Alaska Airlines will join Oneworld by December 2020

Oneworld is fast-tracking Alaska's entry to the global airline alliance.

By David Flynn , July 15 2020
Alaska Airlines will join Oneworld by December 2020

Alaska Airlines will join the Oneworld alliance by the end of this year, some six months ahead of the previous mid-2021 schedule, while Alaska's regional arm Horizon Air and its regional partner SkyWest Airlines will become Oneworld affiliate members.

The Seattle-based airline will become Oneworld’s 14th member airline, with its SeaTac hub also served by Oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

Alaska Airlines already has partnerships in place with Oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas, and airline Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden said he was eager to deepen those ties "and looking forward to working with new partners that are some of the best airlines in the world."

“Oneworld will open up a tremendous international network for our business and leisure travellers when they’re ready to start flying overseas again, in addition to greater connectivity around the US through our network for international visitors."

"Despite what's happened with Covid, the world is more global and our customers are more international," Tilden has previously noted. "Our customers in Seattle, San Francisco Los Angeles and San Jose want to fly up and down the West Coast, but they also want to take trips for business or for pleasure to London, Sydney, or Shanghai."

Qantas, Oneworld benefits

Oneworld membership will not only see the domestic US carrier 'go global' but bring benefits for frequent flyers of Qantas and other Oneworld members.

Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status-holders will have access to Alaska's lounges by dint of their tier rather than travel class, while also enjoying associated perks such as an increased checked baggage allowance and priority check-in-in and boarding.

Alaska Lounge access will be laid out for Oneworld status holders.
Alaska Lounge access will be laid out for Oneworld status holders.

Also read: Alaska Airlines’ astounding new flagship Seattle lounge

Qantas Platinums and Golds, along with Qantas Club members, already have access to several Alaska Airlines lounges provided they are travelling on an Alaska flight which connects to or from a Qantas international flight, due to an existing partnership between the Flying Kangaroo and Alaska Airlines.

Those benefits will swing the other way, too, for members of Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan loyalty scheme. This currently has three tiers – MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K – with members who clock up one million miles on Alaska granted MVP Gold status for life.

Here's how we expect Alaska's Mileage Plan tiers to match up against their Oneworld equivalents:

  • Mileage Plan MVP = Oneworld Ruby (eg Qantas Silver)
  • Mileage Plan MVP Gold = Oneworld Sapphire (eg Qantas Gold)
  • Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K =  Oneworld Emerald (eg Qantas Platinum)

(That said, Alaska Airlines could also revise and even rebrand its Mileage Plan tiers, such as turning Gold 75K into Mileage Plan Platinum.)

Alaska Airlines has steadily stretched its wings beyond its home turf, led by a $3.4bn takeover of Virgin America in December 2016, the roll-out of new domestic first class seats and faster inflight WiFi, and a new-look lounge network with a relaxed "West Coast vibe".

Also read: Alaska Airlines joins Oneworld – what it means for Qantas flyers


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


03 May 2013

Total posts 493

While Alaska joining ow makes lots of sense as its a great carrier, the likes of Royal Air Maroc in ow is mind boggling. Soft and hard product in the air/on the ground are terrible.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 470

Hopefully buying Alaska Airlines points doesn't change with entry to One World

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 40

Good news indeed. As much as I like earning OW points, the thought of flying AA has never filled me with excitement and anticipation. But at least now we'll have a choice with Alaska in the OW mix. To top things off, they are a genuinely good airline and along with JetBlue, are undoubtedly the two best carriers in north America for customer service.

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 4

Agree. Alaska is by far the best US carrier. Their lounges may not stack up to Qantas lounges, but then, neither do any of the US carriers.


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 570

I've used the AA flagship lounges at LAX, DFW and ORD and they were far better than most Qantas lounges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 226

Delta is widely considered to rank supreme. Alaska is an easy second though and a great addition to OW.

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 16

I really do like Delta, and the relationship with Virgin Australia is fanstastic. For me, Delta is the best north american carrier. However, I am excicited to give Alaska a go, I have read good things. Possibly, this could see a direct link with Seattle opening up from Australia. Looking forward to seeing how this pans out.....

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