Alaska Airlines announced today that it has decided to join the Oneworld Alliance on March 31, 2021. Here are the details and predictable changes.
Alaska Airlines and Oneworld
Oneworld is a global alliance of about 15 airlines, including American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
It is a competing alliance between Skyteam (Air France – KLM, Delta Airlines, Korean Air, etc.) and Star Alliance (Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, etc.).
The alliance system has been somewhat moribund in recent years, with airlines preferring to forge direct partnerships, as has been the case so far with Alaska Airlines. Through its Alaska Mileage Plan program, this airline is now partnering with companies of the 3 alliances.
Today, Alaska Airlines announced its intention to join Oneworld on March 31, 2021.
The current Alaska Mileage Plan Loyalty Program
Currently, it is possible to earn and use Alaska Mileage Plan miles with many airlines:
- Aer Lingus
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways (connect member)
- Japan Airlines
- Star Alliance:
- Singapore Airlines
- Korean Air
- Out of alliance:
- El Al
- Hainan Airlines
There are several interesting features to the Alaska Mileage Plan program such as:
- The ability to add a stopover on a one-way ticket
- A favourable fare structure with several airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Qantas.
For example, with Cathay Pacific, you can fly from Canada to South Africa (with a stopover in Hong Kong) for only 70,000 miles in First Class (the leg between Hong Kong and South Africa will be in business-class).
The Alaska Mileage Plan loyalty program in 2021?
With an entry into the Oneworld alliance, there is a good chance that these different advantages will disappear.
As well as partnerships with non-Oneworld airlines: It would be unthinkable for Alaska Airlines to maintain its partnership with Emirates while it is part of the same alliance as Emirates’ major competitor: Qatar Airways.
And what about the brand new partnership with Singapore Airlines, itself a member of Star Alliance?
On the other hand, there will certainly be new opportunities, especially to travel with American Airlines or Qatar Airways.
For example, this starts with the possibility of using Alaska Mileage Plan miles for all American Airlines flights.
But if you currently have Alaska Mileage Plan miles, my advice would be to burn them through one of the program’s sweetspots. On that specific subject, you can read this article from Ricky on Prince of Travel.
Credit cards available in Canada
Alaska Airlines has two credit cards in Canada. Unfortunately, since last year, Quebec’s offers do not officially award a welcome bonus (unlike other provinces). But unofficially… 😉
For readers of milesopedia outside Quebec, here are the current offers:
For Quebecers, here are the current offers:
Because they are Mastercard credit cards, they are accepted at Costco.
Earlier this year, before COVID-19, Alaska Airlines announced that it would join Oneworld by the summer of 2021. Now we have an official date: March 31, 2021.
If it opens up new opportunities, it will mostly close others that were previously very exciting. As mentioned above, if you currently have miles Alaska Mileage Plan, burn them before March 31, 2021!