Alaska Cuts Ties with Emirates After Joining Oneworld
This news comes as Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld Alliance on March 31, 2021. Normally, when an airline joins a new alliance, partner redemptions are available from day one, but this wasn’t the case with Alaska Airlines as alliance-wide redemptions on Oneworld were not available at the time of joining.
Instead, Alaska Airlines announced that it intended to maintain its partnerships with non-Oneworld Alliance airlines such as Emirates as well as to its existing Oneworld partnerships with American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Japan Airlines, even beyond its inclusion date. Following the announcement of this news, this no longer appears to be the case.
Alaska Airlines has yet to announce a Oneworld award redemption table, though following the news of the airline cutting its ties with Emirates, a Oneworld alliance-wide redemption table will be made available starting August 1, 2021.
History of Partnership
From a miles and points perspective, the Alaska Airlines and Emirates partnership can best be described as rocky. Historically, Alaska Airlines was the best partner airline for award redemptions on Emirates as it offered even lower award redemption rates on First and Business Class flights than Emirates’ own frequent flyer program, Skywards. Moreover, Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges, as well as allowing for stopovers on one-way itineraries, making it one of the best deals out there to fly Emirates First Class.
This proposition was sadly too good to last, and over the years we’ve seen many cutbacks being made. The first being Emirates eliminating the complimentary chauffeur service for First and Business Class award tickets booked through partner airlines on January 1, 2015. This was eventually extended to award redemptions made with Emirates’ own Skywards program, meaning that as of March 1, 2019, only paid First and Business Class award tickets are eligible for the chauffeur service.
On March 31, 2016, Alaska Airlines devalued its redemption chart on Emirates with no notice, raising prices on some redemptions by as much as 100%. A one-way First Class redemption from North America to Africa via Dubai went up from 100,000 miles to 200,000 miles. The last blow came in November of 2020. This is when Emirates announced that, as of April 1, 2021, partner redemptions in First Class would no longer be bookable, signaling the end of an era for cheap First Class award tickets.
Still Time to Book Emirates Flights With Alaska Miles
Bookings made prior to the end of this partnership on July 31, 2021, will be honored regardless of the travel dates. This means that there’s still a chance to redeem your Alaska Airlines miles for travel during late 2021 and well into the first half of 2022.
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