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Alaska Air to expand partnership with American and join Oneworld alliance

T_R_Oglodyte

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This was an inevitability. After Alaska acquired Virgin, it became too big a competitor to the large domestic airlines and they began dialing back the terms of the partnership relationship. Some relationships were lost during the spate of mergers as some partners disappeared. Then, when Alaska turned down Delta's merger offer, Delta cut out Alaska and started competing directly out of Seattle. Then they lost Aeromexico. Then American scaled back the relationship once, with another scale back set to take place. The only real course of Alaska was to formally join one of the alliances, and OneWorld was the logical choice.


Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are planning to expand their partnership, the airlines announced in a news release Thursday morning, and this will potentially offer travelers from Seattle access to an extensive network of international flight routes.

Instead of carrying out existing plans to dial back their domestic code-share relationship this March, Alaska and American will expand that code-share to include West Coast international routes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. (Though, this proposed change requires Department of Transportation approval before it can take effect.)



But perhaps the biggest news for Seattlites who frequently travel internationally is that Alaska plans to join the oneworld alliance, a network of 13 global airlines that includes the likes of Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Qantas and Japan Airlines. The goal is to offer international travelers ease of connection and allow them to benefit from shared services among the member airlines.
 

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Alaska couldn't compete with the major corporate travel offerings having only a North American network. Lots of money involved luring big tech.

We'll see how this plays out. After hitting one million miles on United, I switched most of my flying to Alaska because of the great routes out of San Diego. I'm typically MVP Gold on Alaska so hopefully my status gets some perks on AA. I hope Alaska doesn't switch to revenue based earning.
 

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Alaska couldn't compete with the major corporate travel offerings having only a North American network. Lots of money involved luring big tech.

We'll see how this plays out. After hitting one million miles on United, I switched most of my flying to Alaska because of the great routes out of San Diego. I'm typically MVP Gold on Alaska so hopefully my status gets some perks on AA. I hope Alaska doesn't switch to revenue based earning.
They already have a form of revenue based earning - they just hide it. You get miles based on air miles flown. But then you get bonus miles that count toward FF status based on the ticket class. Buy a higher priced ticket and qualify faster.

I do quite a bit of traveling in first class when I"m on business because I can easily turn most of the flight into billable time in FC, and that more than covers the fare difference. It also takes what would be dead time and converts it to something more productive, which is a stress reliever for me. (I'm a bit of a funny personality - I'm calmer and less-stressed when I'm active and engaged.)
 

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I'm hoping to use my BA avios more on Alaska flights after Alaska becomes part of One World alliance.
 

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I hope this will impact their annual $99 companion fair coupon they give out for CC customers. I have yet to use one because of the limited routes.
 

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I'm hoping to use my BA avios more on Alaska flights after Alaska becomes part of One World alliance.
You can do that now but you have to call BA to use them.
 

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I hope this will impact their annual $99 companion fair coupon they give out for CC customers. I have yet to use one because of the limited routes.
It would be nice if it did, but I doubt that it will. The program has always been only for flights on Alaska metal. It works well if that fits your travel plans. It's especially useful if your home airport is one of their hubs.

For other carriers that are in Oneworld, are their companion fare offerings good throughout Oneworld? Or do they also limit their companion fares to their metial?
 

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For other carriers that are in Oneworld, are their companion fare offerings good throughout Oneworld? Or do they also limit their companion fares to their metial?
I can't speak for all OW, but I know AA restricts to AA metal (by AA metal, I am including contracted carriers flying on brands like American Eagle (like Skywest, PSA, etc.)). Also their credit card companion ticket offers are more restrictive -- (i.e. only continental US, must have certain spend requirement, etc.).

-ryan
 

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They already have a form of revenue based earning - they just hide it. You get miles based on air miles flown. But then you get bonus miles that count toward FF status based on the ticket class. Buy a higher priced ticket and qualify faster.
That poster flew UA which has switched to revenue earning only for elite status -- I know and hate it as I am 1K.

There are reduced revenue tiers with segments and conversion formulas for partner flights, but if you are flying UA metal, there is no longer any mileage calculation that goes into earning elite benefits.
 

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Alaska recently cut our non stop flight from San Jose, Ca to Orange County, Ca. We are now flying Southworst out of Oakland. Thank goodness we only have 9 months to go.

We already miss Alaska :cry:
 

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You can do that now but you have to call BA to use them.
Thanks, I check on the BA site for flight availability, but I rarely see flights. I did see 1 one-way come up tho'.
I'll try to call next time I'm looking for something.
I think American flights have a little better availability. And I read somewhere to check on the American site first,
when the BA avios site was really crappy.
 

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Ooof, I abandoned my Alaska account after they cut their DL and later AA partnerships. I'll have to revise it all again now to see if there's any value in revisiting it.
 

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That poster flew UA which has switched to revenue earning only for elite status -- I know and hate it as I am 1K.

There are reduced revenue tiers with segments and conversion formulas for partner flights, but if you are flying UA metal, there is no longer any mileage calculation that goes into earning elite benefits.
I also much prefer the approach of getting miles for all miles flown, regardless of fare class. That sets a nice floor. Then bonuses for fare class. See chart below:

1581630981917.png
 

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I used to really rack up the Alaska miles flying on American. They also had a minimum number of miles per segment, so I'd book these ridiculous five leg journeys for a pretty reasonable price. One leg would inevitably be delayed, so I'd end up put on the next flight directly to my destination. Or I'd get really lucky, and get bumped, so they'd PAY ME and put me on a much more direct (sometimes nonstop) flight to my destination. Then I'd claim original routing credit, get full credit for all the legs I'd booked.

Oh, to be young and drunk enough that I could spare a day each way to sit on five different planes for what could have been a four hour flight again, lol...
 

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Why Alaska Airlines Will Devalue Mileage Plan As Part Of Joining Oneworld - View from the Wing.




Richard
 

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Why Alaska Airlines Will Devalue Mileage Plan As Part Of Joining Oneworld - View from the Wing.




Richard
Interesting article. Here's another one from View From the Wing that describes the situation more generically. The discussion of advantages for American makes a lot of sense to me.

It wouldn't surprise me if Alaska found a way to retain some particular benefits for Alaska FFs. They are competing head-to-head with Delta now, and a key to their strategy has been, and will need to be, to create reasons for high-value flyers in the west to prefer Alaska over Delta. The Alaska FF program has been critical for that. If they degrade the FF program as described in the article, they will lose much of their differentiator from Delta.

I don't think they can let that happen. Rather the key for Alaska has to be retain their current advantages, then use oneworld to match Delta's network and opportunities to earn and use FF benefits.
 

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I used to really rack up the Alaska miles flying on American. They also had a minimum number of miles per segment, so I'd book these ridiculous five leg journeys for a pretty reasonable price. One leg would inevitably be delayed, so I'd end up put on the next flight directly to my destination. Or I'd get really lucky, and get bumped, so they'd PAY ME and put me on a much more direct (sometimes nonstop) flight to my destination. Then I'd claim original routing credit, get full credit for all the legs I'd booked.

Oh, to be young and drunk enough that I could spare a day each way to sit on five different planes for what could have been a four hour flight again, lol...
I used to do a version of that traveling from Seattle to Idaho Falls when Horizon served Idaho Falls. For quite a few years I made that trip a minimum of four times per year.

To get to IDA from SEA you have to connect in Boise. Horizon had a routing that went from SEA to BOI via Lewiston. Although there was no change in equipment in Lewiston, for some reason that flight from Lewiston to BOI was a different flight # than the flight from SEA to Lewiston. So for the minor hassle of a making a stop in Lewiston, I got two segments each way from SEA to BOI instead of one, and with BOI to IDA being another segment, I would generate six segments roundtrip instead of four. Doing that four times per year gave me 24 segments, with 30 segments required for elite status. That was the only time in my flying career where I've even come close to getting elite status based on segments instead of miles.

But with a 500 mile minimum per flight segment, that also meant I was generating 3000 miles round trip, instead of the 2000 miles I would get making the direct flight SEA-BOI and return
 
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MULTIZ321

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Once-Timid American Pounces On Delta's Seattle Hub And Adds a Mind-Boggling
Flight

see next post for link

Richard
 
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Once-Timid American Pounces On Delta's Seattle Hub And Adds a Mind-Boggling
Flight

see next post for link

Richard
If American lacks equipment with enough range to reach Lahore from any of their current hubs, then SEA is a logical departure point. SEA is not far off of the Great Circle route to Lahore from the centrol US. I don't know where no fly zones are in eastern Russia, but if flights need to stay clear of areas along the NE Arctic coast, then SEA becomes even more favorable.

This also corrects a bungle that American made many years when Crandall was running American. They acquired AirCal specifically to build their West Coast presence, where AA has historically been weak. The acquisition didn't work as planned, and when Southwest expanded into California Crandall threw in the towel. They were involved in the startup of Reno Air, to operate as a low cost carrier to compete with Southwest, but that didn't succeed. In the end, AA wound with less West Coast presence than it had before the acquisition, and a bunch of aging AirCal 707s and 727s.

By reengaging with Alaska they are filling that hole in their network. That should free AA to focus on expansion in other areas (such as the flights to Lahore and Heathrow, while Alaska is freed from trying to expand it's network further south into Central and South America and can put more resources into competing with Delta in it's existing service areas.

All in all, the whole mash-up between the two airlines makes a ton of sense.
 
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