The Complete Guide to Oneworld Emerald Status


The three main airline alliances, Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam, encompass the large majority of airlines in the modern world. While you can earn individual status with each of the airlines within these alliances, all three alliances also offer their own status programs.

This means that in acquiring status with an airline’s frequent flyer program,  you can also earn status with the overarching alliance. Within the Oneworld alliance, Emerald status is the best status you can earn in the program and it comes with significant benefits for the average traveler.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Oneworld Emerald status.

What is Oneworld Emerald Status?

Oneworld is one of the big three airline alliances in the world and is comprised of 13 member airlines. It includes notable carriers such as Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and many others.

No different than frequent flyer programs themselves, Oneworld provides an opportunity to earn overarching status within the alliance. Oneworld has multiple status levels within its program: Oneworld Ruby, Oneworld Sapphire, and Oneworld Emerald.

oneworld emerald status logo

With Oneworld, status is not earned individually through the alliance’s loyalty program. Instead, status is ‘matched’ to different status levels you have with partner airlines within the alliance. So if you earn status with one airline frequent flyer program, you will receive a corresponding Oneworld status. The tier of Oneworld you receive will depend on the tier of status you achieved in the frequent flyer program.

For example, if you have Air Canada Aeroplan 50k status, you will automatically be granted Star Alliance Gold status. Star Alliance Gold status will then benefit you whenever you fly on a Star Alliance carrier and not just on Air Canada. This means that status within any airline alliance is hugely beneficial as it doesn’t necessarily tie you down to one carrier, especially if you do a large amount of international travel.

Oneworld Emerald Status Benefits

Since Oneworld Emerald status is the highest level of status within the Oneworld alliance, it comes with a plethora of valuable benefits for frequent flyers.

Access to First & Business Class Airport Lounges

Oneworld Emerald status members can access a large number of airport lounges worldwide, including some stellar business class lounges and first class lounges. 

In order to access these airport lounges, the status holder must be flying on a Oneworld flight that day with an eligible ticket in any fare class. Emerald members are also eligible to bring one guest into the lounge, provided the guest is also flying on a same-day Oneworld flight.

Lounges that are available range from your traditional airport lounge to exclusive experiences, such as Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo Haneda International Airport even if you are only flying on Japan Airlines Business Class.

japan airlines first class lounge at haneda access with oneworld emerald status

You can view all lounges within the Oneworld network here. If you search for a specific airport, you will be able to view all eligible lounges and the required status level to access them.

Of note, if a member has earned Oneworld Emerald status through the American AAdvantage program or Alaska Mileage Plan, they will only receive lounge access when traveling outside of North America. For those Oneworld Emerald members who earned status through a different frequent flyer program, they will receive lounge access even when traveling domestically.

Priority Check-in, Boarding, & Baggage Handling

Oneworld Emerald status members are eligible to receive priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling on member airlines. 

Emerald status members can look for separate signage when checking in for their flight at the airport; typically they will use the same priority line as other premium fare passengers. When checking in as an Oneworld Emerald member, any checked baggage will be tagged as priority luggage, which may or may not be a benefit depending on how it is handled by the airport. Usually, priority baggage handling does result in bags coming out on the belt first, but it is never a guarantee.

As with many of the benefits on this list, the policy of each airline differs and will determine how this benefit is applied (such as what boarding zone Emerald members will be included in). Research these details for your specific Oneworld carrier before flying to avoid any surprises or frustrations.

Access to Preferred or Pre-Reserved Seating

Oneworld Emerald members can receive access to preferred and pre-reserved seating. Similar to the priority boarding benefit, this benefit will be handled per the individual policy of the Oneworld airline operating the flight.

Of note, this benefit can be useful for those who fly certain airlines or fare classes. For example, British Airways charges for seat assignments in business class but this is avoided by holding Emerald status as seat selection will be free. On the other hand, Qatar Airways’ “unbundled” business class doesn’t allow seat selection in advance except for members who hold elite status.

‘Fast Track’ or ‘Priority Lane’ Security Access at Select Airports Worldwide

Fast track or priority security lanes are available for Oneworld Emerald status members at select airports and terminals worldwide. Priority security allows passengers to access a separate line which should result in a quicker security screening process for less stress at the airport and more time spent in the lounge.

oneworld emerald status fast track eligibility

While this is a good perk if you fly through airports that have fast track or priority lane access, consider looking into the Verified Traveller Program or NEXUS membership to increase your odds of being able to skip security lines.

Additional Checked Baggage for Free

Oneworld Emerald members are eligible to receive an additional checked baggage allowance for free, on top of their ticketed baggage allowance.

