Alaska Airlines, which was slated to be the 14th member of the oneworld alliance, joined the alliance formally on March 31, 2021, US Time (April 1, 2021, in India). The airline had received their invitation to join the alliance in July 2020.
Alaska Airlines is a smaller network airline, as compared to some of the other global networks of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and other airlines that are members of the airline alliance. Royal Air Maroc joined the alliance early on in 2020, while LATAM left the alliance in 2020 as well.
Alaska Airlines’ role in oneworld
Alaska Airlines coming along in oneworld means the airline will now play a much bigger role in boosting the ambitions of other oneworld member airlines by cooperating with them and benefit in the process hopefully. American Airlines and Alaska will combine forces to take on Delta, which arrived in Seattle many years ago and is building a trans-Pacific hub from there. Alaska will aid American Airlines, as AA will long-haul flights, such as those into Bangalore and London from Seattle. Alaska Airlines will, in the process, be able to provide feeder traffic from the western seaboard to American.
Benefits of Alaska Airlines in oneworld
Alaska Airlines had pursued major partnerships with a lot of oneworld airlines already and used to offer elite qualification miles on flying these airlines as well. For instance, American, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas were already partners with Alaska Airlines. However, now, you don’t just earn Alaska Airlines status, but also oneworld status in the process by crediting your points to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
This comes beside the ability to earn miles and elite status on other partners which are the non-oneworld members, including global airline Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Iceland Air.
On the miles redemption end, Alaska Airlines end continues to operate with business as usual. oneworld awards will be launched in the summer of 2021, and if Alaska Airlines changes the award chart, it will give a 90-day notice of these changes. In the meanwhile, it is possible to book Alaska Airlines awards using other oneworld member airline points such as British Airways.
Alaska Airlines is now the 14th Airline participating in the oneworld alliance, and will roll out further updates in the days ahead, including launching a 100K elite tier for their own members and redemption capability on all oneworld alliance partners.
What do you think of Alaska Airlines entering the oneworld alliance?