Everything You Need to Know About the Oneworld Alliance: Member Airlines, Perks, and More

Here's everything frequent fliers should know about the Oneworld Alliance, including member airlines, benefits, and more.

A oneworld Alaska Airlines airplane on a tarmac

Ingrid Barrentine/Alaska Airlines/Courtesy of oneworld Management Company

In the late 1990s, airlines began to form partnerships to share resources for the benefit of both travelers and carriers. If you’ve traveled by air recently, you may have noticed signs, special check-in lines, or ads touting airline memberships in Star Alliance, SkyTeam, or Oneworld. These alliances have successfully expanded opportunities for travelers by offering more flight options, simplifying the booking process, and probably most appealing — making it possible to earn miles on all partner carriers. Here’s what you need to know about the second airline partnership ever created — Oneworld Alliance. 

A Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 767-300, in One World livery, takes off behind the Control Tower at Haneda International Airport.

Damon Coulter/Getty Images

What to Know About the Oneworld Alliance

The Oneworld Alliance was launched in 1999 by founding members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. The alliance now includes 13 member airlines and Oneworld Connect partner Fiji Airways. (A Oneworld Connect partner is a non-alliance airline that shares certain services and benefits with the Oneworld Alliance.) Member airlines operate over 11,000 flights daily, serving more than 900 destinations. American Airlines, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is the largest member airline, accounting for about 6,700 of Oneworld’s daily flights. 

This range of destinations makes it more convenient for travelers to connect to cities worldwide, and with Oneworld’s “Round the World” fares, multi-destination travel is easier than ever. There are three different kinds of these multi-city fares: the Oneworld Explorer, which focuses on continent-based travel; the Global Explorer, which focuses on distance-based travel; and the Circle Pacific, which can hit multiple continents that border the Pacific Ocean.

Oneworld Member Airlines

Members of Oneworld Alliance include: 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 member), and Oman Air (set to join the alliance in 2024).

A Qatar Airlines in One World livery on an airport tarmac

Courtesy of OneWorld

Benefits for Oneworld Members

Alliances like Oneworld make trip planning easier by providing details about flights on all of their partner airlines in one convenient search. This gives travelers a broad selection of different flight options so they can select the fare, class of service, departure times, connections, and airports best for them. For example, a traveler looking to fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo will find several flight options on multiple airlines. American Airlines has two nonstop flights from LAX to Haneda International Airport, while Japan Airlines has one nonstop flight to Haneda International Airport and one to Narita International Airport. Several connecting flights are also available, including one departing from Ontario International Airport, located 40 miles east of Los Angeles, which is more convenient for many travelers. 

Travelers can join one of the member airlines’ frequent flier programs to accrue points on flights with any Oneworld member and redeem those points for an award ticket on member airlines (subject to availability).

A OneWorld aircraft at Miami International Airport in Florida.

DANIEL SLIM/Getty Images

Travelers can reach elite status through their loyalty program of choice and enjoy benefits based on the three Oneworld tiers: Ruby (entry-level), Sapphire (mid-level), and Emerald (top-level status). These Oneworld tiers correspond to the individual member airlines' status levels. For example, when you reach gold status in American Airlines AAdvantage, you also receive the perks that come with the Oneworld Ruby tier. 

Benefits increase with each level. Ruby privileges include priority boarding, priority standby, and access to preferred seating. Sapphire-level travelers have access to first and business-class lounges, first-class priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, and other benefits. Access to up to 620 airport lounges around the world varies by tier level.

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