Russia’s S7 Airlines Suspended From Oneworld

Russia’s S7 Airlines Suspended From Oneworld

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Russia’s second biggest airline has just been suspended from a global airline alliance…

S7 airlines suspended from oneworld

It has been announced that oneworld and S7 Airlines have agreed to a temporary suspension of the Russian carrier’s membership in the alliance as of April 19, 2022. With this suspension:

  • oneworld benefits for customers of partner oneworld member airlines will be suspended when traveling on S7 Airlines
  • oneworld benefits for S7 Airlines customers will be suspended when traveling on other oneworld airlines

That means there are no longer reciprocal mileage earning and redemption opportunities, and no reciprocal elite benefits. The alliance has stated that given how low passenger volumes are, any impact on customers is expected to be minimal.

For context, S7 Airlines joined the oneworld alliance in 2010. The airline operates (or perhaps more accurately, operated) a fleet of over 100 narrow body aircraft. In addition to having an extensive route network within Russia, the airline operated services to many international points in Europe and Asia. While hardly a global airline, S7 has been a useful partner for oneworld travelers in Russia.

S7 Airlines has been suspended from oneworld

What does this alliance suspension accomplish?

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly two months ago, we’ve seen many companies impose sanctions intended to harm Russia. It’s interesting to see this development from oneworld so late. A few thoughts:

  • It sure seems to me like this is more likely to have to do with S7 Airlines not paying membership dues anymore (or something along those lines), rather than this being a conscious attempt at boycotting Russia
  • With Russia at this point having very limited international flights, alliance benefits involving S7 Airlines are definitely less significant than they were
  • If this were about boycotting Russia, I’m not sure denying lounge access or mileage credit to a few people will really be a turning point in this war, or send all that much of a message
It’s anyone’s guess why S7 Airlines is being suspended from oneworld

Bottom line

Russia’s S7 Airlines has been suspended from the oneworld alliance, meaning that oneworld travelers can no longer take advantage of reciprocal mileage earning, mileage redemptions, and elite perks. This comes nearly two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It’s anyone’s guess if this is intended as a protest of Russia, if S7 Airlines simply stopped paying its dues, or perhaps it’s a combination of both.

What do you make of S7 Airlines being suspended from oneworld?

Conversations (15)
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  1. Jerry Guest

    I love how people claim Russia is a country devoid of culture or sophistication. I bet Most people have heard of or can name more Russian composers and authors than American ones (does America even have classical music). Typical American arrogance.

    1. Stephen Ashby Guest

      I flew S7 return from Moscow to Simferopol in 2016, and found their pricing extremely value for money, and their service to be way above American airlines at the time.
      And S7 isn't even touting itself as being on the same service levels as AA. Most Americans don't even know what good airline service is because they fly in a domestic bubble that doesn't allow foreign airlines to show Americans just what they could...

      I flew S7 return from Moscow to Simferopol in 2016, and found their pricing extremely value for money, and their service to be way above American airlines at the time.
      And S7 isn't even touting itself as being on the same service levels as AA. Most Americans don't even know what good airline service is because they fly in a domestic bubble that doesn't allow foreign airlines to show Americans just what they could be getting if the domestic US market wasn't so protected. US airlines seem to be colluding together to not offer high service levels to Americans in order to maximise their profits.
      Interestingly, when I flew into Simferopol in 2016, I flew into the old terminal, and 2 weeks later, I flew out of the new terminal. It was my first experience of seeing the hologram terminal information assistants. Very interesting indeed.

  2. Alan Gold

    I wish the west would stop playing politics. American Airlines remains part of One World yet the USA has invaded multiple nations with a lot less justification than Russia has.

    1. Mh Diamond

      Perhaps their treatment of the US was wrong. But there has been no justification for Russia to invade Ukraine, nor the other neighbours that it has. So there's no issue with taking action against Russia for their uncivilised actions.

  3. Gary Hal Hohenstein Guest

    It is about time!! I wonder why this had to take more than a month ??

  4. Peter Doobes Guest

    Given most of the S7 fleet is leased and registered in the Bahamas, they are also likely flying in breach of their registration and lease commitments. As a result, also likely without insurance. I don't think OneWorld wants an airline like that on their membership list in case anything goes wrong.

  5. Bob Guest

    Back in the late 1970s, one of the cheapest options to fly from BOM to JFK was via (Soviet era) Aeroflot (with a restricted transit area layover at the Moscow International airport). My colleague from India often chose this route for personal (non-reimbursed expense) travel. he reported to me that it was Not a very comfortable flight but cheap. [Flying on a Soviet airline back then meant limited "class" differences onboard.] However, one vivid memory...

