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AS + AA "West Coast International Alliance" Separate From oneworld

AS + AA "West Coast International Alliance" Separate From oneworld

Old Feb 14, 20, 1:57 am
  #1  
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AS + AA "West Coast International Alliance" Separate From oneworld

It got an email from AA this evening annoouncing AA and AS's new "West Coast International Alliance." This seems to be completely separate from the announced One World entry of Alaska. Feels like a merger without merging.

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Old Feb 14, 20, 12:17 pm
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I think that's just marketing spin for the interim/transitional arrangement until AS actually becomes part of oneworld next year
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Old Feb 14, 20, 1:06 pm
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I think AA and AS are highlighting that they'll have a partnership that goes a little beyond just both being in oneworld. I wouldn't be surprised if there are preferential earning rates (such as AA does with JV partners), and perhaps even reciprocal upgrades (although maybe prioritized alongside last tier of the other airline).

In any case, seems like this could be merged with the other thread about oneworld and the new partnership.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 1:09 pm
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I don't think you should expect a tighter relationship between AS/AA beyond a oneworld partnership + codeshare agreement.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by SEA737 View Post
I think AA and AS are highlighting that they'll have a partnership that goes a little beyond just both being in oneworld. I wouldn't be surprised if there are preferential earning rates (such as AA does with JV partners), and perhaps even reciprocal upgrades (although maybe prioritized alongside last tier of the other airline).
That doesn't make sense, the last two tiers of AA (Platinum, Gold) have to pay for upgrades for flights > 500 miles using instruments (500 milers, I know an AA EXP doesn't have to deal with those ). Is AA going to issue instruments to AS pax? Literally ANY flight on AA out of SEA or PDX > 500 miles. "Great, here's a complimentary upgrade most of the AS customer base can't actually use unless it's some random PHX-LGB or DFW-OKC flight". Meanwhile AA pax would be on the list for transcons...

I suspect it's more likely there's no F upgrades, just Premium Class and Main Cabin Extra.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 2:34 pm
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Does AA still have SWU's? I'll take a couple of them

Agree with the second post by jrl767. Welcome to be proven wrong.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by eddiehuang97 View Post
I don't think you should expect a tighter relationship between AS/AA beyond a oneworld partnership + codeshare agreement.
I think one of the major questions is what kind of codeshare agreement. For example, it used to be (before AA entered the market) that you could get AA*/AS flights on routes like LAX-SEA for competitive fares; the AA code would occasionally even be cheaper than the AS code on the AS metal flight. Now AA I believe won't sell you an AA*/AS at all without an AA-operated segment, and even on flights serving markets that neither carrier serves alone (eg EAT/YLW-SEA-CLT, or EAT/YLW-SEA-ORD-MSN, for two that I've priced out a lot recently and found it basically can't be done), codeshare flights are exorbitantly expensive. So AS simply being in oneworld doesn't tell us everything. The question is will they actually want customers to use each other's flights when it makes sense and thus price codeshares competitively, or will they continue to make it quite difficult to actually benefit from their cooperation? This kind of marketing that is a bit independent of simply meeting the minimum they're required to because both airlines are in oneworld makes me cautiously optimistic.

And of course the SEA-BLR flight goes well beyond normal alliance partner codesharing; that's route planning that is almost entirely dependent on having a partner with a SEA hub.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
I think one of the major questions is what kind of codeshare agreement. For example, it used to be (before AA entered the market) that you could get AA*/AS flights on routes like LAX-SEA for competitive fares; the AA code would occasionally even be cheaper than the AS code on the AS metal flight.
Correct, I used to do a bunch of LAS-LAX-SEA flying when AA credited at 100% and the codeshare price on alaskaair.com was often reasonable, AA on the short segment, AS on the long one (often with upgrade). You basically turned a 866 mile flight into a 1454 one with a reasonable connection. This was pmVX so an all-AS trip wasn't an option.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
I think one of the major questions is what kind of codeshare agreement. For example, it used to be (before AA entered the market) that you could get AA*/AS flights on routes like LAX-SEA for competitive fares; the AA code would occasionally even be cheaper than the AS code on the AS metal flight. Now AA I believe won't sell you an AA*/AS at all without an AA-operated segment, and even on flights serving markets that neither carrier serves alone (eg EAT/YLW-SEA-CLT, or EAT/YLW-SEA-ORD-MSN, for two that I've priced out a lot recently and found it basically can't be done), codeshare flights are exorbitantly expensive. So AS simply being in oneworld doesn't tell us everything. The question is will they actually want customers to use each other's flights when it makes sense and thus price codeshares competitively, or will they continue to make it quite difficult to actually benefit from their cooperation? This kind of marketing that is a bit independent of simply meeting the minimum they're required to because both airlines are in oneworld makes me cautiously optimistic.

