aword from oneworld08 December 2004
Transfers between oneworld airlines at London Heathrow made even easier: Connecting between oneworldTM member airlines at London Heathrow, the alliance's main European hub, has been made smoother and easier with the grouping co-locating facilities at the airport's Flight Connections Centre, which is used by most passengers transferring between flights at the gateway.
Five of the alliance's seven member airlines serving Heathrow have started sharing the new unit. British Airways is staffing 13 desks, handling its own passengers and those of Finnair and Qantas. American is manning four desks and Iberia one. The facility's commissioning follows the opening of the combined oneworld transfer unit at Heathrow Terminal 3 a year ago. The airport is one of 25 around the world where oneworld carriers have extensive joint facilities.
Iberia launches interline e-ticketing with LAN and Qantas: Iberia has introduced interline e-ticketing (IET) with both LAN and Qantas. It means 18 of the potential 28 pairs of oneworld partners now off this customer convenience, keeping the alliance firmly on track to be the first of the global groupings to offer it between all member airlines. American Airlines and British Airways already have IET links with all their oneworld partners.
Both the Spanish and Latin American airlines had already also cut-over with Qantas. IET is now in place covering more than 90 per cent of the passengers transferring between the grouping's member airlines. The remaining ten pairs of oneworld members will link up early in the New Year.
Interline e-ticketing offers customers many advantages. It means they can be e-ticketed right through to their final destinations on journeys involving a transfer between carriers with no need for a traditional paper ticket, making connections between carriers smoother, easier and more reliable. They can also rebook between airlines without having to obtain a paper ticket first, saving time and hassle. e-tickets themselves cannot be lost or stolen, they make check-in quicker and smoother, helping eliminate queues at airports by giving customers access to the speed and convenience of new automation features.
New destinations to be brought on-line in China, Estonia and Mexico: Another three destinations are to join the oneworld network:
- Guangzhou will be the alliance's fourth destination in mainland China when Finnair links the Southern Chinese city with its Helsinki hub, with an initial three flights a week from 2 September. Finnair already serves Beijing, along with British Airways and Cathay Pacific which upgrades its service to daily from 1 December. Finnair also serves Shanghai – where Qantas launches thrice-weekly flights from 2 December, with American and Cathay Pacific both also seeking rights to the city. Cathay will add flights to Xiamen from February.
- Kuresaare will become oneworld's second destination in Estonia, when Finnair launches twice-weekly flights to the airport, on the island of Saaremaa, from its Helsinki base. Services will operate from 19 May to 11 September, using 68-seat ATR72s flown for the airline by its wholly-owned Estonian subsidiary Aero. Currently, the fastest way to travel between the two points is by ferry and road, which takes up to seven hours. The new Finnair flights will take just 55 minutes.
- San Luis Potosi will be the 12th destination in Mexico served by the alliance when affiliate American Eagle launches daily services to and from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub from 5 January, with 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140 regional jets. Flights will be timed to provide excellent connections with AA flights throughout the US and internationally.
Four other destinations have been brought on-line by the alliance's carriers in recent weeks - Georgia's Tbilisi by affiliate British Mediterranean, Florida's Pensacola by American Eagle, Morocco's Fez by affiliate GB Airways and Argentina's Ushuaia by LAN.
The latest additions expand the oneworld map to almost 600 destinations in more than 135 countries - the world's most international route network.
Explorer fare to chart new ground: The Global Explorer round-the-world fare, which includes travel on all the alliance's carriers and a number of other airlines, is to be promoted more prominently as a oneworld fare - and a new version rolled out.
Unlike the oneworld Explorer, which uniquely bases its price on the number of continents visited, Global Explorer fares are calculated on the miles flown. Previously, Global Explorer had three versions - for flying up to 26 000 miles and up to 29 000 miles, in Economy class, or up to 34 000, for travel in any class. Now a fourth version is available - for travel of up to 39 000 miles in Economy class only. It is priced at similar levels to the oneworld Explorer six continents variant.
Besides the eight oneworld partners and their affiliates, Global Explorer trips can include flights on Air Pacific, Gulf Air, Swiss International, Polynesian and Australian Airlines, increasing the number of destinations available, particularly in the South West Pacific.
…and the toast is oneworld - top for its cellars: oneworld and its member airlines have been popping champagne corks after virtually wiping the board in the latest Cellars in the Sky awards run by the Business Traveller magazine group to find the best wines served by the world's airlines.
oneworld itself was named Best Airline Alliance for wine. Its member airlines took seven of the 13 top awards from the 2004 tastings and 17 runners-up placings. Of the rival alliance groupings, SkyTeam took three awards and five runners-up positions, with Star five runners-up rankings but no awards.
Cathay Pacific was judged as offering the best overall business class cellar, best First class white, for its Vincent Girardin Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2001, best fortified wine in business class for its Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port 1997 and joint winner for most original first class wine list. American received one award - with its Chateau Bataille 2000 Pauillac named best red in business class. British Airways also collected one award, with its Laboure-Roi Mersault 2002 judged the best white served in business class, and three runner-up listings.
It is the 20th year that Business Traveller has run the awards, with Wine International magazine joining it for this year's judging.
Finnair to up-grade Hong Kong flights to non-stop: Finnair is to start flying non-stop between its Helsinki home and oneworld's Asian hub Hong Kong next year, cutting four hours off the current journey time. Currently, it operates its three weekly services to Hong Kong via Bangkok. They will fly non-stop from 31 May to September. Frequencies to Bangkok will be retained as at present, with the three services that currently fly on to HKG continuing instead to Singapore, on top of the current thrice-weeklies.
LAN to increase frequencies between oneworld hubs Santiago and Sydney: LAN is aiming to increase frequencies between its Santiago home base and oneworld partner Qantas' Sydney hub. It intends to add a fourth weekly flight from 9 December. LAN carries the Qantas code on this route under their code-sharing agreement. All these flights operate via Auckland.
Another four European cities to join Aer Lingus' network: Aer Lingus is to add another four European destinations to its Dublin hub from late March – Seville, Hamburg, Marseille and Naples. With the four new routes planned for Cork already announced, it means the Irish oneworld carrier will have opened 42 new routes since the end of 2001, tripling its network. It also revealed that more than 60 per cent of its bookings are now made using its website. All four of the latest newcomers are already on the oneworld network. British Airways serves all of them. Iberia also operates to Seville and Marseille and Naples, and Finnair flying in addition to Hamburg.
Tripoli schedules raised to daily by British Airways: British Airways is to increase frequencies between London Heathrow and Tripoli to daily from 1 January.
BA is first to offer self-print boarding passes from London Heathrow: Passengers flying on British Airways' UK domestic flights from its London Heathrow base can now print their own boarding passes from their home or office, via its ba.com website. The service is also available from Manchester to domestic and international destinations, including, for the first time, on a transatlantic route - Manchester to New York. BA was the first airline in the UK to offer this self-service option, rolled out on a trial bases at Edinburgh in February, and the first at Heathrow. It is also available from 33 other airports in Europe, with more than a thousand passengers a day using it. Passengers print their boarding passes on-line, before arriving at the airport. At the terminal, they go straight to airport security, simplifying and shortening their check-in process. Fast bag drop facilities are available for those who have check-in baggage.
oneworld in brief: oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus - enabling them 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. Together, its members serve more than 575 destinations in 135 countries. oneworld was voted the world's best airline alliance by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2004 poll and the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the tenth World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries. Note: LAN affiliate LAN ECUADOR is not a member of oneworld.