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Starting today, December 1, 2014, the Oneworld alliance is extending priority baggage handling benefits to all its top-tier Emerald and mid-tier Sapphire elites, as well as the elite equivalents of its member airlines when they fly on any Oneworld carrier in any cabin class and to any destination. Oneworld Sapphire elites will receive additional baggage allowance benefits on all of the alliance’s member airlines.

Though this is certainly a positive move for Oneworld, it also seems way overdue, as most of its member airlines already extend priority checked baggage benefits to their own top-level frequent flyers, and both Star Alliance and SkyTeam have been offering similar benefits for years.

Here is the full, revised listing of Oneworld elite benefits reflecting these new changes:

oneworld's new elite benefits, as of Dec. 1, 2014
Oneworld elite benefits as of Dec. 1, 2014

Oneworld Emeralds already have access to the alliance’s first class airport lounges, so it’s nice (albeit belated) to see the alliance finally offering priority baggage handling benefits to both Emeralds and Sapphires on all member airlines.

Oneworld’s new additional baggage allowance for Sapphires (also on all Oneworld alliance member airlines) is as follows:

  • 33 pounds more than the usual ticketed economy allowance on both domestic and international itineraries
  • A second bag weighing up to 50 pounds on international itineraries when the ticketed allowance is one bag
  • At least one bag weighing up to 50 pounds on domestic itineraries, even when there are no free bags included in the ticketed allowance

This new Sapphire baggage benefit doesn’t apply to tickets issued using British Airways’ “hand baggage only” fares, and priority baggage delivery isn’t available on flights operated by British Airways. For domestic routes operated by LAN Airlines, Oneworld Sapphire members can check up to two bags with a combined weight of up to 50 pounds.

oneworld's new priority baggage benefits include priority handling for Emeralds and Sapphires, and additional baggage allowance for Sapphires. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)
Oneworld’s new priority baggage benefits include priority handling for Emeralds and Sapphires, and additional allowances for Sapphires. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

In addition to this increased benefit for Oneworld Sapphires, first- and business-class travelers will in most cases receive an even greater free checked baggage allowance, varying by member airline.

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