Malaysia Airlines will join the oneworld alliance on February 1st, 2013, opening up new opportunities for Qantas frequent flyers for flights to Kuala Lumpur and onwards to Europe and Asia.
MAS previousy expected to become a full operational member of oneworld in December, with a spokesperson for the airline telling Australian Business Traveller on October 12 that “Malaysia Airlines is on track to join oneworld by the turn of the year."
However, a statement issued by oneworld says "while (Malaysia Airlines') alliance implementation programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, its addition to oneworld is being held until the beginning of 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons."
MAS signed up for oneworld in June 2011, with Qantas as its sponsor and a target of the second half of this year for full membership to kick in. That slipped to Q4, and even more recently into the early part of 2013.
Qantas frequent flyers set to benefit
But everything's now ready for the Malaysian flag-carrier to formally take its seat at the oneworld table.
As part of that, Qantas travellers will be able to collect frequent flyer points and status credits on MAS flights from February 1st, burn them on bookings with Malaysia Airlines as well as book MAS travel as part of a Qantas itinerary.
Here's how Malaysia Airlines' Enrich reward scheme lines up against that of Qantas and other oneworld airlines:
- MAS Enrich Platinum = Qantas Platinum = oneworld Emerald
- MAS Enrich Gold = Qantas Gold = oneworld Sapphire
- MAS Enrich Silver = Qantas Silver = oneworld Ruby
- MAS Enrich Blue = Qantas Bronze = nothing in oneworld, sorry!
Qantas Platinums will also be able to enjoy the exclusive new Platinum Suite located within MAS' recently-upgraded flagship Golden Lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which also houses the First Class and Business Class lounges.
MAS spruiks this as a "private lounge within a lounge" with everything from its own dining room to a putting green (seriously!) plus a buggy service to whisk guests to the departure gate, so you'll have more time in the Platinum Suite for that last pastry or practice putt.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.