Today, Alaska Airlines and Qantas announced an expanded partnership with immediate benefits for customers of both airlines.
The two carriers have long offered reciprocal frequent flyer mileage accrual. In December 2016, the airlines signaled their intention to collaborate more closely by significantly increasing earning rates for Business and First class fares.
As of next week, Qantas and Alaska will expand the scope of their code share agreement to encompass four additional Alaska routes from San Francisco, and between San Jose, CA and Los Angeles.
Effective immediately, the carriers are also offering reciprocal lounge access.
Alaska Lounge members and elite passengers receive access to Qantas lounges
The following passengers now receive access to all Qantas International Business Lounges (business class lounges) worldwide, as well as Qantas Club lounges (domestic lounges in Australia), when traveling a flight operated by Qantas:
- Alaska Club members (paid memberships.)
- Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold members.
- Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K members.
The benefit does not extend to Qantas International First Lounges (luxurious retreats for international First Class and top-elite oneworld passengers) and Qantas Domestic Business Lounges (a more exclusive version of Qantas Club lounges for domestic Business Class passengers.)
Qantas lounges vary in terms of size and amenities, but international locations typically offer a full hot buffet, a complimentary full bar, business amenities, and shower suites. Domestic lounges offer comfortable seating, alcoholic beverages, and a substantial snack selection. Several locations feature extras such as barista coffee with mobile ordering. Qantas is in the midst of a wave of renovations and club openings, with attractive new locations at Brisbane airport, Hong Kong, Singapore, Darwin, and Karratha. The airline is also building a—much delayed—flagship lounge at London Heathrow airport.
Qantas Club and elite passengers receive access to Alaska Lounges
The following passengers now receive access to Alaska Lounges when traveling on a flight operated by Alaska and connecting to or from a Qantas international flight:
- Qantas Club members (paid memberships.)
- Qantas Gold Frequent Flyers.
- Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyers.
- Qantas Platinum One Frequent Flyers.
The benefit applies only to connecting passengers arriving from or continuing on Qantas’ Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne routes, Los Angeles to Brisbane, and San Francisco to Sydney.
Alaska currently operates five lounges in Seattle (two locations), Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and Anchorage, AK, and is planning on opening new clubs at Seattle and New York JFK airports. The lounges offer essentials such as comfortable seating, snacks and salads, and complimentary house alcoholic drinks.
Alaska Airlines remains furiously independent—while the carrier acquired Virgin America in 2016, it does not belong to any airline alliance—but has built an impressive network of global partners over the years, with reciprocal mileage earning and redemption agreements with 18 major airlines. Today’s announcement marks another milestone, with immediate benefits for both Qantas and Alaska passengers.
Alaska Lounge membership already includes access to the vast network of American Airlines clubs when flying on American or Alaska, as well as access to select United Clubs and other partner lounges. The new agreement between Qantas and Alaska Airlines boosts the value of Alaska Lounge memberships, which currently retail for USD $450 for general members, $375 for MVPs, and $295 for Gold and 75k elites—a bargain compared to American Airlines Admirals Club memberships, which reach $550.
Qantas passengers will benefit from a streamlined travel experience when connecting to/from Alaska, as well as access to a handful of new lounges at major US airports.