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American Reduces Mileage Earning on Alaska Before Oneworld Membership Expansion

American and Alaska Tails

Flyers hoping to earn American AAdvantage miles aboard Alaska Airlines may be disappointed by the Fort Worth-based airline’s latest move. Starting on the day Alaska becomes a full member of Oneworld, economy flyers will only earn full base miles on full-fare economy and first class tickets.

Days ahead of Alaska Airline’s membership into the Oneworld alliance, American Airlines is changing how flyers earn AAdvantage miles when flying on their new partner. The Fort Worth-based carrier quietly announced a new mileage earning chart when AAdvantage members fly Alaska, effective for all travel after March 31, 2021.

100-Percent Base Miles Only Offered for First Class and Full-Fare Economy Tickets

As it stands today, American flyers aboard Alaska will earn 25 percent base miles on basic economy tickets, between 50 and 75 percent base miles on discounted economy tickets and full miles on full-fare economy tickets. However, once Alaska joins the Oneworld Alliance, the fare buckets earning miles will be shifted around.

Chart courtesy: American Airlines

Under the new earnings chart, AAdvantage members will earn 25 percent base miles on G, O and X fare-bucket tickets. The X tier – usually reserved for basic economy tickets – will not earn any elite qualifying miles, elite qualifying dollars, or elite qualifying segments. Economy tickets in the G and O buckets will give credit for an elite qualifying segment, but will only earn half of the elite qualifying miles, while five percent of the ticket price will count towards elite qualifying dollar requirements.

Four economy buckets will only earn 50 percent base miles, but count full elite qualifying miles and segments: fare classes Q, N, S and V. Economy tickets in the K, M, and L fare class will also earn full elite qualifying miles and segments, but only earn 75 percent of the base miles. Only full-fare economy tickets will earn full base miles, elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying segments.

In the first class cabin, little changes for American flyers aboard Alaska. Flyers will still earn between 150 and 175 percent of their base miles, along with additional elite qualifying miles. As before, only 30 to 35 percent of the airfare will count towards the elite qualifying dollar requirements.

The move comes as American and Alaska prepare to align their loyalty programs to offer rewards to both flyers. Previously, Alaska announced how the Mileage Plan program would align with Oneworld, and what elite travelers could expect when they align with American.

American Continues to Make Moves with the AAdvantage Loyalty Program

The re-alignment is the latest action American is taking with AAdvantage, as the airline looks to leverage their program financially. Earlier in March, the carrier announced they would seek financing from their loyalty scheme, in order to pay back loans taken from the CARES Act.

8 Comments
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Flyinglotus March 15, 2021

Debating whether to concentrate on AA or Alaska elite status. Would you please consider writing an article for US based flyers?

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DMIND00 March 13, 2021

I just plain as an elite flyer with American not fly on Alaska Airlines. Since even if you do get points its not great. Just another way to complicate keeping up with the point system. What happened to to good old simplified days of earning points.

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edgewood49 March 13, 2021

BC Shelby but our upgrades were for ^$^&%$%^#

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Spanish March 12, 2021

Most importantly for Aadvantage members, C, D, and I fares will still have the 30% EQD multiplier for flight distance. At least anyone considering an EQD run will still have the discounted F sweetspot.

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Prof_Dr_G March 12, 2021

Just for the record. We no longer lay any attention to the "rewards" flim-flam.