In covering Alaska Airlines introducing award redemptions on oneworld partner Qatar Airways, I learned a few interesting things about the program’s plan for bringing on additional redemption.
- Previously we expected to see redemption on new oneworld airline partners ‘late in 2021.’ They do not expect to complete this process until next year.
- Each partner does seem to be getting its own award chart, as Mileage Plan has had with each of their pre-existing partners. That means the transition to oneworld doesn’t mean having to revisit all of their current award pricing. (It doesn’t effectively force a devaluation of great value awards on partners like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.)
- There will also be the “ability to mix and match multiple partners on a single award.” However that separate award chart and functionality doesn’t have a “confirmed timeline” yet.
The takeaway here is that the IT work is running a bit slower, perhaps, than some expected. But most importantly current award charts aren’t being replaced by a brand new pan-oneworld partner chart. Instead the current Mileage Plan structure seems to remain in place, with the future addition of a multi-partner award.