oneworld makes booking flights easier03 February 2009
oneworld®, the leading quality airline alliance, today announced a series of initiatives to make booking flights on all of its member airlines easier than ever before - whether they are frequent flyer award redemption flights or regular tickets.
It is on track to be the first alliance:
- Enabling members of all its airlines' frequent flyer programmes to book on-line award flights on all oneworld carriers.
- With every member airline selling through its own website flights operated by all its global alliance partners in conjunction with its own flights.
These key developments, responding to a clear preference among frequent flyers for on-line and self-service options, were unveiled as the Chief Executives of all its member airlines gathered today in Madrid to mark the 10th anniversary of oneworld's launch.
oneworld Commercial Director Filip Lemmens said: "One of the key benefits of airline alliances is that they make it easier for people to reach many more places around the world than any individual carrier serves. Yet the rapid move towards internet sales in recent years has not built in that key alliance benefit.
"oneworld is the first to be setting that right. All oneworld carriers will in the future enable their customers to buy on-line through their own airline website flights to destinations not just served by their own airline but by their alliance partners too. So travelling to any destination on the oneworld map will become a great deal easier."
American Airlines is the first of the alliance's members to sell flights by all its oneworld partners through its own website. Japan Airlines also already sells through its main Japanese website jal.co.jp flights operated by its oneworld partners in combination with its own services.
All other member airlines will sell one another's flights through their own websites by the end of this year.
No other global alliance sells flights operated by all its member airlines through the websites of all its member airlines.
On-line redemption awards
oneworld is also to be the first to enable members of all its airline's frequent flyer programmes to book on-line award redemption flights throughout the alliance network.
No other alliance currently offers this level of convenience. While many airlines enable their frequent flyers to book redemption tickets for their own airline's flights through their own website, requests to redeem mileage awards for flights on partner airlines generally need to be made by phone or email.
British Airways is the first oneworld member airline to offer this on-line capability. Members of its Executive Club can now book award tickets on-line for not only British Airways flights but those operated by all its oneworld partners too.
Qantas has also started providing this service, currently for flights operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LAN and Malév Hungarian Airlines, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flights to be added soon.
Iberia too is rolling out this option, with Iberia Plus cardholders already able to book reward flights on British Airways and Qantas via iberia.com
Cathay Pacific and LAN plan to offer this service for flights on all their oneworld partners by the end of this year. All the alliance's other member airlines will also add this option progressively from this year - with all links to be completed by the end of next year.
The development is part of a larger project to make the alliance's overall frequent flyer offering more convenient and easy for customers to use.
oneworld Commercial Director Filip Lemmens said: "Our research has highlighted a clear preference among frequent flyers for self-service options wherever possible - and this is exactly what we are providing, by being first to provide the capability of booking redemption flights on all partner airlines on-line and in other areas too.
"We are not aware of any other airline alliance addressing this key area of customer service so comprehensively - which underlines oneworld's determination to be the leading alliance of quality and innovation."
Other self-service initiatives being rolled out by the alliance for members of its airlines' frequent flyer programmes will improve their tracking of reward earnings. They will be able to enter their frequent flyer number when they book on-line or check-in through any oneworld airline's website. They will also be able to swipe their membership card or enter their frequent flyer number manually at any oneworld member airline's self-service check-in kiosk.
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, Malév 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 later 2009.
Between them, these airlines:
- Serve almost 700 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8,500 daily departures.
- Offer some 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
- Carry 330 million passengers a year.
- Employ 300,000 people.
- Operate almost 2,300 aircraft.
- Generate 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 latest (2008) World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.