneworld status is awarded automatically when you reach the equivalent status tier with your main airline. An example of this is when you reach a Platinum membership with Qantas then you will also be given an Emerald frequent flyer with Oneworld for the duration of your Platinum membership. This means when you fly with Qantas and its other partners you will enjoy many of the same key benefits with all other Oneworld member airlines in any class of travel.
Redeeming, Earning and using frequent flyer points in Oneworld
There is no global Oneworld rewards program. You earn frequent flyer points and status credits with your preferred airline program. This is the same when using points.
Most of the time it’s not possible to use the points you earn in one frequent flyer program to upgrade on a different airline. Some airlines have worked together to make this possible and Oneworld may expand its alliance in the future. When you earn frequent flyer points in an Oneworld member airline-owned program you can use the points to book reward flights on any Oneworld airline in any available class. For example, the points you earn with Qantas in Australia you can use to book flights on other Oneworld member affiliate airlines.
Oneworld Connect – this is a relatively new membership system. It’s for smaller airlines to become attached to Oneworld in a limited capacity. It offers select benefits to all Oneworld frequent flyers. Candidates must be sponsored by Oneworld full member airlines. At the moment, Fiji Airways is the only Oneworld Connect member and is sponsored by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.