Why Alaska Airlines joining oneworld is great news for Qantas
More points earning options on the horizon in North America.
Alaska Airlines has announced plans to join the oneworld alliance in mid-2021.
The US carrier is joining the alliance as part of an expanded partnership with American Airlines.
While Alaska Airlines doesn't have any direct services to Australia, it's still good news for Qantas frequent flyers. Qantas is also a founding member of oneworld, and launched an enhanced partnership with American Airlines in October last year.
Australian frequent flyers likely know Alaska Airlines for one of two reasons:
- Because if you book with Qantas to Seattle or other destinations in the American northwest, you'll often end up on an Alaska Airlines flight for the US domestic sector.
- Because its Alaska Miles scheme regularly runs sales where you can acquire miles at discount rates, making it a cheap option for scoring business and first class flights. Check out our list of the best use of Alaska Miles for Australians.
We won't see full details of how the alliance will work (and how many more points you'll earn) until closer to Alaska Airlines' joining date. However, full membership will mean that passengers will have their status recognised when flying Alaska Airlines, including lounge access and enhanced luggage allowances.
That in itself is a welcome change. The first time I flew from Los Angeles to Seattle on an Alaska Airlines flight, I ended up having to pay an extra baggage fee. Even though I'd booked through Qantas and my luggage was well below what I was allowed as a Gold status flyer, that didn't cut any dice with Alaska Airlines. I knew it would happen, but it was still an annoyance. That won't be the case once the alliance forms.
Membership will also mean Alaska Airlines flights can be included in oneworld Classic Reward bookings.
And the development is good news for oneworld because it is losing longtime member LATAM in May. Qantas is keeping LATAM as a partner, so some reciprocal benefits will still apply.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.