Alaska Airlines partners with American Airlines to Join the OneWorld Alliance!
Well – this certainly came as a shock to those of us waking up on the West Coast today. In what came out of nowhere, Alaska Airlines just announced that they are partnering with American Airlines and joining the OneWorld Alliance.
World Class Partnership
Back in November of 2018, we first hinted on this, that Alaska Airlines might be looking to join the OneWorld Alliance, but nothing really came of it. The rumor came, the rumor went, and most people stopped thinking about it.
In fact, American Airlines and Alaska were on a really poor relationship, almost looking at a divorce. It would appear that they’ve been to counseling and made up, because this announcement is huge.
Alaska Airlines says it best…
We are partnering with American Airlines to expand our global reach––connecting the West Coast to the rest of the world in a remarkable way. Our Global Partner network has always provided guests with the opportunity to go global, but today, we are proud to strengthen our relationship with American Airlines and, in Summer 2021, plan to join the oneworld alliance. This means traveling on Alaska, American or a oneworld partner will feel like one connected travel experience––no matter who or where you fly.
Alaska and American have laid out a timeline for their partnership, moving all the way until Summer of 2021 where the relationship will be fully solidified.
- Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan™ miles on all American Airlines flights.
- Access any of American’s 50 Admirals Club locations worldwide with an Alaska Lounge membership.
- Continue to earn and redeem Mileage Plan miles on our current portfolio of 16 Global Partners.
Starting Spring 2020:
- Earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles on any American Airlines flights, domestically and internationally.
Starting Fall 2020, October
- American Airlines launches new service from Seattle to Bangalore, India!
Starting Summer 2021:
- Earn and redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on all oneworld airlines.
- Alaska elites will enjoy privileges, including priority boarding, premium seating, baggage benefits and more when you fly on American Airlines or any oneworld airline.
- Access 650 lounges within the oneworld network as an MVP Gold or Gold 75k member.
Not only will Alaska Airlines members be able to earn miles on all Oneworld flights, they’ll be able to redeem them as well. Gold 75k members will enjoy access to lounges worldwide, as it looks like Gold 75k members will land in Emerald Status. As an Emerald Status member on Oneworld, plan to enjoy benefits such as:
- Access to First and Business Class lounges
- Priority Baggage and Boarding
- Access to Seats
- Extra Baggage Allowance
The top one, access to First and Business Class lounges, is huge. Just like British Airways members can use American lounges because of status, Alaska members will now have full access to Oneworld Lounges as well.
What this means
It’s going to be an interesting next 16 months, but I for one am excited to finally have a major alliance to join. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly concerned that some things would change.
Will Alaska lose its unique relationship with Emirates Airlines?
Will Alaska lose its partnership with their only remaining Skyteam Carrier, Korean Air?
Will Alaska be forced to move away from its amazing one mile flown is one mile earned policy?
What about LATAM now that they’re cozy to Delta?
What will happen with the flight attendants and pilots with their contracts and seniority?
Currently, they are more questions than there are answers, but it’s going to be an exciting and dynamic next 16 months.