This benefit is handled differently depending on whether the itinerary you are flying on uses a weight or piece system for baggage allowance:

  • On itineraries using the baggage allowance “weight” system: Oneworld Emerald members are eligible to receive a complimentary 20kgs in baggage in addition to the ticketed-cabin allowance. 
  • On itineraries using the baggage allowance “piece” system: Oneworld Emerald members are eligible to receive one complimentary additional bag in addition to their ticketed baggage allowance.

However, If you are flying business or first class on a Oneworld member airline, this benefit most likely won’t be useful as you will most likely have a baggage allowance greater than what you would need simply from booking an elevated fare class.

Priority on Waitlists & Standby

While an often less utilized but situationally useful benefit, as a Oneworld Emerald member you will have priority over those Oneworld Ruby and Sapphire elites when it comes to waitlists and standby requests for upcoming flights.

Similar to other perks on this list, any waitlist and standby requests will be handled In accordance with the individual policy of the Oneworld airline operating the flight.

The Easiest Way to Earn Oneworld Emerald Status

Similar to earning Star Alliance Gold status by earning Air Canada Aeroplan 50K status, the best and simplest way to earn Oneworld Emerald Status is to pick a Oneworld alliance airline that you can easily earn the required level of status with that will transfer to Oneworld Emerald.

For example, some of the more popular member airlines in North America and their status levels that translate to Oneworld Emerald include:

  • Alaska Airlines: MVP Gold 75K & MVP Gold 100K status
  • American Airlines AAdvantage: Platinum Pro & Executive Platinum status
  • British Airways Executive Club: Gold status

For the majority of programs, this will involve a significant amount of paid flights which can be difficult for the average passenger or miles and points enthusiast. If you are already on the track to earning Oneworld Emerald by flying, keep on that path, and don’t deviate!

However, if you don’t know where to start, I believe that the easiest way to earn Oneworld Emerald status is to pursue it via the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

American Airlines AAdvantage members will need to reach 125,000 loyalty points between March to the end of February to reach AAdvantage Platinum Pro status which will also earn them Oneworld Emerald status.

american airlines aadvantage status earning meter

While loyalty points can be earned by flying, the real strength of this method is that loyalty points which contribute towards tier status, can also be earned from credit card spend. This means that those members who hold either the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard (US), the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard (US), the Citi / AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard (US), or the Citibusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard (US) can work towards AAdvantage status, and in turn, Oneworld Emerald status, with every purchase.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard earns AAdvantage miles and offers perks when flying American Airlines including a first checked bag free and priority boarding.

75,000 AAdvantage
$99 (FYF)

While this might still feel like a lofty goal, get creative. If you know how to generate large volumes of spend through any method, reaching this amount of loyalty points in a year is not overly difficult (for example, consider the endless opportunities that exist within buying groups like Max Out Deals).

Is Oneworld Emerald Status Worth Chasing?

It’s clear that Oneworld Emerald status is incredibly powerful and can open up a world of unique experiences, particularly in the form of some of the world’s best and most exclusive airport lounges. Other benefits such as getting priority check-in, boarding, luggage, and security are also great, but these perks may also be received if flying in a premium cabin which diminishes their usefulness.

Frequent flyer and airline alliance status both have their place, and I only ever think it is worth chasing if you are close to the next status level or if you know you will receive significant value from holding the status. Always consider the opportunity cost in chasing status whether it is utilizing credit card spending or crediting your paid flights to a certain program, if you are choosing to chase status you might be giving up other lucrative opportunities at the same time.

That being said, everyone’s situation is different and the value that can be garnered from status will also vary greatly. For example, if you are a world traveler and a Oneworld loyalist who might not always fly in a premium cabin, the benefits from Oneworld Emerald would be much more impactful as opposed to if you were a customer who always pays cash for first class or business class.


In the world of miles and points, it’s always useful to know the various loyalty programs and statuses that are available to let you travel better. While Oneworld status may be harder to obtain for Canadians compared to Star Alliance status, those with a significant amount of paid travel on a Oneworld alliance airline or those with access to US credit cards may find value in understanding how to earn status and what they can expect to receive from holding Emerald status.

Frequently Asked Questions

The easiest way to earn Oneworld Emerald status is by earning American Airlines Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro status. This is because this status can be earned through a combination of flying and credit card spend, making it an easy strategy for those who can generate large amounts of spend.

No, Oneworld Emerald status is the highest level of status within the Oneworld program.

If you hold American Airlines Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro status, you will automatically receive Oneworld Emerald status and can use the benefits associated with that status.

When you make a flight booking on a Oneworld carrier, ensure you enter the frequent flyer number of the program in which you have the status that would transfer to Oneworld status. This will ensure that you receive the status benefits throughout your travels.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards


Review: Starlux Business Class (A350)

Review: The St. Regis Toronto


Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated according to our comment policy. Your email address will NOT be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.