Alaska Airlines has announced that it is counting down to the date for its inauguration into the Oneworld alliance: March 31, 2021. In a blog post this week the airline said that it had started a six-month countdown to becoming part of the alliance.
In August, Oneworld had initially announced plans to welcome Alaska Airlines as the alliance’s 14th member airline “around the end of the year.” Now the airline is saying that date has been set for the first quarter of 2021.
“Alaska enters a new frontier in six months,” read the carrier’s blog post. “On March 31, 2021, for the first time in our 88-year history, we’ll become a member of a global airline alliance: Oneworld.”
The carrier said that it was “a lot of effort,” to join the alliance, but said it was “worth it” as the post highlighted the benefits:
• Oneworld further opens the world to our guests with more than 1,000 global destinations. You’ll fly more easily from Boise to Beijing or Portland to Prague. We’re already Global Partners with six Oneworld members which include American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines and Qantas, but soon we’ll add seven new partners under the alliance umbrella including Iberia and Qatar Airways.
• Connectivity becomes easier with Oneworld as our network (especially strong on the West Coast) supports the major, long-haul international flying of our fellow member airlines.
• With our award-winning Mileage Plan program, our guests will be able to accrue and redeem miles across the Oneworld global network.
• For our elite travelers, Oneworld prides itself on providing a consistent, high quality guest experience across the alliance. Status with us means status with Oneworld and its 13 member airlines. This includes access to Oneworld member airlines’ lounges when traveling internationally, priority check-in, access to preferred and pre-reserved seats, priority boarding and many other benefits. This key improvement to our guest experience will help us compete with our bigger US rivals who offer their own global network.
• Oneworld also boosts the visibility of the Alaska brand. Being a member of a prestigious global alliance will help us be better known around North America – and around the world.
The carrier also said that it planned to retain partnerships with airlines which are not part of Oneworld “as it’s mutually beneficial to do so.”
“There’s a huge amount of complicated work that’s being done behind-the-scenes at Alaska to meet our aggressive deadline,” the blog post read. “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.”