From an email that I just received from Alaska Airlines:
“Our partnership with Emirates will end July 31, 2021.
Our partnership with Emirates will end on July 31, 2021. Mileage Plan members can continue to earn and redeem* miles on oneworld® member airlines and our Global Partners to more than 1,000 destinations on 20+ airlines worldwide. For travel to India, the Middle East or Africa, guests can fly Qatar Airways in unparalleled comfort with their revolutionary Qsuite, the most private Business Class in the sky.”
The First Sign: No Emirates First Class Award Tickets
The first sign of a change in the relationship was the inability to book first class award tickets on Emirates. Bookings continued to be available in business and economy classes. Here is the updated status of award bookings on Emirates using Alaska Airlines miles:
Award travel on Emirates
Award redemptions on Emirates are available through July 31, 2021. For future travel, changes made to a booked award on Emirates on or after August 1, 2021, will require cancellation of the award and re-booking on a different Alaska Airlines partner.
The End Of Earning Miles On Emirates
The chart below shows the future of crediting Emirates miles to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan:
Access To The Emirates Business Class Lounge
Through July 31, 2021, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members flying on Emirates on a paid ticket, no matter the class, will receive lounge access at the Emirates Business Class flagship lounge in Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The Handwriting Was On The Wall
Before joining the Oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines was the “non-alliance” alliance airline. The airline had a unique partnership with carriers that were either in the Oneworld alliance or independent carriers. With the joining of Oneworld, Alaska Airlines now has a new middle-east partner in Qatar. I knew it was just a matter of time before the relationship with Emirates would end.
My wife and I booked first class award tickets from Zurich to Dubai to San Francisco for the end of the month. It will be a bittersweet flight as we will be flying the reconfigured Emirates Boeing 777-300 first class suites.
Will the breakup of Emirates and Alaska Airlines affect you? If so, please share in the comments section.