The Guide to Oneworld Elite Status

Earning status with a member airline can get you benefits across the Oneworld alliance.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 

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The Oneworld alliance is one of the top three major global alliances and includes airlines from around the world.

Airline alliances help airlines expand their network of destinations and the markets they serve by affiliating themselves with other carriers around the world. Many of these alliance members code-share with each other, which means that they sell seats on each other’s flights to expand their footprint. That is the primary benefit to airlines, but there are benefits for consumers too.

Participating member airlines in the alliance agree to handling and transferring baggage between each other’s flights, assisting with each other’s flight disruptions when possible and sharing loyalty program perks and privileges. This makes traveling with alliance carriers easier. Travelers with elite status on one member airline can enjoy a variety of perks on other member carriers.

They also provide travelers with reciprocal frequent flyer benefits that allow more perks for elite status members, as well as the ability for all frequent flyer members to earn and redeem miles on each other’s flights.

Maybe you're an elite status member with American or Alaska Airlines. Here's what should you know about Oneworld elite status.

How to get Oneworld elite status

You can't actually independently earn Oneworld elite status. Instead, you have to earn elite status with a Oneworld member carrier by meeting the qualifications with one of the airline’s own frequent flyer programs.

The Oneworld alliance currently has 14 full airline members:

  • British Airways.

  • Cathay Pacific.

  • Finnair.

  • Iberia.

  • Japan Airlines.

  • Malaysia Airlines.

  • Qantas.

  • Qatar Airways.

  • Royal Air Maroc.

  • Royal Jordanian.

  • S7.

  • SriLankan.

Each airline has its own individual qualification metrics. Once you achieve a certain status tier within an airline’s program, it will directly match to a Oneworld elite status tier, and you will simultaneously have Oneworld elite status too.

Your physical or digital elite status card from your preferred Oneworld airline frequent flyer program will display an oval in the corner indicating the color of your status. The next time you fly Oneworld, you can start using your benefits.

Oneworld elite status tiers and benefits

Oneworld elite status is available in three tiers:

  • Emerald.

  • Sapphire.

  • Ruby.

As you move into higher tiers, you earn bigger and better benefits when flying Oneworld airlines. This means that you can enjoy perks even when you fly another Oneworld airline despite not having elite status within that carrier’s own loyalty program. Oneworld elite status is, in a way, like having status on all of its members.

For example, a flyer holding American Airlines Executive Platinum status also has Oneworld Emerald status. That flyer could enjoy special benefits even when flying other Oneworld airlines such as Cathay Pacific or Finnair.

Within American Airlines, here's how each elite status tier maps to Oneworld elite status:

American Airlines AAdvantage elite status

Oneworld elite status



Executive Platinum.


Platinum Pro.






Other airlines have their own individual tiers that map to Oneworld elite levels. You can check your Oneworld tier from that airline in Oneworld's drop-down menu. These are the benefits that come with each level.

Oneworld Emerald

  • Access to business and first class lounges.

  • Access to priority check-in.

  • Fast track at select security lanes.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Preferred or reserved seating.

  • Priority status on standby waitlists.

  • Priority baggage handling.

  • Extra baggage allowance.

Oneworld Sapphire

  • Access to business class lounges.

  • Access to priority check-in.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Preferred or reserved seating.

  • Priority status on standby waitlists.

  • Priority baggage handling.

  • Extra baggage allowance.

Oneworld Ruby

  • Access to priority check-in.

  • Preferred or reserved seating.

  • Priority status on standby waitlists.

Some elite status members can also enjoy perks when flying on Oneworld Connect partner carriers.

One notable thing missing from this list is reciprocal upgrades for holding Oneworld elite status on member carriers. This is not a published benefit on all carriers, although the alliance says it's working on a program that will allow this on some fares.

Unlike SkyTeam and Star Alliance, Oneworld does not have its own alliance-branded lounges, though plans are in the works to introduce those too.

Oneworld status match opportunities

While there are opportunities to status match between individual airlines, there is no option to status match directly between alliances, since status is tied to a member airline’s tier. Instead, you would have to be approved for a status match from one individual airline’s program to another.

Once approved for that status match on another airline, the new elite tier you hold with it would match to one of Oneworld’s individual elite status levels.

Reciprocal benefits with Oneworld elite status

If you have elite status with a Oneworld member airline like American or Qantas, you may already have qualified for Oneworld status. Take a look at your elite status card (either physical or digital) and search for the colorful oval in the corner — this will indicate your status tier.

In the future, keep as many flights as possible within the Ofmodneworld alliance so you can enjoy your hard-earned travel benefits.

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