The global Oneworld airline alliance has welcomed SriLankan Airlines as its newest member, with a route network spanning Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Members of Qantas Frequent Flyer can earn and redeem points on SriLankan Airlines flights, while eligible frequent flyers now hold the keys to the airline's Serendib, Serendiva and Palm Strip lounges.
Although SriLankan doesn’t fly to Australia, other Oneworld members – including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas – fly from Australian ports to destinations across Asia.
One-stop journeys from Australia are possible on Oneworld flights through Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and Shanghai to SriLankan's hub at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo:
Domestically within Sri Lanka, Oneworld's newest member flies between Colombo and Hambantota.
Qantas and SriLankan
Qantas frequent flyers can now earn points and status credits on SriLankan Airlines flights with a UL flight number, while access to Sri Lankan's lounges is granted to Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members of Qantas Frequent Flyer whenever travelling with SriLankan or another alliance member.
The usual perks like priority check-in and boarding come as standard for Gold-level flyers on SriLankan Airlines flights where available, while preferred seating is also part of the parcel for all elite Oneworld travellers – including those at the Qantas Silver level, or Oneworld Ruby.
Also extended down to the Ruby level is priority waitlisting – when holding a stand-by ticket for a SriLankan Airlines flight, elite travellers are given preference over non-status passengers – with a higher priority given to Sapphires and Emeralds in the same queue.
Expedited security formalities are available in selected airports for Oneworld Emerald members, while these Platinum-grade travellers can also check an additional bag or an extra 20kgs, depending on whether the ticket mentions a piece or weight allowance.
The benefits work both ways – members of SriLankan's FlySmiLes loyalty program can earn and redeem points on Qantas domestic and international flights, while similar checked baggage and priority boarding perks can be enjoyed when travelling with the Red Roo.
Now available across the breadth of Oneworld is reciprocal lounge access, whereby SriLankan opens its lounges in Colombo to travellers with either elite Oneworld status or a business or first class ticket, while other member airlines welcome eligible FlySmiLes members into their own lounges.
From May 1, travellers can access the airline's Palm Strip Lounge in Colombo Airport. In addition, the doors to the Serendiva lounge are also opened when travelling on shorter flights, while the Serendib lounge caters to those jetting off on longer flights.
A la carte dining is available in all SriLankan airlines lounges, along with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
On home soil, the Qantas first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are open for Platinum members of FlySmiLes, while the welcome mat is also rolled out globally by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and the rest of the Oneworld family.
Here's how the FlySmiLes tiers stack up for Oneworld lounge access:
- SriLankan FlySmiLes Blue is the entry-level tier – no lounge access
- SriLankan FlySmiLes Classic aligns with Oneworld Ruby – also no lounge access
- SriLankan FlySmiLes Gold matches Oneworld Sapphire and Qantas Gold – these flyers can access Oneworld business class lounges
- SriLankan FlySmiLes Platinum lines up with Oneworld Emerald and Qantas Platinum – access is offered to all Oneworld first and business class lounges
Flying with SriLankan
With a respectable network of 34 destinations across 22 countries, the airline's network has the strongest presence across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
From Colombo, the airline runs direct flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai, London, Rome, Frankfurt, Paris and a number of other cities in addition to the Oneworld connection points throughout Asia.
SriLankan also runs a handful of 'fifth freedom' flights between other major cities, which travellers can book without needing to visit Sri Lanka – including services between Bangkok and both Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Chris Chamberlin is visiting Sri Lanka for SriLankan Airlines' Oneworld joining ceremony as a guest of Oneworld, SriLankan Airlines and Qantas Airways.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT