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Alaska Airlines joins the oneworld alliance early

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In February, Alaska Airlines announced its intentions to join the oneworld alliance.  It will become the 14th full member.

According to a oneworld announcement yesterday, it now looks like the airline is choosing to expedite the process and hopes to become a full oneworld member by the end of the year. This is a good 6-8 months earlier than expected.

Because of the existing British Airways / Alaska partnership, covered in this article, you are gaining less than you think from their entry into oneworld.

Alaska Airlines joins oneworld early

It is already possible to spend Avios on Alaska.  The problem is that you only can book by calling British Airways as it is not integrated into ba.com.  This should change once Alaska joins oneworld fully.

The real benefit is from tier points.  Whilst you currently earn Avios when flying with Alaska, you do NOT earn British Airways Executive Club tier points.  This will now change.

British Airways Executive Club Silver and Gold members will also get access to the full range of oneworld benefits when flying with Alaska, including lounge access, priority check-in, baggage, boarding and preferred seat selection.

Members of other oneworld frequent flyer programmes have more to gain from this announcement than Executive Club members, as it will open up Alaska award inventory to them for the first time.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (47)

  • Fred says:

    Likelihood of the Book with Confidence policy being extended into October 2020? Yes I have a BA Amex 241 booking During October! (booked late 2019)

    • Rob says:

      If it’s a 241, pay the £35 and save yourself the grief of trying to use the voucher – unless you paid for seat selection, as you don’t want to lose that.

      Or wait until the flight is cancelled.

      • Fred says:

        There are 4 of us travelling on two 241 vouchers so cancellation charges equate to £140. We have no seats reserved.

        If (or rather when) it’s cancelled (and it will be, the route itself will get canned also), instead of a refund (or voucher) am I able to request a complete new booking for say later next year? Thanks

        • Rob says:

          BA will rebook you onto any flight – Avios seats available or not – but only up to 355 days from the date you paid the taxes on the original booking. If you booked a year in advance this gets you nothing, obvously. If you only booked a few weeks ago you have a lot of flexibility.

          • Fred says:

            Thanks Rob.

            So….could (should) I then cancel this entire booking (at a cost of £140) – then rebook it afresh to restart the 355 day countdown – then wait for the flights to be cancelled (they will be and the route also) – then this would allow for another 300+ days of flexibility for a reschedule (without requirement of reward seats being available)?

            Assuming the route is cancelled, how flexible would they be re choosing a differing UK departure airport and US west coast destination airport?

          • Rob says:

            Yes you could do that. No idea about route flexibility if route cancelled.

            Note that this is an unofficial policy and could be withdrawn at any point. Given the number of HFP readers how spending Christmas in Barbados I’m surprised it hasn’t been pulled already.

          • Lady London says:

            it’s eu361 rights Rob and not the grace of BA.

          • Rob says:

            No it’s not. Cash bookings don’t get the same flexibility.

    • Matthew says:

      I have flights on 2 Oct so just miss out on this. It’s pretty frustrating when it was booked pre covid and cannot be changed yet.

  • Nicola Walton says:

    We have flights booked to New York on 4 October made in January for a cruise which is now cancelled and BA at the moment will not do anything. We are seriously unhappy. People who booked after 3 March when people started to be aware of the situation can get vouchers which I do not get!

    • Stuart says:

      Do you have a pre-Covid travel insurance policy?

    • Chris says:

      Did you buy a non-refundable ticket?

      • Nicola Walton says:

        Yes it is non refundable. We would be happy with a voucher as hopefully we can travel next year.

    • Callum says:

      I know that seems unfair, but it makes perfect sense. In order to convince people to book during this uncertainty they need to introduce flexibility – if you’ve already booked then they don’t.

      I’ll be shocked if this isn’t extended again – especially as your flight is to the US. You just been to be patient. Remember that, legally, you’re not actually entitled to anything so it could be worse!

      • Nicola Walton says:

        We are hoping this gets extended as can’t afford to lose £1200 and do not want to spend 10 days in New York. And I never thought I would say that!

        • ChrisBCN says:

          What do you mean you can’t afford to lose it? You spent it! Seriously though, I’m sure it will all work out nearer the time.

          • Matthew says:

            As it was booked pre covid perhaps income has significantly changed since or worse still made redundant. I might be wrong too but it’s not right to judge.

        • Andrew says:

          Well, don’t spend 10 days in New York City!

