A survey question recently posed by an airline hints that oneworld are considering allowing upgrades across the alliance. Adding this would be a major enhancement to the benefits for frequent flyers.
Of course, the idea is not new. Star Alliance currently offers this on their network, but value wise it is not significantly better than using points to secure the seat outright.
Upgrades Across The Alliance
At the moment, most frequent flyer programmes in oneworld only allow you to upgrade with your home airline. This makes sense as the points are designed to be mainly used for redemptions on the carrier you’re a frequent flyer with.
Some exceptions do exist, for example with joint venture partners. You can use British Airways points to upgrade American Airlines flights, however these are usually restricted to full fare tickets in higher fare buckets.
You can see above in the survey question, that they are looking for thoughts on a “potential” new benefit across the alliance. Essentially it will allow people to use points for upgrades across the alliance.
Therefore, as a British Airways frequent flyer, I could book a Cathay Pacific ticket in business class and use my BA points to upgrade to first class on CX if there was award space available.
Quite frankly, I would welcome this benefit with open arms! There is nothing I would like more than to be able to upgrade using points on any of the oneworld alliance airlines.
While I do a lot of my flying with British Airways as an Executive Club member, sometimes it is more convenient for me to use another airline in the alliance, usually due to very competitive pricing. Being able to upgrade a class where that is possible would be an excellent benefit.
The only caveat I would make is that the upgrade pricing should be in line with what I experience now when upgrading on BA. I would not want to see the cost of the upgrade being so much more that it’s almost the same as booking that seat as a points redemption. That would ruin the benefit to me.
What do you think about upgrading using your points on another carrier? Is it something you’ve done with Star Alliance and what do you think about that? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.