In the official oneworld status chart, there are three levels: Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. However, some of the member airlines offer a status that is superior to the regular oneworld Emerald level. In this post, I will go through the most exclusive oneworld statuses for the member airlines that have an elite status beyond Emerald. Just a word of warning though, the perks beyond Emerald are airline specific and do not grant any extra perks on other airlines in the oneworld alliance.
Not all airlines have a status level that goes above Emerald. The ones that do are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas. Remember that it takes a lot to get to these levels, so you had better use our search tool that shows how many points you will get for your flights before you book them.
Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 100K
The regular Emerald level tier is MVP Gold 75k, but Alaska lets you go beyond that with their exclusive MVP Gold 100k tier. To qualify, you need to collect 100k tier miles or fly 140 oneworld flights, 24 out of which on Alaska Airlines.
On top of priority customer service, waiting lists and so on, the most notable perks you get are the following ones. Note that I will not list here perks that are obtained already on the regular oneworld Emerald level.
- 50k bonus miles, Alaska Lounge+ membership, gifting MVP Gold or free WiFi on Alaska Airlines flights
- A complementary snack or meal when flying in economy class
- 2 upgrade vouchers for American Airlines
In my opinion, these perks are a bit disappointing. Most of the interesting ones are the four first ones, out of which you can only pick one. There are airlines that give a giftable Sapphire level card (or two) and WiFi on their most exclusive status levels. Many even let you gift a Sapphire level card when reaching regular Emerald. Apart from the American Airlines upgrades, the rest of the upgrade benefits are available on MVP Gold (oneworld Sapphire level) already.
Given that all non-US based oneworld Sapphire levels grant you a lounge access even on domestic US flights, it makes me wonder if Alaska Lounge+ membership is really worth it.
American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum
You can enjoy your regular Emerald perks already on AAdvantage Platinum Pro level, but you can get an elevated experience once you hit Executive Platinum. In order to qualify, you need a staggering 200k tier points.
Again, you will get more priority on customer service, more points for your flights and so on. The most important benefits that go beyond the regular oneworld Emerald are:
- Unlimited amount of free upgrades to premium cabin in North America
- Free alcoholic drink and a snack in economy class
Free upgrades in North America sound great but I would have expected to see more. No free WiFi, no gift Sapphire level card or anything fancy? American Airlines can’t really keep up with the competition like this. Especially since Alaska Airlines is equally accessible to American customers. For people outside of North America – just stay away from this nonsense!
Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo
Lumo is Finnish for enchantment or charm and it is one step above the regular Emerald level named Platinum. This level requires an insane amount of points, 450k to be precise, 350k out of which must be earned on Finnair. But don’t worry, you can also just fly 150 times, 100 out of which on Finnair, to reach this status as well. That’s only around 13 flights a month or 3 flights a week, come on, you can do it!
Finnair gives higher priority and guaranteed ass-kissing on their flights for Platinum Lumo members, but what else will you gain on top of the regular oneworld Emerald? Here is a list of the main perks:
- Finnair lounge in Helsinki with 4 guests (in other airports you can bring 4 guests only to the lounge specified in the boarding pass)
- Always free WiFi on Finnair flights
- Free snacks on flights
- 4 long-haul business class upgrades
- 8 European business class upgrades
- Two giftable Sapphire level cards (Finnair Gold)
The US-based airlines can bite the dust with Finnair’s perks. You will get an insane amount of free upgrades and you can even bring several guests to the lounge. And you can even give two of your buddies oneworld Sapphire for an entire year! If you can’t reach Platinum Lumo yourself, better make friends with someone who can!
Iberia Plus INFINITA and INFINITA Prime
Why having one tier above Emerald if you can have two? The Spanish carrier really gets it, give your customers more to aim for. These levels require 125k and 200k elite points respectively. Curiously, Iberia does not have any Emerald/First Class lounges in Madrid even thought they have 3 Emerald level tiers…
Again, you will get higher priority and better customer service, but what is to be expected on top of that?
Iberia Plus Infinta
- Every time you earn 12,500 points, you can gift a Sapphire card (Iberia Plus Oro)
- The card does not expire, you will keep the status for life
Iberia Plus Infinta Prime
- 2 giftable Sapphire cards (Iberia Plus Oro)
- Free access to Arrival Lounges in Madrid T4 with 4 guests if your previous flight was over 4 hours
- You can bring 4 guests to lounges with you when flying Iberia
- Limousine in certain destinations if you fly in Business class
- The card is for life
Iberia does throw some pretty nice perks with their Infinita and Infinita Prime. Both of them have all the perks of a regular oneworld Emerald card (Iberia Plus Platino) such as 4 cabin upgrades (Economy to Premium Economy or Premium Economy to Business) and on top of those, you get to give free Sapphire cards to people. Better yet, these levels are for a lifetime.
Japan Airlines JMB Diamond
JMB Diamond requires 100k tier points (50k from Japan Airlines) or 120 flights + 60k points (60 Japan Airlines flights and 35k points from Japan Airlines). Their easier to obtain oneworld Emerald level is called JGC Premier, and it gives you pretty much the same perks, only a lower points multiplier.
The differences are minimal:
- Ability to join JAL Global Club
- Select one of these perks in 2023 (also available for JGC Premier but in smaller quantities)
- 60,000 points
- JMB Diamond status for your partner (requires proof of same address and relationship)
- 51,000 Ringbell Smart Gift points
- 25 JAL coupons
- A gift such as headphones, office chair or such
JAL is rather bad at this Emerald game. You basically gain nothing meaningful – instead you have to pick between several alternatives that are not that good. Given that other airlines throw giftable Sapphire cards at you in big numbers, one Emerald card to your spouse is not that big of a deal. But hey, at least you can access JAL’s magnificent First Class lounge.
Qantas Platinum One
Qantas Platinum One is a step above their regular Emerald level called Platinum. To reach this level, you need at least 3,600 points, 2,700 out of which must be from Qantas flights. The level gives you your usual priority boost in customer service, waiting lists and such. Let’s take a look at the most important benefits.
- Most of the service fees are waived
- Free Platinum (oneworld Emerald) gift card
- Free extra legroom seat
- Two giftable lounge invitations
- Free Qantas Wine Premium membership
- Access to Qantas lounge at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney
- Invitations to special events
Qantas does give a nice list of perks, but I must ask where are free upgrade vouchers? If I was a Qantas Platinum One member, I would much rather gift a oneworld Sapphire card and get free upgrades for my flights, for instance.
Most of the airlines do not have a (publicly announced) tier above their regular Emerald one. As we can see, the perks are very different on different airlines. Out of these, Finnair Plus emerges as the most useful one for a frequent traveller. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines could really do better.