oneworld first to sell round-the-world fares on-line

19 December 2008

oneworld® has become the first in the travel industry to sell multi-airline round-the-world air tickets on-line with its new internet booking tool for its oneworld Explorer fare.  This also makes oneworld the first global airline alliance to offer any of its public fares for sale through the worldwide web.

The new on-line booking tool is available now through oneworld.com   The alliance's member airlines will add it to their own websites too or provide links from their internet sites to the oneworld.com facility - at www.oneworld.com/ow/flight-info/plan-and-book-your-itinerary

oneworld Explorer is among the most popular multi-airline tickets worldwide, enabling passengers to travel right around the globe using the flights of any of oneworld's ten member airline and 20 or so affiliates, who together serve some 700 destinations in approaching 150 countries. 

With the launch this new oneworld internet tool, customers or their travel agents can for the first time both plan their round-the-world itinerary and now book and pay for their tickets on-line.

The system has a number of special features to make it as simple as possible for customers to plan oneworld Explorer round-the-world trips. 

As they build their itinerary - simply by clicking on destinations displayed on the alliance's interactive map - the system automatically

checks availability and displays only flights that have seats available for each route and date selected.  It also validates that the itinerary meets all the fare's rules and conditions - and then provides an instant price for the trip. 

Once customers have finalised their itinerary - which can be of up to 16 sectors - they can pay on-line using a credit card (see notes) and print out all the details.  The e-tickets for the entire trip are then sent to the customer by email.  

oneworld Vice-President Commercial Nicolas Ferri said: "The tremendous value and flexibility our oneworld Explorer fares offer now combined with the ease and simplicity of planning, booking and paying on-line extends oneworld and our member airlines' leading position for worldwide travel.  We are delighted to be the first and only alliance - and indeed the first in the travel industry - to offer this level of convenience to our customers and travel agency partners, building further on our record of innovation." 

The booking engine project has been led on behalf of all the alliance's carriers by Qantas.  Its General Manager Sales and Distribution Rob Gurney said:  "With so many possibilities of places to visit and routes to take, planning and booking a round-the-world trip can be time-consuming - both for our customers and sales representatives.  Our new, easy-to-use on-line booking and payment facility simplifies the entire operation, saving customers a huge amount of time and providing them with far more flexibility in planning their trips.  It will also reduce costs for our member airlines and free up time of airline and travel agency reservations agents to handle other tasks."

Unlike other round-the-world fares, oneworld Explorer's price is based on the number of continents visited (three to six), not the mileage flown, making planning and pricing journeys much more simple and flexible.  It covers flights worldwide by all oneworld member and affiliate airlines. 

With oneworld the only airline alliance with members based in South America, Australia or Asia's Middle East, it is just the ticket for anyone who truly wants to circumnavigate the globe.

It offers great flexibility and value, generating the largest portion of the US$725 million revenues earned by oneworld for its member airlines through its alliance fares and sales activities last year.  Around 50,000 people bought a oneworld Explorer round-the-world ticket last year. 

oneworld Explorer can be booked for travel in Economy, Premium Economy (where available), Business or even First Class, and earn frequent flyer programme mileage awards and tier status points.  Prices from the USA start at US$3,900, from the UK at GBP1,349, from Euro-zone countries at EUR1,999, and from Australia at A$3,499, all excluding any taxes, charges and surcharges.  For lead-in prices from other countries and full details, see www.oneworld.com/ow/air-travel-options/round-the-world-fares/oneworld-explorer#fare-estimate

The on-line booking tool build on oneworld's record for innovation.  More than three years ago, it became the first of the global alliances to put in place interline e-ticketing (IET) links between all members of the grouping, enabling customers to travel with the convenience of just one electronic ticket for journeys involving any combination of alliance's member airlines.  Rival alliances have only recently completed links between their own member airlines.

Notes

Initially, oneworld Explorer itineraries ticketed through British Airways (generally when the first sector flown is on British Airways) will still need to have their payment processed through a British Airways sales outlet rather than on-line.  The airline ticketing the itinerary will be displayed in the reservations' confirmation page, before the booking is completed and payment requested.

oneworld Explorer sectors in Premium Economy cabins cannot at this stage be booked on-line.

oneworld developed the on-line booking engine in cooperation with Innovata, the global leader in travel related content management and content distribution, and Amadeus, the global distribution system, which also supports the majority of oneworld's member airlines.

About oneworld

oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, MalĂ©v Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Mexicana and its affiliate Click Mexicana will join the alliance in 2009. 

Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 700 airports in nearly 150 countries, with more than 9,000 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry some 320 million passengers a year.
  • Employ 250,000 people and operate almost 2,500 aircraft.
  • Generate more than US$100 billion annual revenues.

oneworld is the only alliance with any member airlines based in Australia, South America or Asia's Middle East.

The alliance 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 the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.  

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the sixth year running in the 2008 World Travel Awards, retaining the title ever since it was first presented.