Fiji Airways is now operating as a Oneworld Connect partner from today, Wednesday 5 December 2018.
However, not all benefits are immediately available and these will introduced progressively.
Under Oneworld Connect membership, certain benefits are only available to customers of Oneworld airlines that sponsored Fiji Airways’ membership. These are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.
Eligible members of any Oneworld frequent flyer programme can now use priority check-in and boarding facilities when flying on Fiji Airways.
However, only eligible customers of British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas can access Fiji Airways lounges and earn miles/Avios and tier points/status credits when flying on Fiji Airways. These should be available to customers of American Airlines in early 2019.
In addition, it is not yet possible for members of the BA Executive Club to redeem Avios on Fiji Airways. This should be introduced shortly. More details are available from Fiji Airways.
It is noteworthy how it has taken a relatively short time, some six months, for Fiji Airways to start operating as Oneworld Connect member, whereas it normally takes substantially longer for an airline to become a full member. This arguably bodes well for attracting more Oneworld Connect partners.
Fiji Airways is to join the Oneworld alliance under a new tier of membership known as “Oneworld Connect”.
Fiji Airways is the first airline to join Oneworld connect. The exact joining date is yet to be confirmed.
Its membership will be sponsored by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.
Under this form of membership, many Oneworld benefits will only be offered by Fiji Airways to customers of these sponsoring airlines.
Oneworld Connect is a new form of alliance membership where the member airline offers a relatively limited range of benefits.
Some benefits are only offered to passengers of certain member airlines.
Benefits offered by Oneworld Connect airlines to all Oneworld passengers
– Priority check-In for Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers
– Priority boarding for Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers
Benefits offered by Oneworld Connect airlines to passengers of sponsor airlines (eg BA)
– Through check-in of bags and passengers on the same ticket
– Earning and redemption of frequent flyer miles
– Earning of tier points / status credits
– Access to “select lounges at key airports for premium and top-tier customers” (this is not precisely defined)
Additional services may be offered on an airline-by-airline basis.
Joining an alliance is a significant commitment in terms of investment in IT and providing reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. This is clearly aimed at smaller airlines, including those that don’t have their own frequent flyer programmes.
Whilst is does allow more airlines to join the alliance and allow greater flexibility, it does introduce inconsistency in terms of membership benefits.