Marking a milestone in its 89-year history, Alaska Airlines has officially become a member of the oneworld airline alliance. Alaska becomes the 14th full member of the global alliance, just eight months after receiving a formal invitation from oneworld in July 2020.
“Joining oneworld is joining a family of the best airlines in the world,” Alaska’s new CEO Ben Minicucci said. “Being a part of the alliance allows us to provide fantastic global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our guests. This alliance transforms Alaska into a truly global airline, connecting our strong West Coast network and destinations across North America with the worldwide reach of our oneworld partners.”
Rob Gurney, CEO, oneworld, who joined Minicucci for a press conference in Seattle, commented: “With Alaska Airlines now part of oneworld, we are excited to offer to customers even more destinations and flights, strengthened by Alaska’s leading network on the U.S. West Coast. For oneworld top-tier customers, the joining of Alaska will provide even more opportunities for their status to be recognised as we look forward to a recovery in international travel.”
Alaska Airlines’ passengers will now be able to enjoy a global network of flights to as many as 1,000 destinations across more than 170 countries and territories. With its membership in the alliance, Alaska will add seven new airline partners and enhance its six existing partnerships with oneworld members.
“We’re delighted to welcome Alaska to the oneworld family. As the industry recovers from COVID, airline alliances are going to be more important than ever. Alaska will be an asset to the alliance, positioning oneworld to deliver even more value to our customers and member airlines,” said oneworld Governing Board Chairman and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
We love finding common ground at 35,000 feet! ✈️ Join us in celebrating becoming the newest member of the @traveloneworld Alliance. pic.twitter.com/gwf1kmlFSo
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) April 1, 2021
All Alaska Mileage Plan members can now earn miles when they fly any of the other 13 member airlines. Mileage redemption for flights on airlines that Alaska did not have previous partnerships with will occur in the coming months.
Alaska’s elite Mileage Plan members automatically receive matching oneworld tier status: MVP Gold 75K = oneworld Emerald; MVP Gold = oneworld Sapphire; and MVP = oneworld Ruby. Depending on tier status, those passengers can enjoy a variety of privileges, including access to more than 650 international first and business class lounges, fast track through security and priority baggage benefits. Guests with Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programme will be able to use priority check-in desks, where available. Meanwhile, guests with Emerald or Sapphire status will be offered priority boarding.
“If you’ve been a frequent flier who has earned status with us, all that loyalty will go even further with benefits in oneworld to make your journey even more enjoyable,” said Minicucci.
The new membership will also boost Alaska’s flight connectivity, especially on international bookings, which includes a long-standing partnership with American Airlines, which has sponsored Alaska’s membership into the alliance.
“Alaska has been an outstanding partner to American for nearly 40 years and we’re excited to do even more together in the years to come,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom. “By connecting American’s strength in long-haul international flying and Alaska’s strong presence along the West Coast, we’re building a better network for our customers than either airline could build alone.”
Currently, there are 14 full members of oneworld including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines. Fiji Airways is a oneworld connect partner offering select alliance benefits to frequent flyers from any oneworld member airline travelling on their flights.