Oneworld’s 20th anniversary – what’s in store for us? Psychedelic colour schemes for a start

This week all 13 CEOs of Oneworld airline members were at a press conference in London to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Oneworld Alliance, which launched 1st February 1999.

Since all the press releases only showed the all-men CEOs of the 13 Oneworld Members, I wanted to post this picture to celebrate the hard working women out there who keep us safe and smiling.

New branding

Be prepared for an assault on your visual senses. Electric cyan and magenta are in vogue. If you stare enough at their promotional material or re-designed website, who knows, you may get over jet lag quickly!

 

The new strapline for Oneworld is “Travel Bright”, although I'm not quite sure how we're supposed to consume this additional message.

Oneworld branded lounges

Los Angeles Oneworld Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal

This is an interesting concept which in theory mimics those offered by Star Alliance and Skyteam already, and to great success. The concept here is that by unifying them into one lounge then expenses can be shared… the caveat being they are all in the same terminal!

In some strategic locations around the globe where there is an abnormally high representation of Oneworld airlines, e.g. London, Hong Kong, this makes good sense. Indeed it is actually sort of implemented at Los Angeles at the Tom Bradley International Terminal which the picture shows above. The part that I would be concerned about here is it potentially discouraging competition between airlines to deliver the best lounge they can to attract customers. For instance if I ever fly out of Heathrow Terminal 3 I have the choice between Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways and American Airlines lounges, always preferring to go with Cathay Pacific's offering.

The better part of the strategy though is at big aviation hubs which are not ‘homes' of any of the member airlines, For instance Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt. At these locations there may be a small lounge offered by one or two airlines (e.g. Frankfurt has Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific lounges…neither of which are favourites of mine), or passengers are directed to 3rd party contract lounges which have a completely different feel to the airline they're about to fly.

The first few locations for Oneworld lounges are due to be announced in June of this year so watch this space.

 

Connected backend technology

Starting in the next year or so the backend servers and databases will be unified. This in theory means you will be able to check your flight reservations of your Sri Lankan Airlines flight on your American Airlines app and vice versa. You will be able to check in online, track your bag, get live flight information etc.

Now if they could check your baggage all the way to your destination that would also be a good passenger experience enhancement!

 

Who's staying, joining and not joining?

Qatar Airways continues to cling onto its love/hate relationship with the Alliance, while China Southern despite leaving Skyteam and codesharing flights with BA , will not join Oneworld.

Royal Air Maroc is scheduled to join mid-2020, while Aer Lingus is very likely to join Fiji Airways as only the second member of “Oneworld Connect” which is a bit of a looser tie to the alliance than being a full member. No official announcement has been made on potential dates to join, but depending on the outcome of their application to join the Trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with BA, Iberia, American Airlines and Finnair, this may be a mere formality.

 

About Tim

Tim Lai is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack and is one of the world's leading travel experts. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. He has been featured on the likes of CNN, BBC and also broader websites websites like Nomad Capitalist for his deep knowledge of EU travel laws. An accredited journalist, he is happy to speak to other journalists who need expertise on travel topics.

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  1. As always, extremely useful information from you.

    I would have hoped that they would have addressed the woeful oneworld Round-the-World website. For anything except the most basic of itineraries it’s a total disgrace, and has never worked effectively since it was first introduced. Add to this the fact that BA still don’t have a dedicated desk (such as AA have had for 20+ years) makes booking a RTW trip a really painful experience.

    I’ve just had two identical itineraries costed by BA for me and my wife, albeit with a couple of dates which varied by a few days (hence two PNRs). One You First agent made both reservations, but then had to send them to sales where, three hours apart, two different people came up with two completely different totals. A close look at the details shows a huge discrepancy over the calculation of the YQ fares (i.e. the notorious carrier “fuel” surcharges.) It appears that BA can more or less invent whatever add-ons they wish.

    Had the oneworld site been even half decent, I could have saved literally hours of time and done the bookings online.

    • RTW engine makes me vomit just thinking about it. Best thing to do is to study the DONEX or LONEX fare rules yourself and ask a skilled agent to do it for you!

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