Malaysian officially joins oneworld

The oneworld alliance has added a new member today (or yesterday, depending on which time zone you’re in) with Malaysian Airlines being added to the group. Malaysian is the 12th carrier in the alliance and adds a route network covering more than 60 destinations to the oneworld alliance. Sixteen of these destinations are new to the alliance with no other member service. Plus Brunei has been added as a country with oneworld service now.

In celebration of the new member other oneworld member carriers are running promotions to encourage travel on Malaysian. Passengers will earn double points for travel on Malaysian when flying between 15 February 2013 and 15 April 2013. The fine print varies by crediting program so double-check with your program of choice before booking a crazy mileage run, but the bonus is definitely a nice touch. That said, I’ve found a few of the earnings charts and the numbers aren’t pretty. I discussed the JAL chart earlier in the week and lamented the minimal earning rates at the lower end of the fare spectrum. It seems that British Airways and Qantas have followed suit. Both are offering quite limited credit for lower fares and Qantas also adds a distinction between long-haul and short-haul travel, with better credit offered for short-haul travel. No doubt this is to discourage travel on a partner in long-haul markets where Qantas competes against them. Unfortunately earning details from American Airlines are not yet available.

And, finally, the alliance used the celebration of their new member to increase benefits for their top tier elites. Effective immediately oneworld Emerald elites will now receive an additional baggage allowance on all tickets and priority handling at certain security checkpoints. The baggage allowance will permit either one additional bag or an additional 20kg, depending on the system in use for the trip. Details on where the priority security access will be offered are not so clear right now.

The successful addition of a new carrier to the alliance is a great step forward for oneworld. The carrier had two rather notable losses in 2012, with Kingfisher falling apart just days before they were due to join and Malev liquidating early in the year as well. It appears that 2013 is kicking off on quite a different path, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Somehow I’ve missed how this impacts our opportunities for award travel in the near term.

    Please could you share some details on what this means for award booking (or links if someone else covered it already)? i.e. does that mean as of today we can book awards using aa/ba miles to fly Malaysian Airlines? How do we find award space? Etc.? Can we book awards online on X carrier?

  2. @Iolaire : mostly as a body double of CX/BA/QF in case they run out of seats on the Kangaroo route.

    For N.A. based oneworld loyals, MAS’ value is rather limited.

  3. Cant seem to find a single F seat on
    Is it being blocked or are the systems not synced properly?
    Y and J coming up fine..

  4. @aussie I’m not sure if MH is making all their seats available. I compared the inventory of MH and BA, and MH rewards via their own Enrich FFP can access so many more seats compared to BA. So I wouldn’t be surprised if award availability is going to be harder to find for premium seats.

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