AS and AA partnership changes 1 January 2018

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Old Jul 7, 17, 5:22 pm   -   Wikipost
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Wiki Link
Link to Official AS Blog Post

Major points from this thread and from missydarlin:

  • Effective Jan 1, 2018, domestic AA-marketed flights will not earn any Mileage Plan miles. AS-marketed, AA-operated codeshares will continue to earn AS miles at the AS earning rate (ie a minimum of one mile earned per mile flown). Domestic flights marketed by other partners (eg BA) and operated by AA will no longer earn AS miles. Post-Jan 1 flights booked prior to Jul 6, 2017 may be submitted for mileage credit.
  • International AA flights (including US-Canada and US-Mexico) will continue to earn AS miles. Domestic AA flights which connect to international flights will not earn miles. It will remain impossible to book international AA-operated flights through Alaska to get an AS codeshare or an AS-operated domestic feeder flight.
  • Reciprocal elite status benefits (waived checked bag fees, preferred/MCE seat assignments, priority boarding) between AA and AS go away Jan 1, 2018. Seat assignments made prior to Jan 1 for post-Jan 1 flights will remain.
  • The reciprocal lounge access arrangment between AA and AS will not change.
  • AA will remain a mileage redemption partner of AS with only relatively minor tweaks to the award chart (some increases, some decreases).

Link to share your feedback with Alaska Airlines:

https://www.alaskaair.com/feedback

Discussion in the American Airlines forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...an-2018-a.html
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Old Jul 10, 17, 8:39 am
  #316  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: La Jolla, Ca
Programs: AA 2MM LT PLT; AS MVP Gold; HHonors Diamond; IHG PLT
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Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
What exactly would AS be paying for in OW that they aren't now? Lounge access based on status?
milypan addressed this quite well in #308 :

"...The AS international network is useful for earning EQM and RDM, but it's hardly equivalent to *A/ST/OW. You don't get priority check-in, security, boarding, or bag handling with AS partners. You don't get an extra bag allowance. There is no priority handling for IRROPS. Lounge access is spotty at best..."
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Old Jul 10, 17, 8:43 am
  #317  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Their business model doesn't work without a slice of HVFs. Otherwise you're suddenly Sun Country, and you don't need an FF plan at all, because your target cohort is almost wholly price-driven.
Even Sun Country has worked this out. Since the model is almost entirely price driven they allow up to 10 people to pool mileage earnings. So family of 4 buying tickets on SY will be able to pool those miles together. Redemptions are another issue but at least they give a hook to price-minded leisure travelers with the mileage pool.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 10:03 am
  #318  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
milypan addressed this quite well in #308 :

"...The AS international network is useful for earning EQM and RDM, but it's hardly equivalent to *A/ST/OW. You don't get priority check-in, security, boarding, or bag handling with AS partners. You don't get an extra bag allowance. There is no priority handling for IRROPS. Lounge access is spotty at best..."
Those are things not provided by AS partners. You made the statement that AA sees AS not buying the cow but getting the milk for free. What is AS not paying for that they would as part of OneWorld?
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Old Jul 10, 17, 10:40 am
  #319  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
Those are things not provided by AS partners. You made the statement that AA sees AS not buying the cow but getting the milk for free. What is AS not paying for that they would as part of OneWorld?
As others have clearly defined in this thread, AS disproportionately benefits from the partnership with AA - particularly now that VX competes with some of AA's most lucrative transcon routes. I agree with the consensus that AA made the move, based on its inability to negotiate what it considers to be more appropriate terms.

As others have also defined in this thread, joining OW would provide MP members with full reciprocal benefits of all partners, including AA, rather than feeder opportunities to a long list of international carriers.

