The oneworld airline alliance, of which British Airways is a core and founder member, has announced the launch of oneworld connect. This means new airlines on which you can earn and redeem Avios.
oneworld connect has the potential to be very interesting indeed. It allows smaller airlines around the world to partner with oneworld but without having to go through the complex process of becoming a full member. I imagine it is possible that Aer Lingus may go down this route.
Fiji Airways will be the first oneworld connect member.
Unfortunately, oneworld has made oneworld connect more complex than it really had to be.
Let me explain how it works. Each airline joining oneworld connect has to be sponsored by at least three existing oneworld members. As it happens, Fiji Airways has four sponsors:
- British Airways
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
The reason I stress the names of the sponsors is that different benefits apply depending on whether you are a member of a sponsors frequent flyer programme or not.
This is how it works:
For holders of frequent flyer accounts with sponsoring airlines:
- Through check-in of bags and passengers
- Earn miles
- Redeem miles
- Earn tier / status points
- Lounge access when flying the oneworld connect member
For holders of frequent flyer accounts with other oneworld airlines:
- Access to priority check-in desks when flying the oneworld connect member for Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members
- Priority boarding for oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members
Here it is as a graphic:
What this means is that, as a British Airways Executive Club member, you will be able to earn and redeem Avios of Fiji Airways, as well as accessing their lounges if you have British Airways Gold or Silver status and are flying Fiji Airways.
However, if you are – say – a Qatar Airways or Royal Jordanian frequent flyer member – you will not get these benefits. Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian are not sponsoring Fiji Airways into oneworld connect and so their members do not get any mileage benefits. All they get is priority boarding and priority check-in.
In future, you may find other airlines joining oneworld connect with are not sponsored by British Airways, which means you won’t get much in the way of the benefits.
Where does Fiji Airways fly?
Quite a few places, surprisingly. Here is their route network.
It appears that they fly to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Honolulu and a number of destinations in Australia and New Zealand. Tokyo is being added next month. This may make them an option if you are trying to find a round-the-house routing to Australasia.
The airline has a fleet of 18 aircraft including five long-haul Airbus A330.
When does this partnership launch?
We don’t know. “A date will be announced in due course” said the release yesterday. We’ll let you know.
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