Launched on February 1, 1999, the oneworld alliance (the third largest alliance) turns 20 years old today and has unveiled its new “Travel Bright” tagline and brand positioning for its airport lounges. Its member airlines include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, SriLankan Airlines, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines with Royal Air Maroc coming in 2020. Cornerstones of this new branding is an improvement in the digital experience for passengers flying the alliance plus the announcement of new ‘branded’ alliance lounges.
Designed to communicate the character of the alliance, Travel Bright has three core themes – guidance, understanding and anywhere. The aim here is in making the point that the airlines of the alliance work together providing a tailored service anywhere in the world.
Frequent flyers are going to benefit from a major improvement to the alliance airlines digital experience. At present, if you have an itinerary featuring multiple carriers, you have to go to the web site or app of each individual airline to issue your boarding pass for each segment. Often it won’t work at all, requiring you to go to a check-in desk.
Rolling out from later this year will be the ability to check-in and get boarding passes for any oneworld alliance flight on any of the airlines platforms. Itineraries with connecting flights on different carriers will now be much easier to manage.
Other plans to extend the digital experience of the passengers is the ability to allow payment of baggage fees and seat selection across all carriers, even when the seats attract a charge. This should be much appreciated by all.
Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways are the first two to connect this way and the other airlines will progressively integrate this over the next 18 months.
ONEWORLD TO INTRODUCE BRANDED LOUNGES
All oneworld lounges are operated by a particular airline. This means that in places like London Heathrow Terminal 3 you have American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways lounges all near each other.
Frequent flyers have access to all the lounges, however it’s an inefficient arrangement. There are three sets of staff, three kitchens to provide food and so on.
Having a single alliance lounge at certain stations will be beneficial for the airlines from a cost perspective. The unfortunate side effect is more people will be in the lounges and there will be a loss of the individual airline’s identity. I enjoy seeing the different lounge designs as because some are far better than others. Right?
Other airline alliances already have branded lounges, so oneworld is following what has already happened before. Where will the first lounge be? You won’t be finding out until later in 2019.
I’m quite happy with the colorful look of the Travel Bright positioning. As you can see from the images included throughout this article, it is all very on trend and I like it.
Creating back end technology to enhance the customer experience is very welcome. And being able to issue a boarding pass without having to change to another app or site will be much appreciated.
I’ll reserve my judgement on the new oneworld lounges until I have seen one. Cross fingers it is representative of the quality the alliance aspires to.
All images via oneworld alliance.