Oneworld to open its own network of airport lounges from 2019

Oneworld to open its own network of airport lounges from 2019

The Oneworld alliance will open its own network of Oneworld-branded airline lounges at key airports around the world, with an inaugural ribbon-cutting in the second half of 2019 and two more lounges likely to follow in 2020.

Oneworld hasn't revealed which airport will host that debutante lounge, but alliance CEO Rob Gurney tells Australian Business Traveller that several airports are in contention “and in the middle of this year we will be announcing the first Oneworld lounge.’

“We’ve actually got three we are pursuing, we just haven’t decided what the first one is going to be – it could be any one of those.”

Speaking to Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of a press conference in London to mark the alliance's 20th anniversary, Gurney said the lounges would focus on airports or terminals without a home carrier which belongs to Oneworld.

“The idea is that we develop these where no single airline has a massive presence, but we have multiple airlines flying into the same airport, maybe with daily flights,” Gurney explains. “So while collectivity we (as Oneworld) have a lot of flights, no single airline could justify the cost of the lounge.”

“We think there’s around 15 to 30 opportunities globally which fall into that category, although some of these are a long way out – some are driven by terminal development such as Sao Paulo,  Beijing Daxing, Frankfurt, Paris, New York JFK and even Heathrow.”

Oneworld’s rollout would be similar to the approach adopted by competing alliances Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

The closest that currently exists is a business class lounge at Los Angeles' Tom Bradley International Airport which was launched as a joint project between Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific, and is managed by Qantas.

Gurney tells Australian Business Traveller that the Oneworld-branded lounges will be an integrated “premium lounge with a very high quality experience” and open to business class and first class passengers as well as top-tier frequent flyers holding each member airline’s equivalent of Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status (such as Qantas Platinum and Gold, Cathay Pacific’s Macro Polo club Gold and Diamond, and British Airways Executive Club Silver and Gold).

However, he adds that “if there are airports that have a particularly high concentration of first class passengers” a seperate first class lounge would be considered.

Obvious contenders for future Oneworld lounges will be airports where Oneworld member airlines are working towards 'co-location' of facilities including check-in desks and departure gates.

"Oneworld aims to bring its member airlines operating at all airports worldwide together under one roof, to smooth transfers for passengers connecting between different carriers’ flights, wherever the opportunities are available and wherever it makes sense," Gurney explains.

“We are working on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at some of our most important gateways in Asia, the Americas and Europe with the aim of delivering the best experience for customers at each of these locations.”

This includes Sao Paulo, where all five Oneworld members currently flying to the Brazilian mega-hub expect to co-locate all of their domestic, regional and international operations in the new Terminal 3A, which is slated to open in mid-2021.

Also on that list would be Frankfurt, where the new Terminal 3 – expected to open in 2023 – will likely see a single Oneworld lounge shared by the ten alliance Oneworld airlines flying out of Frankfurt.

David Flynn travelled to London as a guest of Qantas and Oneworld.

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.


  • MelbFlyer


    1 Feb, 2019 10:10 pm

    With British Airways recently closing their SFO lounge for a refurb I bet this will be the first location
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  • Chris


    1 Feb, 2019 10:56 pm

    You’d think if they smash together CX, AA, QF and BA into a massive lounge at LHR T3 they could generate some savings
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  • moa999


    2 Feb, 2019 10:53 am

    Possibly, but many of the LHR T3 lounges are new so they wouldn't want to spend anything for a while.

    I see this as more for new airports/ terminals, with some possible rebrands (eg LAX and closer to home maybe PER)
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  • Himeno


    3 Feb, 2019 05:49 pm

    The QF LHR lounge is new, the AA and CX lounges were renovated within the last 3 years.

    While the AA lounge is in the same lounge 'district' as the other 3 oneworld lounges, there is a corridor to a gate wing and another non oneworld lounge between them.

    I'm still surprised by the recent investments airlines have made in LHR T3 with the airport master plan to demolish the terminal to allow expansion of the new T2 into the T2/T5 "toast rack".
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  • Himeno


    3 Feb, 2019 06:01 pm

    I do have to wonder where these sorts of lounges would go.
    They'd have to be in large airports where a majority of oneworld members fly to, that aren't oneworld hubs or already have large member airline lounges.

    Off hand, I can only think of FRA and SFO. Maybe CDG.
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  • Dan Ho


    1 Feb, 2019 11:32 pm

    Interesting but this would put unique benefits offered to Silver level tiers at risk no? Qantas Club passes would be less valuable if QF lounges are converted (although that might not be the case), and Marco Polo Club Silver would be less valuable as more oneworld lounges replaces CX's own lounges.
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  • Ian_from_HKG


    6 Feb, 2019 05:02 pm

    I would assume that MPC Silver would still get access to the oneworld lounge if on a CX flight - after all, CX will be paying the lounge operator for it. It's not really very different from a MPC Silver getting lounge access at, say, Phuket where CX use the TG lounge
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  • kimshep


    2 Feb, 2019 12:14 pm

    This significant lounge announcement is part of a larger 'refresh' of the oneworld alliance brand which, incidentally, celebrated it's 20th anniversary yesterday - with a significant knees-up in London.

    A completely redesigned and refreshed oneworld website is already revealed and can now be viewed online. Also promised for imminent release is an entirely reworked mobile app as well as new product re-branding, complete with new taglines.

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  • broleur


    4 Feb, 2019 11:46 pm

    How about SIN as a candidate for a Oneworld branded lounge?
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  • AsiaBizTraveller


    5 Feb, 2019 02:45 am

    I can't see that happening at the moment, not with QF opening a first class lounge, but when Singapore's new T5 terminal opens I could imagine all the OneWorld airlines moving to T5 and a single OneWorld lounge there although it would probably need to have a first class lounge as well as business class.
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  • AJW


    6 Feb, 2019 05:12 pm

    Wouldn’t expect to see that considering OneWorld airlines operate from all 4 terminals at SIN. If they were all in the same terminal then sure.
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  • Morgan Judd


    5 Feb, 2019 01:53 pm

    Probably a bit small minded, however Perth could do with a dedicated One world lounge to replace the International Qantas Business lounge that Qantas no longer uses for their own flights
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  • moa999


    5 Feb, 2019 02:38 pm

    Could see it happening, albeit a name change doesn't mean a refit.
    Also may not be good for QFFrs on JQ
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  • PG44


    5 Feb, 2019 02:44 pm

    Good idea, but it doesnt sound like Oneworld is 'thinking big' ... the media coverage refers to a handful of new lounges acoss the world over the next few years. Hard to see Perth making the cut unfortunately
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  • Scott Watkins


    13 Feb, 2019 05:22 pm

    As detailed in another article on this site, Seoul Incheon is the obvious first candidate.
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21 Apr, 2019 05:01 pm


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