          In the unlikely event that the US fully opens to tourists in October, get on the plane then create your own itinerary for a “rail” cruise. Book the first and last night in New York, then have 2 nights in Providence, Boston, Hartford and New Haven.

          There’s plenty of stuff to do.

        • Steve says:

          1) Claim on your card insurance. 2) What makes you think you’ll be spending 10 days in New York? Unless you are American / have access privileges, you won’t be allowed to enter the country.

  • Alan says:

    Glad to see BA have extended their Book With Confidence policy. Was due to fly out to Denver and back from Seattle in late September – I see from the other article that BA are still flying these routes. Does anyone have much experience with these BWC vouchers and 241s? The booking was for 3 people, 2 on a 241 and 1 as a straight Avios booking, all on the one PNR. I know we’ve always had the option of cancelling for 3x£35 fee, however the 241 was due to expire in October so even with the 6m extension they applied to all vouchers it would have been unlikely we could have used it. The expiry date of April 2022 is far better with the BWC voucher but there’s nothing on the BA website on how they would treat a mixed Avios/241 booking like this – any experience appreciated!

    • dezbez says:

      Alan- just be cautious as generally these BWC vouchers can be quite restrictive. They can only be used on like for like bookings eg if it’s a voucher from an Avios booking, it can only be used on a future Avios booking, not a cash one (& vice versa). And it can only be used by the same people ie if it’s three people who were travelling, it’s effectively three separate vouchers usable only by that person (which is fine if you’re all planning on travelling together next time).
      Not quite sure what this means when you throw the 2-4-1 voucher into the mix – your best bet is to give them a ring to ask (call wait times don’t seem to be too bad these days).

      • Alan says:

        Yep no issue for 3 travelling together, we’d be happy to rebook for the same time next year. As I say the alternative is to get the voucher back but then we’re unlikely to be able to use it before it expires!

  • Kathy says:

    I’m confused – I booked in February for flights in to New York on 21st September and out of Toronto on 3rd October for 2 people, using Avios and a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher, flying out in economy and returning in Club.

    We were going to New York for Broadway theatre before heading on to Canada. Now our Broadway tickets have all been moved to April 2021.

    Previously I was told I wouldn’t be able to move my flights beyond the end of February 2021, only cancel them for a refund minus £35 per person, and losing the Lloyds voucher (and I wouldn’t have enough Avios to re-book without it).

    I am not sure if this extension means we can now move our existing flights to new dates in April, or not.

    • Matthew says:

      You cannot move your flight to a date beyond a year from original booking date. This is because your ticket has a one year validity period. So the only way to extend to April is either cancel (but depends when your Lloyds voucher expires) or wait for a cancellation then you’ll get an auto extension of voucher but will need to find Avios availability again. Don’t forget that a lloyds voucher expiry date is book by not fly by.

      • Kathy says:

        Yeah, the voucher expired this past May, so that ship has sailed.

        Oh well, I guess I’ll keep holding out in hopes of a cancellation and cancel them a few days before if nothing happens.

    • Matthew says:

      And just to complicate things…using a lloyds voucher means you booked with Avios.com which BA classes as a travel agent and therefore you have to deal with Avios.com and not BA directly.

  • Andy says:

    Hi. Am I right in saying that there’s no guarantee this offer will be valid until the end of September? I have a booking in September, and would rather wait until nearer the time before deciding to cancel, but I assume there’s a risk that BA will pull the guarantee before then. Have looked at ba.com, but couldn’t find anything.

  • Kipto says:

    Apologies if this has been answered before but I have an avios booking to Spain the week after next which I am probably going to cancel due to the current covid situation in Spain taking a turn for the worse. The options for rebooking another break in Oct or Feb half term using the voucher are nil as there is no availability anywhere. Wife is a teacher so we are restricted to school holidays. What happens to the voucher if not used by April 2021 ? BA’s site does not make it clear. Do you use all the avios and 241 voucher and does the option for just cancelling the flight online altogether still exist ? .

    • Kipto says:

      Typo error. Should have said “ lose the avios not use”

      • Stuart_f says:

        The vouchers are valid until 30 April 2022 so you could book for Feb 22 if there’s nothing this year.

  • Stanley says:

    With the death of my Tandem card, is the Halifax Clarity the best choice for a FX fee free card for overseas holiday spending?? Many thanks

  • ChrisC says:

    At the moment I have very little confidence in BA full stop!