One of the great benefits one can enjoy holding oneWorld Emerald Status is the access to the First Class Lounges at the airline hubs.
Holding Top Tier Status always has advantages but for those who love airport lounges, oneWorld offers the best value for their Emerald Top Tiers.We all know how different airport lounges can be. Some are mediocre, some are average and then there are those that are excellent. Usually these excellent lounges require a First Class Ticket or an airline specific status such as Lufthansa HON Circle or Singapore Airlines Solitaire should you be flying in a different class of service that day. oneWorld however offers access to their First Class Lounges (where available) to all of their Emerald Members.
It’s nice to be able to enjoy the more posh First Class Lounges when having a regular Business Class ticket, however the real value of this benefit comes into play when you are flying Economy Class and under normal circumstances wouldn’t have any Lounge Access. Especially on routes where it really doesn’t make much sense to buy a premium ticket because the flights are very short and the difference in fares too high to justify flying Business Class for a 1-2 hour flight.
There are some fantastic facilities available for oneWorld Emeralds. While the airlines always try to offer you at least some basic lounge irrespective of your departure point, those carriers that actually offer International First Class Service usually have First Class Lounge at their hubs which Emeralds are always able to use. You can access the oneWorld Lounge Finder here! Some of the better ones include:
Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge ‘The Wing’ & ‘The Pier’
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Airlines ‘Golden Lounge’ (Satellite Terminal – accessible from all gates)
London: British Airways Galleries First at Heathrow’s Terminal 5
Los Angeles: American Airlines Flagship Lounge, Terminal 4 (Domestic & International)
Sydney: Qantas Club First Class Lounge at International Departures
Tokyo: Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounges at Tokyo-Narita & Haneda (International)
For those of you loving Champagne I can personally vouch for Cathay’s ‘The Wing’ (Hong Kong) and the Qantas First Class Lounge (Sydney).
From all the various airline status there is to achieve, holding oneWorld Emerald proved to be the most valuable for me in terms of value on the ground. The First Class Lounges accessible with that status, even on simple short trips, are fantastic for s short stopover.
The Asian hubs have an advantage here since traveling out of Malaysia, Hong Kong or Japan is almost always international as there is no such thing as the Schengen Zone like in Europe. The same advantage goes for the U.K. as they are not part of Schengen and therefore passengers are able to facilitate the international Terminal T5.