SkyTeam vs. OneWorld

SkyTeam vs. OneWorld

Global aviation alliances SkyTeam and OneWorld have emerged quite recently. In the case of the first merge, the starting point is June 22, 2000. One World was formed a little earlier - in 1999. The aircraft fleet of formations covers about 2/3 of the total number of passenger liners on the planet.

Within the framework of such associations of air carriers, several elements have been unified:

  • Flight booking system;
  • Loyalty programs;
  • Codeshare flights;
  • Flight schedule.

At the same time, the legal independence of each of the participants is preserved.

When planning your trip, it makes sense to choose flights offered by companies from the same airline alliance. This is beneficial in terms of time and money.


SkyTeam holds the position of the second largest association worldwide. It includes KLM, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, TAROM, etc. Garuda Airlines was the last to become a member in 2014. Initially, this included only Air France, Korean Air, Aero Mexico, Delta Air Lines. Now the number of participants has reached 19 - they are located on 4 continents. At the same time, China Southern withdrew from the merger in 2019. These airlines serve a total of over 1000 airports in 175 countries around the world.

More information on SkyTeam airlines

The described aviation alliance offers two levels of privileges to frequent flyers: Elite and Elite +. In the first case, the right of priority check-in and boarding, seat selection, excess  baggage   allowance is granted.

Elite status in the system can be achieved by accumulating 25,000 miles, which is equal to 25 flights in Economy Class. In this case, transplants are also taken into account. Therefore, even a novice traveler can reach the specified level without paid business trips. Immediately after that, you get access to the lounges of increased comfort, the service of an accelerated passage of passport control, etc.

Access SkyTeam airport lounges with PriorityPass service


OneWorld includes only 13 airlines from different countries. However, due to the fact that these carriers are one of the largest in the world, the alliance covers most of the world's destinations. The formation was founded by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Canadian Airline. Then they were joined by Iberia, Qatar Airways, S7 Airlines, Finnair, LATAM, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines. At the same time, the list of served directions is very impressive. The alliance offers many options for flights between Europe and Africa, as well as Asia. At the same time, the direction towards and from the USA, South America, Australia is also well developed. There are only 3 European members in the association. Due to their location - Spain, Great Britain and Finland - none of them can be considered ideal for flights to continental Europe. The list of alliance members and Chinese air carriers is also missing. The alliance's passenger liners fly to nearly 1,000 destinations in 150 countries around the world.

More information on OneWorld airlines

OneWorld offers 3 passenger statuses in the system: Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. From the first level, you are given priority check-in, an additional piece of  baggage   and + 25% miles from the selected ticket fare. Extra space at no extra cost is another important privilege. It will be possible to choose seats immediately after purchase, and this includes 2 travel companions. Achieving Ruby status in the system is not that difficult. To do this, you need to make 20 flights or accumulate 20,000 miles. The resulting list of privileges depends on the fare of the ticket. In Economy Basic, there is an option to check-in at the business-class counter, an additional piece of luggage up to 23 kg, as well as a choice of a seat in the cabin. Economy Flexible provides similar opportunities. In the case of Business, an additional piece of  baggage   is given up to 23 kg.

The transition to the Sapphire Level opens up access to the lounges of increased comfort, priority boarding, and excess  baggage   limits. But the Emerald status sets OneWorld apart from other aviation alliances. In addition to the privileges already available, passengers are given the option to use the first class check-in counter and visit similar waiting rooms. The specific list of options is determined by the ticket fare.

Access OneWorld airport lounges with a Revolut account

Choosing between SkyTeam and OneWorld

Companies unite in alliances for mutual benefit and, first of all, for the sake of reducing the costs of air travel. For example, a company that is part of an alliance can offer passengers complex routes, different segments of which will be operated not by the carrier itself, but by its partners in the alliance.

Analyzing SkyTeam vs OneWorld, it can be noted that each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The choice between these alliances is difficult. It makes sense to first examine the services of which airlines you most often have to resort to. In accordance with this, it is possible to determine the affiliation of carriers to a particular association. The place where the passenger is based is also important. In the case of Australia, the choice in favor of OneWorld becomes clear. But for the USA, Japan or China there are more options.

SkyTeam has the following benefits

  • Access to a large number of lounges in various parts of the world for the traveler and his companion.
  • Upon reaching the Elite or Elite + level, the right of priority boarding and other privileges are granted.
  • The ability to accumulate and spend miles on the flights of all carriers, members of the alliance, for members of the loyalty program.
  • System of special rates.
  • Little-known companies in the association.
  • Unfavorable redemption rates.

In the case of One World, the benefits are also obvious:

  • Ease of obtaining the first status of the loyalty program.
  • Favorable exchange of accumulated miles for purchasing tickets or upgrading.
  • Popular airlines such as Finnair, Qatar Airways, British Airways, etc.
  • An additional piece of  baggage   is given only upon reaching the second level of the loyalty program.

In conclusion: SkyTeam or OneWorld?

Earned miles are spent more profitably at OneWorld. For award tickets, the difference is not so noticeable. But in the case of upgrading the class from economy to business, everything becomes obvious. At OneWorld, you need 11,000 miles to upgrade when flying to Europe from Moscow. When it comes to buying tickets, it looks like this. SkyTeam offers to fly 15,000 miles from Moscow to Georgia and back. OneWorld has enough 10,000 miles to carry out a similar flight.

The alliances under consideration provide approximately the same privileges for frequent flyers. However, OneWorld stands out a bit. OneWorld Emerald members also have access to first class options. For flights within Russia, OneWorld is also more profitable, which is explained by the presence of the domestic company S7 in this alliance. The introduction of the updated tariff policy made it possible to achieve a significant reduction in ticket prices in the absence of luggage.

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