    Back in the late 1970s, one of the cheapest options to fly from BOM to JFK was via (Soviet era) Aeroflot (with a restricted transit area layover at the Moscow International airport). My colleague from India often chose this route for personal (non-reimbursed expense) travel. he reported to me that it was Not a very comfortable flight but cheap. [Flying on a Soviet airline back then meant limited "class" differences onboard.] However, one vivid memory that he shared with me was the report that on the flight from Moscow to BOM they served Pepsi cola at one point - with flight attendants that distributed actual "glass" cups poured fill with drink four about 3-4 rows at a time - then worked the next group of rows - before beginning on the third row they collected the 'glass' cups from the first group and wiped them down at the trolly to distribute them to the next group. That story was shared with me almost 50 years ago - so maybe my/his memory is cloudy but this has always stuck with me whenever folks talk about bad soft product inflight service.

  6. DenB Diamond

    Surely this is simply OneWorld complying with legally-enforced sanctions. They can't trade with s7.

  7. David Guest

    Don't think they can pay membership dues even if they intend to (and that's a big if).

  8. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Let’s see how long it takes Sky Team to suspend Aeroflot .

  9. Stuart Guest

    Devastating news, lol. Not to be dismissive to the 14 people who ever cared about this alliance. I'm sure they are heartbroken.

    I keep thinking of John McCain and his classic quote, "Russia a gas station masquerading as a country." One could say their airlines are just as irrelevant.

    1. Jesse Member

      You've clearly never flown on any of their airlines. I'd take Aeroflot over ANY of the major American carriers. Service and on-board product is a lot better on Aeroflot. S7 is on par with any major American carrier.

    2. Peter Guest

      Aeroflot had some of the worst customer service i have experienced on multiple trips. They are on par with Jet blue, not any other Us Carrier.

    3. Jesse Member

      Were your flights with them recent? I'm just curious. I've been a frequent flyer with Aeroflot since 2012 (over 1 million miles flown), literally hundreds of flights with them, and can count on one hand the number of bad experiences. United and American, however...oh I have countless horror stories dealing with them (particularly United). Delta is alright, but I still think Aeroflot is a bit better. And it could be that having top-tier status with...

      Were your flights with them recent? I'm just curious. I've been a frequent flyer with Aeroflot since 2012 (over 1 million miles flown), literally hundreds of flights with them, and can count on one hand the number of bad experiences. United and American, however...oh I have countless horror stories dealing with them (particularly United). Delta is alright, but I still think Aeroflot is a bit better. And it could be that having top-tier status with them could skew the experience in a more favorable way for me. It's always interesting how some people will swear by an airline, but others absolutely despise it. I guess it's all about expectations and perception. For example, I've only ever had bad experiences with Emirates, but many think they're great.

    4. Mh Diamond

      As an Elite passenger with likely simple business needs, you're probably treated well and comparably to other airlines.

      My experience with Aeroflot was them taking bribes for excess luggage. Meanwhile S7 were overly capricious about baggage limits that partners weren't (again looking for excess charges). And the experience onboard was sub-par. There was a clear cultural divide with other airline partners.

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Stuart Guest

Devastating news, lol. Not to be dismissive to the 14 people who ever cared about this alliance. I'm sure they are heartbroken. I keep thinking of John McCain and his classic quote, "Russia a gas station masquerading as a country." One could say their airlines are just as irrelevant.

1
Stephen Ashby Guest

I flew S7 return from Moscow to Simferopol in 2016, and found their pricing extremely value for money, and their service to be way above American airlines at the time. And S7 isn't even touting itself as being on the same service levels as AA. Most Americans don't even know what good airline service is because they fly in a domestic bubble that doesn't allow foreign airlines to show Americans just what they could be getting if the domestic US market wasn't so protected. US airlines seem to be colluding together to not offer high service levels to Americans in order to maximise their profits. Interestingly, when I flew into Simferopol in 2016, I flew into the old terminal, and 2 weeks later, I flew out of the new terminal. It was my first experience of seeing the hologram terminal information assistants. Very interesting indeed.

0
Jerry Guest

I love how people claim Russia is a country devoid of culture or sophistication. I bet Most people have heard of or can name more Russian composers and authors than American ones (does America even have classical music). Typical American arrogance.

0
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