Travellers on Qantas' San Francisco flights from Sydney and Melbourne – the latter starting on September 1, 2018 as a Boeing 787 service – are going to find it easier to continue their journey under a new codeshare agreement with Alaska Airlines.
Some 20 destinations ex-SFO will be available under a QF flight number starting May 20, earning a full serve of Qantas frequent flyer points and status credits and the ability to redeem them on the new flights, along with other codeshare creature comforts for booking a single itinerary plus superior service recovery in the event of delayed or cancelled flights.
These new cities – ranging from south to San Diego and San Jose, to an eastward spread including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Newark and New Orleans – are routes previously flown by Virgin America, which counted San Francisco as a hub, and inherited by Alaska Airlines following the latter's buyout of Virgin in April 2016.
However, there's no lounge access at San Francisco for Qantas business class travellers or frequent flyers hopping onto a domestic Alaska Airlines flight.
Alaska previously shared the American Airlines Admirals Club at Terminal 2, but access was removed at the start of this year following Alaska's Virgin-based expansion transformed the airline into an AA competitor.
"Eligible Qantas passengers will not be able to access lounge facilities in San Francisco when booked on an onwards Alaska flight under this arrangement," a Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
The extended codeshare agreement also encompasses Alaska Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Newark and from Honolulu to Oakland, San Diego and San Jose – which could turn Qantas' Honolulu flights into an appealing option for travellers headed to those cities.
The second leg of that trip will be as a domestic passenger rather than an international one, meaning less hassle with immigration, and we can think of worse places to turn a stopover into a well-earned mini-break than Honolulu!