Alaska Airlines is now part of the oneworld alliance - What You Need To Know

Alaska Airlines is now part of the oneworld alliance - What You Need To Know

Alaska Airlines is now joining the oneworld airline alliance — here’s everything you need to know about the announcement.

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Alaska Air oneworld alliance press announcement

Alaska Airlines announced they will be joining the oneworld airline alliance in summer 2021. Alaska Airlines has historically not been involved in airline alliances, other than a longstanding partnership with American Airlines. Alaska has garnered success without joining an airline alliance, with consistent profits and winning J.D. Power’s highest in customer satisfaction award 12 years in a row. But this news signals a change in their long-term strategy, perhaps due to pressure from other carriers.

Alaska Airlines alliance announcement - What does this mean?

The Alaska Airlines alliance announcement is great news for anyone who avidly flies with Alaska or any oneworld airline partner. Once the integration is complete, you will be able to use Alaska Airlines miles to fly with any oneworld partner. Now that you will be able to redeem Alaska Airlines miles on more airlines, Alaska miles could be more valuable than ever.

Note that, this does not change Alaska's portfolio of global airline partners, such as Singapore Airlines and Korean Air.

Earn Alaska miles with oneworld partners

You'll soon be able to earn Alaska Airlines miles when you fly with another oneworld partner. When you purchase a flight on a oneworld partner, you'll just need to indicate that you want to earn Alaska Airlines miles instead of the other airline's rewards. And the more you use your Alaska MileagePlan loyalty number, the quicker you can earn oneworld elite status.

oneworld elite status benefits

If you frequently fly with oneworld alliance airlines, you can earn oneworld status alongside individual airline status. This is beneficial as you will have premium status benefits even if you don’t fly with every individual airline.

Here are the different levels of oneworld Priority status, and the benefits that come with each.

Status levelBenefits
Ruby privileges

Access to Business Class priority check-in

Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating

Priority on waitlists and when on standby

Sapphire privileges

Access to Business Class lounges

Access to Business Class priority check-in

Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating

Priority on waitlists and when on standby

Priority boarding

Extra baggage allowance

Priority baggage handling

Emerald privileges

Access to First and Business Class lounges

Access to First Class priority check-in

Fast track at select security lanes

Extra baggage allowance

Priority baggage handling

Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating

Priority on waitlists and when on standby

Priority boarding

The best part about earning oneworld alliance status is that it directly correlates with your current status with any of the oneworld airlines. To check how your respective airline status translates to oneworld airline status, you can use the helpful tool on the oneworld website.

oneworld Priority

Lounge access

Another great benefit of airline alliances is access to a wide variety of airport lounges.Once Alaska Airlines integrates into the oneworld alliance, customers with MVP GOLD and MVP Gold 75k Alaska Airlines status will have access to 650 different oneworld lounges around the world.

What are airline alliances?

Airline alliances are agreements between airlines to work together to provide their customers more opportunities to maximize their benefits and flight options. This gives airlines the chance to have a global reach rather than limiting themselves to their routes.

For example, within the oneworld alliance, if you are a loyal British Airways customer, but need to fly in/out of Australia — you can use your British Airways Avios on Qantas.

Members of oneworld Alliance

The oneworld alliance has 15 members at the time of publishing (this does not include Alaska Airlines as they will not officially join until summer 2021):

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM (scheduled to leave oneworld as of May 1st, 2020)
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Fiji Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc

Should you apply for an Alaska Airlines credit card now?

In light of this news, you should take a close look at Alaska Airlines' co-branded credit cards. These cards are already packed with great perks, including Alaska's Famous Companion Fare. Once the Alaska Airlines airline alliance integration is complete in 2021, the miles that you earn with the cards will be more valuable and flexible, since you'll be able to use them within the oneworld alliance.

Credit CardSignup bonusAnnual fee
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit CardGet a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.$75
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit cardGet 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.$75

And don’t forget about Alaska Airlines partners that aren’t part of the oneworld alliance. You can already use your Alaska Airlines miles on the following partner airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Condor
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Korean Air
  • PenAir
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Singapore Airlines

With a wide variety of current airlines to redeem Alaska Airlines miles along with Alaska joining oneworld next year, Alaska Airlines miles may offer the most valuable airline miles out there.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

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