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Your complete guide to Oneworld alliance benefits

Aug. 26, 2022
6 min read
Alaska Airlines Oneworld alliance livery
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With more than 900 destinations, Oneworld's 13 member airlines connect passengers to more than 170 countries. Oneworld Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald — the three priority tiers — can make your journey significantly more enjoyable.

Today we'll explore all the alliance offers, including its member airlines, status benefits and airline lounges.

Let's dive in.

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Oneworld airlines

American, Qatar and Finnair are all Oneworld carriers. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Oneworld has 13 member airlines at the time of this writing, but Oman Air will soon be joining the alliance. Here are the Oneworld members:

  • Alaska Airlines.
  • American Airlines.
  • British Airways.
  • Cathay Pacific.
  • Finnair.
  • Iberia.
  • Japan Airlines.
  • Malaysia Airlines.
  • Qantas.
  • Qatar Airways.
  • Royal Air Maroc.
  • Royal Jordanian.
  • SriLankan Airlines.
  • Fiji Airways (Oneworld connect).

Related: Book this, not that: Oneworld award flights

Oneworld status tiers

VIPER-ZERO/GETTY IMAGES

Oneworld has three elite status tiers: Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. When you hold status with a Oneworld airline, you'll have one of these statuses.

Here are the benefits associated with each Oneworld tier:

Oneworld Ruby

  • Access to business-class priority check-in.
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating.
  • Priority on waitlists and when on standby.

U.S./U.K. airline statuses: Alaska MVP, American Gold and British Airways Bronze.

Oneworld Sapphire

  • Access to business-class lounges.
  • Access to business-class priority check-in.
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating.
  • Priority on waitlists and when on standby.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Extra baggage allowance.
  • Priority baggage handling.

U.S./U.K. airline statuses: Alaska MVP Gold, American Platinum and BA Silver.

Oneworld Emerald

  • Access to first- and business-class lounges.
  • Access to first-class priority check-in.
  • Fast Track/Priority Lane access at select airports worldwide.
  • Priority baggage handling.
  • Extra baggage allowance.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Priority on waitlists and when on standby.
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating.

U.S./U.K. airline status: Alaska MVP 75K, Alaska MVP 100K, American Platinum Pro, American Executive Platinum and BA Gold.

Certain tickets, including basic economy fares, may not have access to these benefits. There are also a handful of exceptions to the luggage policy, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the fine print before making plans.

Oneworld lounges

The Japan Airlines first-class lounge at Tokyo's Narita International Airport (NRT) is one of the best Oneworld lounges accessed with Oneworld Emerald status. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

As a Oneworld elite with Sapphire or Emerald status, you can access 620 Oneworld lounges worldwide.

Oneworld Sapphire members can access Oneworld business-class lounges, while Oneworld Emerald members can access Oneworld business- and first-class lounges.

Let's look at what that means for lounge access at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) — one of the airports with the most Oneworld lounges.

  • American Airlines Admirals Club.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • British Airways Arrivals Lounge.
  • No access through Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald.
  • British Airways Concorde Room.
  • No access through Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald.
  • British Airways Galleries North Club Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • British Airways Galleries South First and Galleries Club Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • British Airways Galleries T5B Club Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • British Airways T3 Galleries First and Galleries Club Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • Qatar Airways Premium Lounge.
  • No access through Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald.
  • The Qantas London Lounge.
  • Open for Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.
  • Club Aspire Lounge.
  • Only open for Qatar Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds.
  • No.1 Lounge.
  • Only open for Finnair Oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds.
  • American Airlines International First Class Lounge (the lounge is currently closed).
  • Open for Oneworld Emeralds traveling on any Oneworld carrier.

As you can see, there are many rules on access for each lounge, so check out Oneworld's website for the most accurate information on lounge access. However, there are a few blanket exceptions to keep in mind:

  • Alaska and American elites can only access Oneworld lounges when traveling on itineraries with travel outside the United States, Canada or Mexico. This is not the case for other airlines; for example, a British Airways Gold member with Oneworld Emerald status on a domestic American flight can access all Oneworld lounges at their departure airport.
  • British Airways Concorde lounges are not included in the Oneworld lounge access policy.
  • Qatar Airways Al Safwa First and Al Mourjan Business lounges at Doha's Hamad International Airport (DOH) and Qatar Airways' Premium Lounges in London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) are excluded.
  • Qatar Airways “Business Lite” fares are not eligible for lounge access.
  • Finnair “Business Light” fares are not eligible for lounge access.

Related: Something for Everyone: The Oneworld Los Angeles Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal

Bottom line

With advanced seat selection and access to first class lounges, Oneworld Emerald offers significantly more benefits than Star Alliance Gold or SkyTeam Elite Plus (the top-tier statuses for Star Alliance and SkyTeam).

While it might seem daunting to figure out the ins and outs of Oneworld status, once you have it, you'll start to enjoy perks on airlines worldwide. And in case you weren't already aware of it, you stand to quickly rack up points, miles and status by traveling on Oneworld partners.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases