Last week, American Airlines and Qantas Airways launched their highly-anticipated joint venture across the Pacific. With the venture, both carriers will work together to better facilitate flight connectivity across the Pacific.

For a long time, American Airlines and Qantas had been working to form a new partnership for flights between the United States and Australia as well as New Zealand. Before the venture went live last week, the two airlines were not able to coordinate flights or discuss price matching or work together on many other business-related manners.

Flyers won't notice any big changes right away. While the airlines expanded their codeshare agreement and enhanced their reciprocal frequent flyer benefits just last month, improved schedules and new routes aren't expected until next year.

Next year, American Airlines plans to launch two new routes to New Zealand. The airline will launch flights flights from Los Angeles to Christchurch and from Dallas-Fort Worth to Auckland. Qantas will launch two new routes to the United States from Brisbane. The two routes will be from Brisbane to Chicago and Brisbane to San Francisco. All four of these new routes will be covered by the partnership.

Thanks to the agreement, eligible flyers will now have complete access to both carrier's lounges. This means that a guest on an American Airlines flight will be able to access Qantas International Business Lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Honolulu and Los Angeles as well as Qantas International First Lounges in Auckland, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Sydney. Those flying on Qantas will be able to access AA Flagship and Admiral Club Lounges all over North America.

Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Los Angeles. ​

This joint venture should prove to be a fantastic boost for customers of both airlines. Not only will flyers have more extensive lounge access and the ability to earn frequent flyer benefits with both airlines, the joint venture will also benefit travelers with the addition of 170,000 seats crossing the Pacific each year.

Adam Luehrs is a contributing writer at based in California. He likes traveling to new and exciting destinations, preferably on his credit card company's dime. When not on the road, Adam enjoys hiking around the mountains of San Diego, trying out new food and reading history books. Email: