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Alaska Airlines announces Oneworld perks for elite members

Dec. 10, 2020
3 min read
Alaska Airlines announces Oneworld perks for elite members
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Alaska Airlines is forging ahead with its plans to join the Oneworld frequent flyer alliance.

On Thursday, the Seattle-based carrier unveiled how it plans to reward its most loyal Mileage Plan members with Oneworld perks.

Specifically, in line with expectations for a three-tiered elite-status model, Mileage Plan status will map to the three Oneworld tiers as follows:

  • MVP = Oneworld Ruby
  • MVP Gold = Oneworld Sapphire
  • MVP Gold 75K = Oneworld Emerald

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As a Oneworld elite, Alaska flyers will enjoy a subset of their traditional perks when flying on one of the other 13 member airlines.

While elites won't be eligible for alliance-wide upgrades (though Oneworld upgrades with miles are coming), they will enjoy a host of day-of-departure perks. Ruby status includes access to business-class check-in, priority seating and priority waitlists and standby.

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Sapphire status unlocks business-class lounges, as well as additional baggage allowances, priority handling and more. Finally, Emerald, Oneworld's highest tier, includes a TPG-favorite: access to first-class check-in and lounges, even when flying in the back in the plane.

As such, Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will enjoy complimentary access to top-notch lounges, like Cathay Pacific's The Pier and Qantas' First lounge in Singapore, even when flying in coach on those airlines.

The Oneworld perks, which will take effect when Alaska officially becomes a member on March 31, 2021, are valid on all member airlines. However, Alaska and American Airlines have already unveiled an even deeper integration of their elite status perks.

Related: Alaska frequent flyers have a lot to look forward to in 2021

Once the partnership launches, Alaska's top-tier MVP Gold 75K members will have access to international long-haul upgrades on AA – though specific details of how that will work have not yet been revealed. Additionally, MVP Gold 75K and Gold members will enjoy complimentary extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra seats for free at the time of booking. (All Alaska elites will be eligible for complimentary Preferred seats positioned at favorable locations within the cabin.)

Thursday's announcement is the latest move from the Seattle-based carrier in its push to join Oneworld. Earlier this week, the carrier teamed up with Qatar, another Oneworld member, to lay the groundwork for a codeshare partnership.

The two carriers are launching reciprocal mileage earning beginning Dec. 15, though redemptions won't become available until March 31. As part of the news, Qatar announced that it'll start flying to Alaska's largest hub in Seattle.

Featured image by Getty Images

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BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.