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Alaska Airlines Breaks Mileage Plan Ties With American

Alaska Airlines Breaks Mileage Plan Ties With American
Joe Cortez

The day many frequent flyers have been dreading has finally come: Starting March 1, 2020, Alaska Airlines is cutting most of their mileage program ties with American Airlines. As part of the new agreement, flyers will no longer be able to use their Alaska Mileage Plan miles for American Airlines flights, nor will they be able to earn Mileage Plan miles on international American Airlines flights.

Alaska Airlines will put an end to its longstanding agreement with American Airlines, signaling the next stage in the Seattle-based carrier’s growth plans. In an e-mail sent today to Mileage Plan members, the airline announced the effective end of their marketing agreement with the Fort Worth-based legacy airline.

Starting March 1, 2020, Mileage Plan miles will no longer be used for flights aboard American Airlines. Conversely, flyers will also no longer be able to use American Airlines’ AAdvantage miles for flights aboard Alaska Airlines. Finally, flyers aboard international American Airlines flights will no longer be able to credit their miles to Alaska Mileage Plan.

“We are now the fifth-largest airline in the United States, with 1,350 daily flights to 115 destinations,” the airline writes in their e-mail to customers. “However, with growth comes change.”

Despite the major changes, some mutual benefits will remain the same. Flyers can still use Alaska Mileage Plan miles on select American flights, while Alaska Lounge members can still visit American Admirals Club lounges when flying on American.

On the FlyerTalk forums, members are reacting negatively to the changes. After the addition of dynamic award pricing for American flights, Alaska Mileage Plan miles represented a flat-rate plan to travel aboard American at a low price. Moreover, international flyers say this could change their entire strategy around for earning and using frequent flyer miles.

“Well this isn’t exactly unexpected,” FlyerTalker jsguyrus writes on the forums. “Glad we get to keep Admirals club access. I think you will also see a drop in the number of [Alaska] elites who earn their status on [American] international flights.”

“With the club access I wonder if that will be cut once the agreement is up for renewal,” speculates JHake10. “That would be a pretty big blow if [Alaska] lost that.”

“The loss of domestic [American] earning and the loss of all Delta earning before that, the [Alaska Mileage Plan] program seems to be shrinking in its flexibility,” notes be_rettSEA. “Still great if you live and travel in [Alaska] territory, but beyond that? Some sweet spots for earning and redemption but hardly a true global network.”

What are your thoughts on the new agreement? Share your opinions on the FlyerTalk forums today.

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. CDKing

    October 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

    You have the title backwards. It should read American Airlines Breaks Mileage Plan Ties With Alaska

  2. laktonen

    October 2, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I welcome this news. I’m a loyal Alaska flyer and will never fly American after terrible service on that airline.

  3. edgewood49

    October 3, 2019 at 6:24 am

    I too am a long time AS flyer with over a mm and climbing ( no pun) I think we all were excited about the possible partnership when DL went down the toilet however that quickly turned to WTF. Award space in the upper class cabin was slim to none, and even coach was sparse at times so I think many of us never flew AA. I avoid AA and fly Delta or even UA when I have too, I just came home from a DL trip. Having said all that I have aways been a proponent of joining an “alliance” I say this because I travel international several times a year I do miss AF as a partner and BA is the AA of Briton.

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