Alaska Airlines is joining the Oneworld alliance

The Seattle-based airline will take its seat at the Oneworld table by mid-2021, bringing a raft of benefits for Qantas flyers.

By David Flynn, February 14 2020
Alaska Airlines is joining the Oneworld alliance

Alaska Airlines will join the global Oneworld alliance by the middle of 2021, in a move which will not only see the domestic US carrier 'go global' but bring benefits for frequent flyers of other Oneworld members – among them Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and JAL – when flying with the Seattle-based airline. 

And this will be a full membership of Oneworld, not the Oneworld Connect 'lite' model as chosen by Fiji Airlines.

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 will swell the size of the Oneworld family to 14 members, following the entry of Royal Air Maroc in April 2020 but the exit of LATAM in May 2020.

An American Airlines alliance, too

Alaska will also join forces with American Airlines to create a 'West Coast International Alliance', intended to interweave Alaska’s US West Coast network with American’s long-range international routes. This will include a new American route from Seattle to London Heathrow, slated to begin in March 2021.

The West Coast International Alliance will also see Alaska Airlines MVP members and American Airlines' AAdvantage members able to earn and burn miles on both airlines’ networks, with elite status reciprocity and lounge access to nearly 50 American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S.

“Alaska has always been proud to serve Seattle, the city that we call home," said Ben Minicucci, president of Alaska Airlines. "We’re thrilled to give our guests more choice, broader use of loyalty benefits, and seamless global service with American and Oneworld."

Alaska Airlines has steadily stretched its wings beyond its home turf, led by a US$2.6 billion (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: Using Qantas frequent flyer points to book Alaska Airlines flights


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.

22 Jan 2018

Total posts 100

You forgot to mention AA's first ever non stop to India (BLR) from Seattle that starts October 2020.

30 May 2014

Total posts 12

I wouldn't be surprised if Qantas announces a Seattle route in the next 12 months. If Virgin Australia were in a better position Seattle would also work well given their relationship with Delta. LA is a bloodbath for capacity right now, highlighted by United's seasonal adjustments on Sydney-Los Angeles, a lo g standing historical route for them. With joint ventures Qantas and Virgin have with US partners, a Seattle route with no direct competitors would make sense.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 322

Any new VA/DL TransPacific flying is likely to be done by DL rather than VA. Saying that I can't see DL (nor VA) announcing any new TransPac flying for the foreseeable future.

VA doesn't have the aircraft for SEA, as all 5 77Ws are tied up in East Coast-LAX flying (daily ex-SYD and x6 BNE and x5 MEL).


03 Jul 2015

Total posts 21

Ah, inflight wifi. All but a dream on QF international.

And sparse on domestic as well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 413

And bravo to that!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2019

Total posts 8

AS are a really good US domestic, glad to see this happen for them

And as noted above, makes sense for QF to look at adding SEA as a new port, big enough city to demand directs, growing destination and now connections to Canada and all over the USA thru AS - DFW has worked well for them with AA, see this improving US connections too

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