And of course the SEA-BLR flight goes well beyond normal alliance partner codesharing; that's route planning that is almost entirely dependent on having a partner with a SEA hub.
True, there are alliance members and then there are BFF's within alliances. Can't speak for OW, but there's no denying that at Star and Sky there are metal neutral JV's within the alliances which are priced by either operator at the same price and also placed in their flight search at equal importance to their own metal flight:
United + AC
United + Lufthansa (Including sub.)
United + ANA

Delta + AF/KLM
Delta + VS
Delta + KE

For AA to start flights to London and India using their own metal, I think they would need some sort of BFF within an alliance thing going for AA to start such flights out of one of their non-hub/focus city such as SEA. Maybe AA's Asia strategy could be better if they had a hub in Seattle which was being fed by Alaska. Essentially do what Delta is doing but leverage Alaska's dominance at SEA.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
That doesn't make sense, the last two tiers of AA (Platinum, Gold) have to pay for upgrades for flights > 500 miles using instruments (500 milers, I know an AA EXP doesn't have to deal with those ). Is AA going to issue instruments to AS pax? Literally ANY flight on AA out of SEA or PDX > 500 miles. "Great, here's a complimentary upgrade most of the AS customer base can't actually use unless it's some random PHX-LGB or DFW-OKC flight". Meanwhile AA pax would be on the list for transcons...

I suspect it's more likely there's no F upgrades, just Premium Class and Main Cabin Extra.
AA could in principle sell 500 mile upgrades to AS elites just like they already do to AA elites (although when I was last an AA elite, a Platinum, I got upgraded rarely enough that they accumulated in my account far faster than I could use them. I still have 26 orphaned 500 mile upgrades.). But complimentary upgrades that can’t actually be used except on random routes are just fine from the airline’s perspective; DL gives them out to practically every hotel or car rental company elite IIRC and used to give them to AS elites and, before that and the merger, NW elites; CO and UA did before their merger too. A “promised” upgrade that can’t be used costs nothing!
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
A “promised” upgrade that can’t be used costs nothing!
The problem being if AA elites are cluttering the comp upgrade lists for transcons/midcons/west coast flights and AS elites can't get comp upgrades for flights over 500 miles (basically, that's intra-CA flights, LAX-LAS or SoCal-PHX from AS hubs, zero from SEA/PDX)... that's not really an equitable situation. Why does either airline need to give F upgrades to the other? Just do Premium Class/Main Cabin Extra/exit row for free. That'd be fine (and in line with the state things were up through 2016).

(I scored a random DL upgrade on MSP-PHL back in the day of AS elite reciprocity. Uh, OK? The difference is DL never had 500 milers.)

Also, given how elite-light SFO/LAX transcons/midcons are, there's a real risk AS would suck out AA elites who figure "free upgrade to recliner F on AS beats no upgrade to lie-flat or recliner F on AA". As such, you want to avoid that; so don't upgrade past MCE/PC, problem solved (and AS elites end up just like OW elites).

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Feb 14, 20 at 6:04 pm
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Old Feb 14, 20, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
The problem being if AA elites are cluttering the comp upgrade lists for transcons/midcons/west coast flights and AS elites can't get comp upgrades for flights over 500 miles (basically, that's intra-CA flights, LAX-LAS or SoCal-PHX from AS hubs, zero from SEA/PDX)... that's not really an equitable situation. Why does either airline need to give F upgrades to the other? Just do Premium Class/Main Cabin Extra/exit row for free. That'd be fine (and in line with the state things were up through 2016).

(I scored a random DL upgrade on MSP-PHL back in the day of AS elite reciprocity. Uh, OK? The difference is DL never had 500 milers.)

Also, given how elite-light SFO/LAX transcons/midcons are, there's a real risk AS would suck out AA elites who figure "free upgrade to recliner F on AS beats no upgrade to lie-flat or recliner F on AA". As such, you want to avoid that; so don't upgrade past MCE/PC, problem solved (and AS elites end up just like OW elites).
The way it worked with AS/DL was all DL elites were after all AS elites. So an AS MVP gets upgraded before a DL Diamond. Can’t imagine it would be any different, so an AA elite wouldn’t take a upgrade away from an AS elite (assuming they appropriately hold back space for last minute purchases and changes as necessary). But I also agree that this isn’t all that likely and isn’t necessary.

We used to do fairly well on upgrades from MSN-MSP on NW/DL (traveling on non-Epic days!) when my partner was an AS MVP (and my status was with AA). It wasn’t uncommon for her to get upgraded (MVPs didn’t get companion upgrades) and have an empty seat next to her; several times a flight attendant came back to me in coach after takeoff and said “Mr. [spouse’s surname], would you like to come up front?” I learned to be happy to be addressed by her surname!
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Old Feb 14, 20, 7:22 pm
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What does elite status reciprocity mean??
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Old Feb 14, 20, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Xrayman View Post
What does elite status reciprocity mean??
Airlines reciprocally recognizing some or all elite benefits. Before their relationship dissolved a couple years ago, AA and AS recognized each other’s elites for waived checked bag fees, coach priority seating, and priority boarding purposes. All of those will be automatic with oneworld membership; we don’t know if there will be additional reciprocal benefits.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
True, there are alliance members and then there are BFF's within alliances. Can't speak for OW, but there's no denying that at Star and Sky there are metal neutral JV's within the alliances which are priced by either operator at the same price and also placed in their flight search at equal importance to their own metal flight:
United + AC
United + Lufthansa (Including sub.)
United + ANA

Delta + AF/KLM
Delta + VS
Delta + KE

For AA to start flights to London and India using their own metal, I think they would need some sort of BFF within an alliance thing going for AA to start such flights out of one of their non-hub/focus city such as SEA. Maybe AA's Asia strategy could be better if they had a hub in Seattle which was being fed by Alaska. Essentially do what Delta is doing but leverage Alaska's dominance at SEA.
Virgin Atlantic isn't actually in SkyTeam, they're just 49% owned by Delta.
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