We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. We appreciate you using our links!!!
Alaska Airlines to join One World Alliance in 2021
A few days ago Alaska Airlines rocked the aviation industry by dropping some incredible news: They were going to join the One World Alliance next year. As someone who maintains Alaska Elite status, I was beyond excited. It’s been rumored for quite some time that they were seeking to join the alliance that includes AA, BA, CX, JAL, etc as members, but most thought it would via One World Connect. The fact that Alaska is going to be a full fledged member starting next year is fantastic.
What is the One World Alliance?
One World Alliance is a network of 13 airlines partnered to make life a bit easier on frequent fliers. Elite status, member benefits, etc are extended to each partner even if your status was achieved on another member airline. Here’s a look at the current partner list:
Alaska Airlines and American Airlines amend their relationship
I began my loyalty with Alaska Airlines in 2017 as a top tier MVPG75k after I status matched my AA Executive Platinum status. At that time, Alaska was partners with both AA and Delta domestically, but each and every year since, the domestic partnerships have deteriorated.
This year the plan between AA and Alaska was to eliminate any domestic earn on partner flights. This was a major hit to fliers like me who had been booking AA flights via Alaska’s website in order to continue to earn miles. The one way I was planning to still maintain status was via their incredible partnership with British Airways.
That all just changed.
Starting quite soon, Spring 2020, the partnership between Alaska and American will be changing.
- Loyalists of both airlines will enjoy benefits across each airline
- Elite status reciprocity
- Lounge access to nearly 50 AA Admirals Club lounges and 7 Alaska Lounges
- Earn redeemable miles and elite miles on each others airlines.
Soon…you’ll be able to once again earn Alaska miles on AA flights – like this transcontinental lie flat business class.
Will Alaska Airlines still credit one mile for each mile flown?
Yes, long story short, Alaska has committed to the one mile earned for one mile flown strategy.
Will Alaska Airlines keep its ex-One World partners?
This is still to be resolved. Alaska has an incredible list of partners outside of One World including Emirates, El Al, Aer Lingus, Singapore Airlines, Hainan, Korean Air, Iceland Airlines, etc.
It would be an absolute shame to see many of these options go away, but your guess is as good as mine as to whether they’ll be permitted to keep many of them. I’d say it would be far easier to keep Emirates vs Korean or Singapore seeing as though Emirates is stand alone and the other two are stalwart members of other alliances.
The Timeline Overall
- Alaska Airlines intends to join the oneworld® alliance in the summer 2021
- October 2020, American will launch the first service from Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore, India (BLR)
- March 2021, AA will service London via Seattle as well
- Alaska and American loyalty members will enjoy benefits across both airlines, including the ability to earn and use miles on both airlines’ full networks, elite status reciprocity and lounge access to nearly 50 American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S.
Will Alaska Airlines Devalue their program?
I think this is the question that we’re all wondering, and no one really knows the answer.
Starting in a couple of months I think Alaska will start analyzing how many people are booking AA flights, but crediting to Alaska. Alaska’s chart is far more advantageous for redemptions than you’d find with AA, and I think many question whether Alaska can sustain the current chart without incurring significant loss. Time will tell, but my hope is that any devaluation that is implemented is done in a mindful and communicative way.
I think this is absolutely MASSIVE news, and very welcomed in this Alaska household. It will certainly adjust my strategy for 2020 and beyond, but I’m very excited to see what sort of perks Alaska Elites end up enjoying on other airlines, and fingers crossed these earn rates stay in place for the foreseeable future.
Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers
A Monkey Miles favorite for beginners and point pros alike because it earns very valuable points in both dining and travel. Enjoy an all time high sign up bonus as well!
♥ Earn 60k Bonus Points after $4k Spend in 3 months
♥2x on dining + travel worldwide without cap
♥Earns some of the most valuable points in the industry