Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Oneworld Sapphire get fast track at Heathrow

By David Flynn, August 9 2013
Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Oneworld Sapphire get fast track at Heathrow

Oneworld's top-tier frequent flyers, including Qantas Platinums and Golds, can now scoot through the 'fast track' security lanes at London's Heathrow Airport when flying on American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia.

The premium perk also extends to other oneworld partners, of course, including the Emerald and Sapphire tiers of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo, airberlin topbonus, Finnair Plus and MAS Enrich.

Michael Blunt, oneworld's Vice-President Corporate Communications, told Australian Business Traveller that "cardholders with Emerald or Sapphire status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programme departing on any flight from London Heathrow operated by American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia will from Saturday 10 August be able to use fast track lanes through security, no matter in which cabin they are travelling."

The service will be available from all three terminals – Terminals 1, 3 and 5 – used by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia at the UK hub.

However, as yet it doesn't extend to Sapphire-grade members travelling on other oneworld airlines ex-Heathrow such ac Cathay Pacific or Finnair.

"Roll out is on an airline by airline and airport by airport basis" Blunt said. "This expansion covered the three established airlines in the Atlantic joint business. Expect further roll outs in the future."

"Emerald and Sapphire cardholders already have access to fast track through immigration when arriving on flights operated by BA at London Heathrow" Blunt added, however this now extends the deal to those snaking security lanes.

Emerald frequent flyers already enjoy fast track through security when departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3 on Cathay Pacific.

In late January, oneworld added as a new benefit for Emerald cardholders the usage of fast tracks through security at select key airports worldwide on select oneworld member airlines.

Click here for a list of all fast track airport options available to oneworld Emeralds.

Also read: How your frequent flyer status can get you fast-lane access at Hong Kong airport

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

"Emerald and Sapphire cardholders already have access to fast track through immigration when arriving on flights operated by BA at London Heathrow..."

Can someone please corroborate this. My understanding is that only BA Silver (Sapphire) and Gold (Emerald) Executive Club members have access to immigration fast track when travelling on BA. Has this now been extended to ALL Sapphire/Emerald OW members?

If so, what is the mechanism to gain access to the immigration fast track? Typically BA cabin crew would hand out fast track passes for incoming flights. Will non BA Sapphire/Emerald travelling in economy have to request these fast track passes or will it be handed out voluntarily as BA's recognition of pax's OW status? This happens on QF but I cannot imagine those surly BA cabin crew at the back of the bus doing that!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jan 2013

Total posts 10

I sure hope so!!

Despite what they told me at check-in, at LHR T3 a few weeks ago, departing as a QF Platinum flying on QF I was denied the service outlined above.  Reason: I was in Y-class!

Very embarrassing too!!


I don't believe these new provisions cover flights on Qantas.

On the OW website, Fast Track for Emeralds is applicable only to AA, BA, CX and IB.

It seems the new provision extends this to Sapphires but only on AA, BA and IB only (not CX).

It is unfortunate that check in agents are not clued-up on such matters. 

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

I can confirm that when arriving at LHR T5, all oneworld Sapphires and Emeralds can access immigration fast track if they are non-EU passport holders. You can access irrespective of class travelled. 

I used this a couple of times this year, after BA16 arrived it was very useful but after an  afternoon IB flight from MAD the queue was full of people. You can also access fast track security when departing from T5 regardless of travel class. Due to the automatic boarding pass check you need to make sure your status appears on your boarding pass. 

Thanks madge,

That is great to hear. If UKBA/airport officials require validation to use the fast track pass immigration lane, would a boarding pass detailing Sapphire/Emerald status be sufficient or do you still need to obtain a fast track pass from the cabin crew?

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

No Fast Track pass is required for either departures or arrivals at T5. Your boarding pass will be scanned to verify eligibility for departures. At arrivals a BA staffer mans the entrance to Fast Track - just show your boarding pass if it shows your status. If not, (and my IB mobile boarding pass didn't) just show your OWE/OWS card.

Unfortunately for OWS this benefit is only available at LHR for IB but not at MAD or BCN.

Cheers madge, you're a star!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Oneworld Sapphire get fast track at Heathrow