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.
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.
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