Alaska Sets New Date to Join Oneworld Alliance

Alaska Sets New Date to Join Oneworld Alliance

Joe Cortez

After setting the ambitious goal of joining the Oneworld alliance by the end of 2020, Alaska Airlines says their full membership will have to wait three more months. The company announced their membership transition would be complete by March 31, 2021.

Flyers eager to use their Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles with other Oneworld carriers will have to wait a little longer before they can put them to use. In a blog post, the Seattle-based airline announced they would become full members of Oneworld by March 31, 2021.

Delays Come From “Huge Amount of Complicated Work” On the Backend

While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected Alaska’s move into the Oneworld alliance, the airline says that there’s also a lot of work on the backend which must be completed so that flyers can experience a “seamless transition.” FlyerTalkers are reporting some progress, including Alaska tickets acknowledging American Airlines AAdvantage status, and crediting flights to American when using their AAdvantage number.

“There’s a huge amount of complicated work that’s being done behind-the-scenes at Alaska to meet our aggressive deadline,” the airline writes on the blog. “Changes are required to every one of our major systems so they can ‘talk’ to each Oneworld member airline, and ensure we have a smooth and seamless guest experience.”

Alaska already has partnerships with American, British Airways, Japan Airlines and Qantas. But when they fully join the Oneworld alliance, they will add an additional seven new partners with a presence at over 1,000 global destinations. In addition, Mileage Plan MVP members will also have gem-level status across the Oneworld network, entitling them to member lounge access when traveling internationally, priority boarding, and other benefits (based on the carrier).

Alaska Plans on Keeping Additional Partners “As Long As It’s Mutually Beneficial”

Although Alaska has a new date to join Oneworld, their current partnerships outside the alliance are not yet in question. The airline concluded their blog post by reminding flyers they would “…continue to maintain them [non-Oneworld partners] as long as it’s mutually beneficial to do so.” Alaska’s extra-alliance partners include El Al, Emirates, Hainan Airlines and Singapore Airlines.