Singapore-based frequent flyers are now a lot more savvy about frequent flyer programmes, mainly in due to more and more miles-earning credit cards, and also the wide range of information relating to these programmes.
However, most of the information are still around Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance rather than the entire frequent flyer ecosystem.
So what this guide aims to do is provide information on the next best alternative programmes: oneworld frequent flyer programmes.
So what are alliances?
Because airlines can’t fly to every corner of the world (unless you are Emirates), you need a band of brothers to help you to transport your customers to far flung destinations. This is where alliances come in.
There are three key airline alliances in the world: Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam. Each of these alliances share pretty similar history: a group of airlines decided to come together to form an alliance and there you have it.
Today, you will find that most close competitors within the same region do not belong to the same alliance. For instance, in the US, the three main airlines – Delta, American and United – all belong to different alliances. Closer to home in southeast Asia, Singapore Airlines belong to Star Alliance, while Garuda and Malaysia Airlines are with Skyteam and oneworld respectively.
I’m not gonna reinvent the wheel, so here’s Wikipedia’s introduction of oneworld:
Oneworld was unveiled by its founding members, American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines (which left the alliance a few years later on merging with Air Canada), Cathay Pacific, and Qantas at a press conference in London, United Kingdom, on 21 September 1998. Oneworld was officially launched and became operational on 1 February 1999.Wikipedia
In this part of the world, only three oneworld programmes truly matter: Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich.
For the purpose of this guide, I will only be touching on the following programmes:
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles & Marco Polo Club
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
There are several other major oneworld programmes used by Asia members, such as Malaysia Airlines Enrich and British Airways Executive Club. These may be included in the guide in due time.