Flying with different Oneworld airlines: frequent flyer status benefits

9 replies


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

If flying with a one world carrier, does your one world status afford you the correlating perks of the carrier, regardless of how you've booked your ticket or if it's a codeshare flight?

I've been embarrassed to ask this question as I thought I had a reasonable handle on loyalty programs. For example, does my Qantas gold afford me Cathay Gold if I book a trip directly through Cathay?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jan 2013

Total posts 162

More accurate to say it accords you OneWorld Sapphire than Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold. OW airlines can give their own members unique benefits not given to the OneWorld status associated with those memberships. All you are guaranteed is the specified OneWorld Tier benefits given on the OneWorld website page (just click on Frequent Flyer schemes and scroll down for the benefits boxes).

If you book a trip through CX and provide your Qantas frequent flyer number, you'll get all your OneWorld Sapphire benefits.


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Good question riley,

The oneworld framework provides very clear guidance on the issue of reciprocal benefits across the alliance. The benefits however are limited to:

  1. Lounge Access
  2. Additional Baggage & Priority handling
  3. Priority Check-in & Boarding
  4. Preferred Seating
  5. Priority Standby

Airlines within the oneworld alliance may offer additional benefits to elite members of their own programme. Strictly speaking, these additional benefits apply only to their own members and does not naturally extend to elite members of other airlines within the alliance.

That being said, in practice, given that the delivery of some or all of these additional benefits require a level of human input, you may have variable outcomes. As such, it is not unusual for an elite member of one airline to be given the exact same treatment as the elite member of the airline's own programme. The extent of this occuring depends upon the level of sophistication of the airline's systems and processess.

Airlines generally try to impose system controls within their operations to facilitate a distinction between their own elite members and those of the alliance so that they can deliver amore consistent service in line with the oneworld framework.

So to your questions: If you book to fly on Cathay, as a QFF Gold member, you will be treated as a oneworld Sapphire member. It does not matter if you booked directly through Cathay or made a redemption booking through Qantas. You may or may not be given the same perks as Cathay Gold but you will definitely receive at the minimum the benefits of Sapphire as stipulated in the oneworld framework.


Member since 07 Jan 2014

Total posts 21

No.  You get the standard oneworld published benefits for your oneworld tier status.  Some airlines may extend you the unpublished benefits that they give their own elites on your corresponding partner tier, but that is not guaranteed.

For example, Cathay Gold gets you into The Arrival lounge at HKG.  Cathay Gold is equivalent to oneworld sapphire, but oneworld sapphire members do not get access to The Arrival as access to arrival lounges is not a published oneworld sapphire benefit.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

Great, thanks all. I needed the lay-speak.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

The key unpublished benefit which seems to be extended is Seat Selection.

Eg. Access to AA select seats, access to CX F seats on a 2-class service


Member since 03 Nov 2014

Total posts 130

I get upgraded more often when flying partner airlines...never had a free upgrade on Qantas.


Member since 11 Mar 2012

Total posts 160

Haven't enjoyed an OP-UP from QF during my 3.5 years as an Emerald/Platinum.  Did manage a Y to W upgrade HKG-PER on CX Nov '13.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Dec 2014

Total posts 31

I haven't had a Qantas OP-UP as an Emerald/Platinum either (though they did downgrade me once - with compensation). However I have had three OP-UPs when flying Emirates in recognition of my QF platinum status (once from J to F and twice fromY to J) which is a 50% strike rate for me on EK!


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

I think op-up is more a function of demand and supply of premium cabin seats. Since Qantas operates fewer international flights and with most available seats going to pax with point upgrades, the likelihood of op-ups is lower.

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