Top tier members of the oneworld alliance receive emerald status, which is the highest you can achieve. Apart from the usual benefits like extra baggage and so on, the big perk is access to some of the best airline lounges in the world.

These exclusive spaces are mainly reserved for first class passengers and emerald level frequent flyers only. That means you can be on a cheap economy class ticket yet still get in to the best lounge, thanks to your status.

Here’s a list of the lounges and facilities that are available around the world exclusively to emerald card holders. Lounges where both emerald and sapphire members are welcome are not listed here – that would be all the rest of them!

Auckland, New Zealand

Qantas International First Lounge

Brisbane, Australia

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

Canberra, Australia

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

Chicago, United States

Terminal 5 – British Airways First Lounge

Doha, Qatar

Qatar Airways First Class Lounge

Helsinki, Finland

Terminal 2 – Finnair Platinum Wing

Frankfurt, Germany

Terminal 2 – Japan Airlines First Class Lounge

Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific The Pier (First Class)
Cathay Pacific The Wing (First Class)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (First Class)

London Gatwick, England

South Terminal – British Airways First Lounge

London Heathrow, England

Terminal 3 – Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
Terminal 3 – American Airlines International First Class Lounge
Terminal 3 – British Airways Galleries First
Terminal 5 – British Airways Galleries First

Los Angeles, United States

Tom Bradley International Terminal – Qantas First Class Lounge

Melbourne, Australia

Terminal 1 – Qantas Domestic Business Lounge
Terminal 2 – Qantas International First Lounge

New York JFK, United States

Terminal 8 – British Airways and American Airlines Soho Lounge

Perth, Australia

Terminal 4 – Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

Seattle, United States

British Airways Terraces First Class Lounge


Terminal 1 – Qantas International First Lounge

Sydney, Australia

Terminal 1 – Qantas International First Lounge
Terminal 3 – Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

Tokyo Haneda, Japan

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge

Tokyo Narita, Japan

Terminal 2 – Japan Airlines First Class Lounge

Special Check-In And Security

There are some other places that oneworld emerald members can access. At London Heathrow Terminal 5, emerald level frequent flyers can access The First Wing, a dedicated check-in and security screening area.

At American Airlines, Flagship First Check-in is available at all times for emerald members who are not part of the AAdvantage programme (AAdvantage members are restricted generally to international itineraries). These are located in Chicago O’Hare, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Oneworld Emerald? It Means Nothing Here

There are premium facilities operated by oneworld airlines which require you to be flying in first class or business class. An emerald card will not provide access to these exclusive spaces.

These include the Qatar Airways Al Safwa and Al Mourjan lounges in Doha, for first and business class passengers respectively. Also, the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4, Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1, Singapore, Bangkok and Beirut have the same restriction.

At British Airways, the card won’t get you into the Concorde Room lounge at London Heathrow or the British Airways and American Airlines Chelsea lounge at New York JFK. Nor will you be able to access the Concorde dining room at Washington Dulles or the Concorde Bar in Singapore and Dubai. All of these are generally for ticketed first class passengers only.

Heading down under, you won’t be able to access the Qantas Chairmans Lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. These are invitation only facilities so not even a first class or business class ticket gets you in. Last but not least, SriLankan Airlines’ Serendib lounge is off limits in Colombo.

Overall Thoughts

It is great to see a whole array of lounges specifically for oneworld emerald frequent flyers. Of course, they are all shared with first class passengers for the most part, but who’s complaining?

The most highly rated lounges include the Qantas International First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, and Cathay Pacific’s The Pier lounge in Hong Kong. For the most unique service offered, it might have to be the sauna in the Finnair Platinum Wing in Helsinki.

Have you visited any of these facilities and if so, which are your favourites and why? Have I missed anything from the list? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Masahiro Takagi from Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan via Wikimedia Commons.