a long hallway with chairs and a painting on the wall

What’s behind door #…

London Heathrow Terminal 3 is an incredibly amusing place to be a Oneworld frequent flyer.

In this singular terminal, eligible travelers have the option of venturing into the Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Qantas and American Airlines lounges – and quite frankly, many visit each and every one. Of course, this requires venturing out of each lounge, rolling your carry on and checking in again at the next location.

The situation is far from isolated.

a lamp on a table

At airports all over the world, airlines from the same alliance operate lounges which could be considered competing, or at the very least, confusing. Many travelers either don’t know that their ticket or status grants access to partner airline lounges, or never know “which one” is best.

Oneworld has plans to change that, at least at a few key airports. At today’s 20th anniversary press conference in London the alliance made quite clear their plans to create newly branded Oneworld lounges in key markets, rather than a variety of individual airline lounges scattered around a terminal. Thus far those that have been identified include: London Heathrow, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Frankfurt.

a man holding a tray and a woman sitting in a chair

It’s important to note that this isn’t *all* lounges. Key selling points such as Cathay’s Pier First, Qantas First Class or British Airways Concorde Room will almost certainly remain in tact. This is simply an initiative to strengthen select emerging markets where a streamlined experience could make lounges easier to manage, and spaces could potentially be combined to cater to more guests.

Three lounges each placing small food and beverage orders would never be as efficient as one larger entity able to reduce unit costs with major orders, and perhaps, with any hope, this could improve quality. This isn’t a new concept – SkyTeam and Star Alliance have offered similar, but it’s an interesting new frontier as the Oneworld group aims to broaden appeal in 2019.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. The idea is theoretically great, but can run into a few problems in actuality. For starters, location. If a flight leaves from an entirely different terminal, that makes enjoying the comforts of a lounge considerably less pleasant. Next up is the vast disparity between lounges from one airline to another. Don’t even try to explain to Cathay how American should give their customers access to your lounges because AA’s lounges are coequal. Then there’s been the intentional shunting of supposedly deserving passengers to worse lounges by some members. Will the new understanding end this practice? Fact is, there’s a lot of intentional disparity in the treatment of passengers, and while I’d love to see this fade away, it just seems unlikely.

  2. Concourses should be by alliance rather than airlines.

    Concourse A only Star Alliance. B only One World etc.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *