Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The best perk of being a oneworld Emerald flying on JAL domestically

This past week, oneworld welcomed 5-star flag carrier Malaysian Airlines into their alliance.  In commemoration of this addition, all oneworld carriers are offering double award miles for flights on Malaysian Airlines through April 15th.  In a separate though seemingly related press release, oneworld improved top-tier Emerald benefits with extra baggage allowance and fast track security lane access at select airports.  Though the latter benefit was already granted at most major airports, the former benefit is welcoming and long overdue as Star Alliance and Skyteam have been granting extra baggage allowance to their top tier elites for years.  In fact, United Airlines even offers a free checked bag for lowly Star Alliance Silver members.

Even with this benefit, Emerald status gives you nearly zilch in terms of flying on JAL domestically.  JAL already offers a free checked bag domestically and their domestic lounges are a complete joke.  Since Japanese airports are arguably the most efficient on the planet, there's hardly ever a security line, so there's little to gain with fast track security access.  However, JAL does offer an audible appreciation of your Emerald status upon priority boarding that makes you stand out above all:
*DING* You are now free to board the plane first.  The agent even included an affectionate "Hai" before raising the pitch on her normally bland "arigatou gozaimasu".  Sad but true that this is the only noticeable difference between an Emerald and a bottom feeder flying on JAL domestically.  Kind of makes you wish you were back in the U.S. flying on AA with free upgrades to first class at the expense of crummy service.


  1. You should post videos of each and every time you board a plane. The scientific community needs clinical data to determine if this is replicable or just an isolated incident.

  2. The video didn't do a good job of depicting it because of the lighting contrast, but the scanner screen showed a picture of the Emerald logo reflecting my status.

  3. Was referring to the agent's greeting. Who cares what shows on the scanner screen.