Alaska Airlines Likely To Speed Up It’s Oneworld Membership, Joining Sometime In Late 2020

Back in February, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines announced their West Coast-alliance that would also see the Seattle based airline joining the Oneworld in 2021.

According to Alaska Airlines CEO this process is going ahead faster than originally planned and he hopes to complete the joining process until the end of the year.

Alaska Airlines has always been a very interesting standalone carrier based in Seattle but they had some very solid partnerships with different airlines (especially American) over the years, not to forget their very solid Mileage Plan program.

According to a report from Seattle’s Puget Sound news the airline is moving towards their full oneWorld memberships with big steps.

Alaska Air Group has accelerated plans to join the Oneworld airline alliance of carriers that includes British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qantas of Australia and Spain’s Iberia, CEO Brad Tilden says.

“What we’re hoping for is for the formal invite to come this month and join by the end of the year,” Tilden said during a recent webinar conversation organized with Aviation Week.

“It’s on quite a fast track,” Tilden added during a freewheeling 60-minute fireside chat-style conversation with Karen Walker, Editor-in-Chief of the aviation trade magazine’s, Air Transport World.

Back in mid-February, before Covid-19, sideswiped the global aviation sector, SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines announced it was joining the Oneworld global carriers and forming a West Coast international partnership with American Airlines, one of its largest members.

But the plan back then was to join Oneworld in summer 2021 as a full-fledged member, Alaska President Ben Minicucci said, so Tilden’s remarks suggest that timetable has advanced by six months. …

Tilden said he feels “really good” about Alaska’s pre-existing relationships with Oneworld parters, particularly American Airlines, but also the six other carriers, particularly Qantas and British Airways.

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines already brought back the option of earning and redeeming miles on each other’s flights in the first half of 2020.

This was the original timetable planned for Alaska’s oneworld joining process:

As soon as Alaska joins oneWorld the members of Mileage Plan will then also benefit from oneWorld tier status benefits throughout the alliance which is pretty beneficial given the drawback of Mileage Plan’s inability to really provide elite benefits with their partner airlines other than American.

The program is great, especially when collecting miles on flights in premium class. The redemption rates are also quite generous although I’m expecting that we’ll see a significant cutback of these generous earning and redemption options sometime soon. During these tough times it’s pretty much impossible for an airline to be this generous with their frequent flyer program.

Conclusion

Good for Alaska that they seem to be able to gain access to oneWorld much earlier than anticipated. They have apparently put all this downtime to good use and I’m sure their close partnership with American helped as well. It never made much sense to me when AS/AA suddenly broke off their partnership that has always been pretty useful.

Mileage Plan Elite members should also be excited to obtain oneWorld Sapphire/Emerald benefits in the near future.

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