Breaking – Alaska Airlines Looking to Join the OneWorld Alliance
In an interesting development, the chief commercial officer of Alaska Airlines dropped that the airline would consider joining the OneWorld alliance (think American, British, Qantas, Iberia, etc) but only as a partner “connect” member.
Delta has Skyteam, United has the Star Alliance, and American is part of OneWorld, but Alaska has always remained a part of their own alliance, choosing airlines such as Emirates, Aer Lingus, Fiji Airways, and Korean Air as their partners. Last year they severed their relationship with the large members of Skyteam (Delta, Air France, and KLM) and strengthened their partnerships with the current OneWorld airlines.
Heck, we wrote about British Airlines flights credited to Alaska earn up to a whopping 625%. This would definitely be a way to strengthen their relationship to a new level.
The three major markets for Alaska Airlines are Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the former two have a large Delta presence and the latter is United’s hub. Since there are so many partners that fly into those airports, it makes perfect sense for Oneworld to use Alaska as a new “connect” partner and feed connecting traffic to them.
In the same release, Alaska said that they are looking into selling partner tickets (such as British and Qantas) on their website. Currently you can buy American Airlines tickets, but only at the very high full fare class of service, often very cost prohibitive.
While Alaska Airlines has a massive fan base here in Seattle, the people that I’ve talked to could not even name 4 of their partners. It’s a fantastic, diverse, and wide ranging alliance, and this just shows that they’re not getting the word out about the depth of their partnership.
We’ll keep our eyes on this, but it’s pretty amazing news. What do you think? Is an Alaska / Oneworld partnership a good thing? I think so… but share your thoughts!