OneWorld: Alaska Airlines ‘Fast-track’ membership delayed to March 2021
We’ve reported on this new member of the OneWorld alliance a couple of times. The first was to announce they were joining, and next to report that their membership was being fast-tracked.
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According to a recent blog post, now the membership of this Seattle based airline is being slow-tracked to 31 March 2021 – three months later than last announced. Given how little flying is going on during this pandemic – even in America, this is no biggie.
However it is interesting that they seem to view the amount of work involved as a bit surprising:
‘There’s a huge amount of complicated work that’s being done behind-the-scenes at Alaska to meet our aggressive deadline. Changes are required to every one of our major systems so they can ‘talk’ to each oneworld member airline, and ensure we have a smooth and seamless guest experience.’
Still, it is the first time they have joined an alliance in their 88 year history, so I suppose they can be forgiven for not realising the workload.
OneWorld advantages on Alaska Airlines for those of us with emerald or sapphire status includes lounge access irrespective of cabin flown, a bigger luggage allowance and access to priority check-in and boarding.
Current partnership network
Alaskan already has an extensive partnership network, and for those of you who were wondering if non-OneWorld members would be abandoned – apparently not:
‘Also, you might be wondering about our partnerships with our current Global Partners that are not a part of oneworld. We value the benefits those partnerships provide our guests, and we’ll continue to maintain them as long as it’s mutually beneficial to do so.’
Please note that very wide qualification of ‘mutually beneficial’.
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
Well, as of April, 2021, we will have a new choice of OneWorld partner when flying in the USA. Pity we will still be banned from flying there.
According to my pre-COVIDE travel plans, I would be heading back to NYC from Barbados towards the end of this month
On the other hand, would you want to hit the parts of the country that are COVID-19 infested and populated by pandemic and vaccine denying Trump supporters?
On the other hand by April, they may have a different president.
We live in hope.
What did you say?