I’ve got to get off to work, so this is a quick post. Apologies for cribbing so much from the press release. However, I thought many of you would be interested in learning that Alaska Airlines is planning to join the oneworld Alliance by 2021 and in the interim will form a “west coast alliance” with American Airlines.
This is a bit of a surprise as they’ve lately distanced themselves from American Airlines, but perhaps it was just an acknolwedgment from both sides that to preserve that partnership Alaska would need to be more heavily invested in all its oneworld partners, including Cathay Pacific and British Airways.
I am not aware of any reason why joining oneworld would prevent Alaska from continuing its partnerships with non-alliance members like Singapore Airlines, Condor, and Icelandair. Such non-alliance partnerships are common at other major airlines, although perhaps they aren’t so prevalent because they seem less necessary. I would be disappointed to lose Singapore Airlines so soon after they joined.
I’ll see what more information I can gather to publish an updated and more thoughtful post. Meanwhile, here are some relevant bits from the press release:
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines announce new West Coast International Alliance: Alaska’s West Coast network to connect with American’s long-haul flying to create more choice for travelers
SEATTLE and FORT WORTH, Texas — Today, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines announce an alliance to create more choice for West Coast customers. The expanded relationship between the airlines will offer customers several benefits, including:
- Alaska Airlines intends to join the oneworld® alliance, the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance, by summer 2021, which will connect Alaska guests to more than 1,200 destinations worldwide.
- American will launch the first service from Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore, India (BLR) beginning October 2020. A new American route from SEA to the global business hub London Heathrow (LHR) will begin flying in March 2021.
- The airlines will continue their domestic codeshare that offers customers hassle-free booking and travel between the two networks. The codeshare will expand to include international routes from Los Angeles (LAX) and SEA.
- 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.
The alliance will give West Coast travelers more choices when traveling internationally, offer seamless access across a broader network and provide strategic growth for both airlines.
Alaska seeks full oneworld membership
Alaska intends to join oneworld, the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance. Once approved, oneworld membership will allow Alaska Mileage Plan loyalty members to earn and redeem miles through oneworld’s more than 1,200 international destinations. The alliance enables reciprocal benefits on other member airlines, such as priority check-in and boarding, access to preferred seats and free checked bags.
Seattle: An international gateway
Seattle’s first-ever direct flight to BLR will be available for purchase later this month, with daily flights beginning October 2020. Daily service between SEA and LHR will be available for purchase in May 2020 for flights starting March 2021.
Codeshare and Frequent Flier Benefits: More options for customers
Alaska and American will continue their domestic codeshare relationship, which was scheduled to shrink in March of 2020. The airlines will expand codeshare to West Coast international routes from SEA and LAX for broader international access and choice for customers. Codeshare gives customers seamless access to more destinations and reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits. Customers with lounge membership will enjoy shared access to nearly 50 American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S. for same-day travel on American or Alaska flights.