Around oneworld in seven days to raise funds for children
Travel around the world in less than seven days flying with all 11 of the alliance's member airlines plus the next carrier in line to join - that is the challenge a top tier oneworld® frequent flyer and a senior British Airways executive have set themselves in a bid to raise thousands of dollars for charity.
UK-based management consultant Andrew Solum, who has oneworld Emerald status in British Airways' Executive Club loyalty programme, and British Airways' Head of UK and Ireland Sales Richard Tams will cover nearly 30,000 miles (48,000 km) on their trip, boarding 15 separate flights, passing through 14 airports, mainly oneworld home hubs, in 11 countries, starting and finishing in New York, which is home to oneworld's head office. Along the way, they will board 10 different aircraft types.
The money they raise through sponsorship will go to Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief UK, which will use the funds to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children living in the UK and in some of the poorest countries across the world. The aim of the charity is to help create lasting change by giving children and their families the chance to start supporting themselves.
You can help Andrew and Richard by sponsoring them at http://donate.ba-flyingstart.com/funraiser/roundtheoneworld
Their first flight, on Saturday 15 September is from New York JFK to Chicago O'Hare, both cornerstone hubs of American Airlines, flying with American. They will then connect on to Japan Airlines, flying to its international hub Tokyo Narita.
They continue the next day on JAL to the Hong Kong home of Cathay Pacific. On Monday 17 September they will transfer on Cathay Pacific to the Kuala Lumpur base of oneworld member elect Malaysia Airlines, which is on track to join the alliance at the turn of the year. From there, it is a short hop with Malaysia Airlines to Singapore, where they connect on to Qantas for London Heathrow, where they should land on Tuesday 18 September.
Later that day they fly on to the Amman base of Royal Jordanian, flying from there on RJ the next day to Frankfurt, where they will transfer on airberlin to its Berlin home hub.
On Thursday 20 September, they make the return trip on airberlin from Berlin to Frankfurt where they will connect on to LAN for the Madrid home of Iberia, which will carry then eastwards to the Moscow Domodedovo hub of S7, landing early on Friday 21 September, to transfer on to S7 for St Petersburg.
On Saturday 22 September they will board a Finnair flight to its Helsinki hub and then on to London Heathrow again, where they will connect to British Airways for their final sector back to New York JFK, where they plan to land at 8.55 pm.
Richard Tams said: "I've done a lot of flying in my time at British Airways, but never so many destinations in such a short period. We'll be going through 16 airports, flying on ten different aircraft types and visiting 11 countries on 12 airlines - but we won't have time to stop and enjoy the views!
"We're enormously grateful to our oneworld partners for supporting our challenge - it's a great reflection of the reach the alliance has. And thanks also to our hotel partners, Global Hotel Alliance, Starwood and Marriott."
oneworld aims to be the first choice airline alliance for the world's frequent international travellers. It brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including Austria's NIKI, American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Malaysia Airlines is on track to join at the turn of the year, with Sri Lankan to follow in 2013. India's Kingfisher Airlines is also a member elect. Mexicana is an inactive member of the alliance.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across a combined oneworld network covering some 830 destinations in 150 countries, and more airport lounges.
oneworld is current holder of three international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards, for the ninth consecutive year, and the Best Airline Alliance 2011 in Australian Business Traveller's debut awards.