Oneworld Connect is a new concept introduced this week by the Oneworld alliance, which consists of 13 global airlines including Qantas, American Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Oneworld Connect airlines will offer some, but not all standard benefits to frequent flyers of Oneworld airlines. This new membership platform allows Oneworld Connect airlines to leverage some of the Oneworld alliance benefits without taking on full membership.
As a small airline based in the Pacific, Fiji Airways is well-placed to benefit from Oneworld Connect membership. Oneworld airlines – and their passengers – also stand to benefit from the increased Oneworld presence in the Pacific.
So, what does this mean for Oneworld frequent flyers? Well, Fiji Airways passengers with Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status (such as Malaysia Airlines Enrich Gold or Platinum status) will have access to priority check-in and priority boarding. Priority boarding will also be extended to Oneworld Ruby flyers (e.g. Enrich Silver).
But there are additional benefits for frequent flyers of airlines that have sponsored a Oneworld Connect member. In this case Qantas, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways have all sponsored Fiji Airways to become a Oneworld Connect member. (In future, any airline looking to join as a Oneworld affiliate will need at least three sponsors.) Qantas owns 46% of Fiji Airways, and the airline already codeshares extensively with Qantas, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
Additional benefits for Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific frequent flyers when travelling with Fiji Airways will include:
- Earning and redeeming frequent flyer points
- Earning status credits
- Interlining of luggage
- Lounge access for Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers
It is already possible to redeem Qantas points and American Airlines AAdvantage miles for Fiji Airways flights. Soon, you’ll also be able to use British Airways Avios or Asia Miles to book a reward seat.
The Fiji Airways partnership with Oneworld will commence in the near future, though no specific dates have yet been announced. In the meantime, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can already earn points and status credits when flying with Fiji Airways. But eligible Qantas flyers are currently only entitled to benefits such as lounge access when booking a Qantas codeshare flight with a “QF” flight number.
The Oneworld Connect model is similar to Star Alliance’s “Connecting Partners”. Juneyao Airlines is currently the only Star Alliance connecting partner.
Meanwhile, there is some speculation that Air Italy could become the next airline to join the Oneworld alliance.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Oneworld Connect – Fiji Airways