Alaska Airlines has announced plans to join the Oneworld alliance by the middle of 2021. This will bring benefits for frequent flyers of other Oneworld members, such as Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines.
The plans to join Oneworld comes after a year in which a few other membership changes have been announced. Over the coming months, we will see Royal Air Maroc join Oneworld. We will also see LATAM wave goodbye to the alliance.
What does this mean?
First up, it is worth noting that Alaska Airlines will be a full member of Oneworld. So, frequent flyers across the alliance should expect the full range of entitlements, regardless of which airline they hold a frequent flyer membership with.
For Qantas Frequent Flyers it is good news. Qantas and Alaska Airlines already offer benefits to each others customers, and this will strengthen and extend those benefits.
For example, at present, Qantas Platinum, Gold and Qantas Club members have access to several Alaska Airlines lounges. This is available when travelling on an Alaska Airlines flight that connects to (or from) and Qantas International Flight.
Once Alaska Airlines joins the alliance, the restrictions will be eased, and it will become easier to access the lounges.
Beyond lounges, there is also the question of earnings between the partners. At present, when flying on Alaska Airlines as a Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can collect points. Unfortunately, codeshares aside, Status Credits aren’t on the table. Once Alaska Airlines joins, we would expect that you will be able to earn Status Credits when flying Alaska Airlines.
In the meantime, Alaska is expanding its partnership with fellow oneworld member American Airlines. This offers immediate reciprocal benefits for customers, such as lounge access. The two carriers will also closely coordinate their networks and start flying to new destinations.