One of my favorite things about Alaska Mileage Plan is all the unique airline partners they have, which span the alliances. Mileage Plan has among the best mileage earning rates for travel on partner airlines, so flying partners and crediting to Mileage Plan is a great option.
The catch is that Alaska doesn’t belong to one of the major alliances, so while you’ll earn lots of miles for travel on partner airlines, for the most part you won’t get much in the way of reciprocal elite benefits. There are a few exceptions, however.
Specifically, Alaska elites get quite a few benefits on American, including free checked bags, priority security and boarding, preferred seating, and more. Furthermore, Alaska MVP Gold members and above receive lounge access at select airports when flying British Airways, Hainan, Icelandair, and Qantas.
For Alaska elites who fly Qantas frequently, there’s some good news. Alaska and Qantas announced yesterday that they’re expanding their partnership, which includes additional codeshare routes.
However, what’s most exciting is that Alaska and Qantas are improving reciprocal lounge benefits for elite members:
- Qantas Gold members and above now have access to all Alaska Lounges, including in Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle, when they travel on an Alaska flight, connecting to or from a Qantas flight
- Alaska MVP Gold members and above now have access to all Qantas International Business Lounges and Qantas Domestic Clubs when they travel on any Qantas flight
The two airlines did offer some reciprocal lounge access prior to this change (for example, Qantas elites had access only to Alaska’s lounge in Los Angeles), but nothing to this level.
Unfortunately lounge access is limited to the above. While oneworld Emerald members get access to Qantas’ excellent first class lounges, even Alaska top tier MVP Gold 75K will get access to the business class lounge at best.
Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney
Still, I’d consider this to be a very nice improvement.
Will you benefit from the expanded partnership between Alaska and Qantas?
(Tip of the hat to Brian)