oneworld: The alliance to serve the world takes off on February 1

26 January 1999

American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways will implement their oneworld™ global alliance next week (Monday, February 1), the five airlines confirmed today.

From then, they will together phase in a wide range of initiatives designed to provide their 174 million passengers with improved levels of service and benefits, greater value and increased opportunities for rewards and recognition when flying to the more than 600 destinations worldwide served by the oneworld carriers.

These include:

  • Closer linking of their frequent flyer programmes. This will enable members of the five airlines' frequent flyer programmes to earn and redeem miles on any eligible flights and fares of the oneworld alliance airlines. Qualifying flights will also count towards frequent flyer tier status.
  • Top tier frequent flyer cards being reissued with new Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby symbols, to ensure members receive the appropriate recognition and privileges to which they are accustomed no matter on which of the five airlines they are flying.
  • Access to the five airlines' 200 plus exclusive lounges for eligible members of their frequent flyer schemes, no matter on which of the five airlines they are travelling, along with priority check-in, standby and waitlisting, and preferred seating and boarding.
  • Smoother transfers for passengers travelling across the global networks of the five carriers.
  • Greater support, with employees of each airline equipped to assist and care for customers travelling with any of the oneworld airlines.
  • Greater value, through a range of round-the-world products, including the launch of oneworld Explorer fares, with prices from £860.

Full details are being sent to top tier members of the five airline's frequent flyer programmes, in an extensive direct mail campaign. The packages include the new frequent flyer programme membership cards, reflecting the new oneworld branding.

Details, which have also been mailed to hundreds of thousands of corporate customers and travel agents around the world, are given below and are also carried on the oneworld website.

The communications programme launched today follows an estimated 255 man years spent by the 220.000 employees of the five airlines on oneworld training and communication, to ensure they are in a position to deliver what the brand offers.

Hundreds more man years have been spent planning the introduction of the services and benefits, developing and linking IT systems and preparing the millions items of airport signage and stationery to support the brand.

oneworld signs will start appearing in airport terminals, shops and various other premises used by the five carriers from February 1. Thousand of items of signage will be installed around the world. A small version of the logo will also be placed by the door of the 1.500 aircraft in the oneworld members' fleets.

Worldwide advertising will promote the alliance through the slogan "oneworld revolves around you".

Finnair, which has been elected on board oneworld since the original five airlines announced the alliance on September 21, will introduce oneworld services and benefits later this year, once it has completed its oneworld employee training and communications programme and carried out all the necessary IT and facilities preparation.

oneworld development

Talks are continuing with various other leading airlines interested in joining oneworld.

The oneworld website on the Internet has been up-dated to include, details of transfer procedures at major airports, details of frequent flyer benefits, and destination guides to key cities. The location is

oneworld services and benefits

More frequent flyer rewards and recognition: Members of the five airlines' frequent flyer programmes - American Airlines' AAdvantage, British Airways' Executive Club, Canadian Airlines' Canadian Plus, Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club and Qantas' Frequent Flyer - will from February 1 be able to earn miles for their programme when ever they travel on an eligible flight operated and marketed by a oneworld airline.

These miles will count towards achieving higher levels of membership status in the frequent flyer programme of the passenger's choice and can be redeemed on any eligible flight operated and marketed by oneworld alliance airline. American Airlines AAdvantage and British Airways Executive Club members can earn and redeem miles, and earn tier status credit, on all eligible flights except each other's direct routes between Europe and the Americas.

Because the five frequent flyer programmes all use different names for the various membership tiers, a set of oneworld symbols have been created - Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby - to ensure members receive the appropriate recognition and privileges to which they are accustomed, as follows:

Emerald Executive Platinum Gold Executive Platinum Diamond Gold
Sapphire Platinum Silver Gold Gold Silver
Ruby Gold - Club Silver Blue
Entry level Aadvantage Blue Canadian Plus Green Frequent Flyer

More lounges: Members will have access to the class of lounge to which their frequent flyer programme membership status entitles them, wherever they are in the oneworld network. Between them, the five airlines offer more than 220 exclusive lounges worldwide.

Full details on lounge access is included in the mailing to members.

More recognition: Frequent flyer members will also be eligible for special privileges when they are travelling on a oneworld marketed and operated flight:

Smoother transfers: Transfer and customer service desks of all members airlines will be clearly marked with the oneworld logo, to help smooth the way for passengers connecting from a flight on one oneworld airline to another. Special transfer brochures have been produced for key airports.

More support: Employees across all five airlines will treat customers of all oneworld members as if they were their own carrier's passengers. To assist employees in this, special service centres have been established to provide instant on-line advice and support to them.

Better value: A new oneworld Explorer fare will bring new simplicity to planning round-the-world trips. Fares will be based on class of travel and the number of continents visited.