Fiji Airways has signed up to Oneworld, joining the global airline alliance as a ‘Oneworld Connect’ partner. In doing so, it has become the first ever ‘Oneworld Connect’ partner.
Oneworld Connect is sort of a light membership of the alliance. While not a fully fledged membership, it does provide some cross alliance benefits.
The benefits take two forms – those applicable alliance wide, and those applicable to the sponsoring airlines.
Firstly, there are set of benefits that will be offered to frequent flyers across the oneWorld alliance. These, however, are limited benefits.
Priority Checkin is made available to passengers that hold World Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer program
Similarly, Emerald and Sapphire members will also be offered priority boarding when flying on Fiji Airways.
Benefits for customers of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas
There are further benefits applying to customers of the sponsors of Fiji Airways. These airlines are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas. However, even then, you will need to carefully understand the benefits on offer, as they are not the same as for a full oneworld member.
The following chart, published by oneWorld, outlines the various benefits available.
While lounge access is offered, it is not as straightforward as with full alliance membership. As you might expect, if you are in Business class, you will be offered lounge access.
If, however, you are flying economy, then lounge entry is determined by your Frequent Flyer status and flight number. In particular, you need to be on the codeshare flight relevant to your frequent flyer membership.
For Qantas Frequent Flyers, this is largely business as usual. Qantas Frequent Flyers are used to the idea that they need to be travelling on the Qantas codeshare to access lounges when travelling in Economy. This stays in place – if you are in Economy, you will need to travel on the relevant codeshare number.
On top of lounge access, the other main benefit revolves around earn and burn in the respective Frequent Flyer programs. In particular, you will be able to earn status points on your frequent flyer program. Again, for Qantas Frequent Flyers, this is not a change, as these members have been able to do this for some time.
Some of these benefits are still being rolled out, and will continue to be over the next year.