More ways to go global: Alaska Airlines to expand American Airlines relationship and join oneworld

For Alaska Airlines guests, the world is getting closer – and easier to reach.

We’re expanding our relationship with American Airlines and announcing plans to join oneworld, the highly rated global airline network – two moves that open the world for our guests. We see this as an exciting West Coast international alliance, which includes:

  • the ability to earn and use miles on both Alaska and American
  • full elite status reciprocity
  • lounge access to nearly 50 American Admirals Clubs worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S. (However, Alaska Lounge members do not currently have access to the Admirals Club in San Francisco International Terminal 2 due to space constraints. Alaska will be opening a new 8,500-square-foot, top-floor lounge in Terminal 2 this fall. Boarding pass and guest restrictions apply.)
  • continued domestic codeshare and expanded international travel from Los Angeles and Seattle for hassle-free booking and travel between Alaska and American Airlines

In addition, we’re seeking full membership into oneworld, expected in summer 2021. Together, this new alliance and oneworld membership will give guests seamless access to 1,200 destinations around the world.

“This alliance opens the world for Alaska Airlines guests, whether traveling for business or pleasure,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska’s executive vice president and Chief Commercial Officer. “And importantly for our employees and the communities we serve, this West Coast international alliance enables Alaska’s continued independent growth.”

Once Alaska’s membership is approved by oneworld, guests traveling on Alaska, American or a oneworld partner will feel like they have one connected travel experience – no matter who or where you fly.

At the same time, agreements with our current valued Global Partners will continue uninterrupted.

The reach of our expanded global network means we can give our guests what they want most – access to a huge international portfolio, seamless reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, lounge access and more choices to experience the world.

So, what does this West Coast international alliance mean for Alaska Mileage Plan members?

Our new alliance will let members earn and redeem miles on even more domestic and international destinations. This includes today’s announcement by American Airlines for the first nonstop flight from Seattle to Bangalore, India, starting October 2020, along with new service from Seattle to London, starting in spring 2021.

Effective immediately:

  • Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on all American Airlines flights and continue to earn miles on American flights with an Alaska flight number.
  • Access any of American’s 50 Admirals Club locations worldwide with an Alaska Lounge membership.
  • Continue to earn and redeem Mileage Plan miles on our current portfolio of 16 Global Partners.

Starting spring 2020:

  • Earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles on any American Airlines flights, domestically and internationally.

Starting summer 2021:

  • Earn and redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on all oneworld airlines.
  • Alaska elites will enjoy privileges, including priority boarding, premium seating, baggage benefits and more when you fly on American Airlines or any oneworld airline.
  • Access 650 lounges within the oneworld network as an MVP Gold or Gold 75K member.

This is just the beginning. We will share more details with you as these benefits become available.

Today
  • Redeem Alaska miles on all American Airlines flights.
  • Alaska Lounge members can access American’s 50 Admirals Club locations.
  • Earn and redeem miles on our current portfolio of 16 Global Partners.
Spring 2020
  • Earn Alaska miles on all American Airlines flights, domestically and internationally.
Fall 2020
  • American Airlines launches nonstop service between Seattle and Bangalore, India.
Spring 2021
  • American Airlines launches nonstop service between Seattle and London-Heathrow.
Summer 2021
  • Earn and redeem Alaska miles on all oneworld® airlines.
  • Alaska elites will enjoy privileges, including priority boarding, premium seating, baggage benefits and more when you fly on American Airlines or any oneworld® airline.
  • MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75k members can access 650 lounges within the oneworld® airline network.

Q&A:

What is the benefit of this alliance?

Enhancing our relationship with American Airlines by forming a West Coast international alliance and joining oneworld opens the world to our guests. This means traveling on Alaska, American or a oneworld airline will feel like one connected travel experience––no matter who or where you fly.

With this announcement, how many destinations will I be able to connect to?

We’ll be able to connect guests to more than 1,200 destinations worldwide when we are a full member of oneworld.

Does this mean your relationship with American won’t end?

Correct. Alaska and American will continue our domestic codeshare relationship uninterrupted.

What does this mean for your existing unaffiliated Global Partners?

Our 16 Global Partners are very valuable and we’ll keep them as long as they continue to provide a unique value to our guests.

Does this mean I’ll be able to access the American Airlines Admirals Club in Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport?

The Admirals Club in Terminal 2 at SFO is closing in March. However, you’ll have access to a new 8,500-square-foot, top-floor lounge at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 when the new Alaska Lounge opens in 2020.

34 comments on "More ways to go global: Alaska Airlines to expand American Airlines relationship and join oneworld"

    • The 16 Global Partners include: Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Condor, El Al, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. You can find them all on Alaska’s airline partners page, with links to explore flight options.

  1. As everyone else has said, great news! Do you know when the partnership with AA will be in place? It says “Spring 2020” which could mean next month. I have to book some flights that would greatly benefit from having it running by mid-March.

    • Thanks, Steven! We don’t have a specific date yet for the start of the expanded relationship with American Airlines – but we will definitely share details as soon as we’re able, so stay tuned for updates.

  2. When exactly during Spring 2020 can passengers earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles on American Airlines flights and vice versa? Thanks for these excellent developments.

    • Thanks for your question, Judy. We don’t have a specific date yet for the start of the expanded benefit to earn Alaska miles on any American Airlines flight. We will definitely share the date when it’s available, so stay tuned for updates.

  3. As an employee of Alaska air group I too am so excited for this! I hope all of our guests use all of the partners of One World!

  4. I am currently a member of both Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and American Airlines Aadvantage programs. Will I be able to transfer my Alaska Airlines miles (about 40,000 currently) to my Advantage account (currently 200,000)?

    • Thanks for your question! Mileage Plan members cannot transfer miles between the two programs. However, the miles from Alaska and American Advantage can be redeemed on either airline.

  5. Thank you! It’s been a long two years since you guys separated and it was painful! Glad you guys are moving to this direction. Even though I am not crazy for AA’s service, they do have tons of flights/destinations to make up for the markets that Alaska is not in. Also, that will allow me to get priority boarding with AA instead of Group 6 or 7. OneWorld is a great alliance and nice adds to your existing partnership.

    • Thanks for your question. We are working through the details of Alaska’s membership in oneworld, expected in summer 2021. We will be sharing updates with our guests as we learn more, so stay tuned!

  6. I have a trip booked on American Airlines to the East Coast in mid-March 2020. Will I be able to get Alaska miles for this flight, i.e. apply to MVP status? Steve.

    • Thanks for your question, Steve. The rules in effect today for earning Alaska miles on American flights will continue uninterrupted – so miles earned on American flights ticketed in an eligible class of service and purchased through Alaska will still count toward MVP status. Later this spring, Alaska Mileage Plan members will be able to earn miles on any American flight, but we don’t have a specific start date yet. We’ll be sharing that news when we’re able.

  7. Will Alaska start the non stop from BWI to san diego again?? And can I Agsin use my American mikes on Alaska? They stopped it after the first if this year ! I love Alaska but I want a direct flight !

    • Thanks for your questions! Today’s announcement didn’t include any new domestic route announcements, but we’ll pass along your feedback. As for miles: Yes, you can redeem American miles on Alaska flight.

  8. This is great news. We have had Alaska Credit cards and flown Alaska for 30 years. My question is, If you are flying first class will you be able to use both Alaska or American lounges?

    • Thanks so much for flying Alaska for three decades! First-class Alaska tickets include access to Alaska Lounges, but not Admirals Clubs. American’s lounges can be accessed with an Alaska Lounge membership or eligible American-issued ticket.

  9. Hi, I noticed a key word in the phrase, “existing unaffiliated Global Partners.” Is it safe to assume those carriers firmly part of SkyTeam (Korean Air) and Star (Singapore) will drop their affiliation with AS?

    • Thanks for your question, Robert. At this time, we don’t anticipate any changes among our Global Partners, including our relationships with Korean Air and Singapore.

  10. This is great news! It’s been getting more and more difficult to keep status with Alaska as the partnerships with American and Delta diminished. This renewed relationship with American will mean I can keep focusing my miles and status on my favorite airline. #iFlyAlaska

  11. BRAVO …. and “thank you” for restoring and expanding this important travel partnership — The Travel Curmudgeon.

  12. This is great news. Will lounge reciprocity apply to the American lounge at SFO before the Alaska lounge is opened this year given that is not the case today?

    • Thanks for your great question, Mona. American Airlines is relocating to San Francisco International Terminal 1 this spring. When this occurs, they will be closing the Admirals Club in Terminal 2. However, you’ll have access to a new 8,500-square-foot, top-floor lounge at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 when the new Alaska Lounge opens this fall.

      • But until American Airlines moves to Terminal 1 this spring, will Alaska passengers have access to the Admirals Club in Terminal 2? Please clarify. Thank you.

      • Brian, thanks for the follow-up question. To clarify: Due to space constraints, Alaska Lounge members do not have access to SFO’s Terminal 2 Admirals Club, which will be closing in March. We’ve also updated the text of the blog post to include this clarification.

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