I find it hard to believe that Tilden expected to quickly lose both AA and DL partnerships due to the VX acquisition, broader expansion efforts, expect ALK management is scrambling to either salvage one of the deals, replace it with membership in a global alliance.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 10:44 am
  #320  
 
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Originally Posted by mrapollinax View Post
Even Sun Country has worked this out. Since the model is almost entirely price driven they allow up to 10 people to pool mileage earnings. So family of 4 buying tickets on SY will be able to pool those miles together. Redemptions are another issue but at least they give a hook to price-minded leisure travelers with the mileage pool.
I don't think Sun Country's model is entirely based on price. Sun Country is almost never the lowest price on nonstops out of MSP. Like AS they have a very devoted following.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 10:59 am
  #321  
 
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
As others have clearly defined in this thread, AS disproportionately benefits from the partnership with AA - particularly now that VX competes with some of AA's most lucrative transcon routes. I agree with the consensus that AA made the move, based on its inability to negotiate what it considers to be more appropriate terms.
I don't necessarily agree with the "consensus". I still believe we are dealing with the fallout from the AS/VX merger. This could well be part of AS's agreement with the government in order for approval to purchase VX. I have not seen evidence to the contrary.

The thing to remember is this is a tiny blip for AA (very, very small percentage of total travelers). It is a much bigger deal for AS, as many of AS travelers depended on the AA and DL agreements when traveling outside of AS's markets. Actually, for AS in SEA, it may mean some large defections to DL (who now is able to single-handedly satisfy most SEA travel needs).
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Old Jul 10, 17, 11:55 am
  #322  
 
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
I don't necessarily agree with the "consensus". I still believe we are dealing with the fallout from the AS/VX merger. This could well be part of AS's agreement with the government in order for approval to purchase VX. I have not seen evidence to the contrary.
You want proof of a negative? The government does not cone to secret anti trust agrements. The conditions were published, and did not include this; however the conditions that were included may have led AA and/or AS to decide that this was the best course of action.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:09 pm
  #323  
 
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
I don't necessarily agree with the "consensus". I still believe we are dealing with the fallout from the AS/VX merger. This could well be part of AS's agreement with the government in order for approval to purchase VX. I have not seen evidence to the contrary.

The thing to remember is this is a tiny blip for AA (very, very small percentage of total travelers). It is a much bigger deal for AS, as many of AS travelers depended on the AA and DL agreements when traveling outside of AS's markets. Actually, for AS in SEA, it may mean some large defections to DL (who now is able to single-handedly satisfy most SEA travel needs).
Very true other than for those who need to frequent Alaska (non ANC) and some of the second/third tier PNW markets DL is probably a better option Especially for those who have to go further East than DEN, AS offers limited options, x1-2 daily with no other connection options, isn't very attractive to many people traveling for business.

DL might only have the same 1-2x service non-stop from SEA to many Mid-west/East Cost cities, but they have dozens of other options through MSP/DTW/SLC/ATL/JFK.

Now don't get me wrong, I think it's a fool's errand for AS to start a Mid-West/East Coast hub at this point...maybe a few years down the road when they fully digest the VX acquisition.

AS needed AA far more than AA needed AS. Sure now AA is even weaker in the PNW, but none of the 3 legacy carriers are strong everywhere. UA is bad in the SE, and DL is bad in some pockets as opposed to a full geographic region (TX, IL especially)
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:16 pm
  #324  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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So would one argue that these changes make MVP Gold 75K (which I plan to earn for the first time this year) MORE valuable (less elites, more likely to be upgraded) - or less valuable with basically the loss of AA?
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:21 pm
  #325  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by Mauibaby2008 View Post
So would one argue that these changes make MVP Gold 75K (which I plan to earn for the first time this year) MORE valuable (less elites, more likely to be upgraded) - or less valuable with basically the loss of AA?
You may get more upgrades but if you rely on the AA network at all it's definitely a devaluation. Mileage Plan ain't what it was even 2 years ago...
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:39 pm
  #326  
 
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Originally Posted by Mauibaby2008 View Post
So would one argue that these changes make MVP Gold 75K (which I plan to earn for the first time this year) MORE valuable (less elites, more likely to be upgraded) - or less valuable with basically the loss of AA?
Since I fly purely on AS metal, I'm thinking more valuable.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:42 pm
  #327  
 
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Originally Posted by Aliquot View Post
You want proof of a negative? The government does not cone to secret anti trust agrements. The conditions were published, and did not include this; however the conditions that were included may have led AA and/or AS to decide that this was the best course of action.


Not sure why some people keep harping on this latest AS/AA move as part of the merger approval, it was NOT. The anti-trust agreement is PUBLIC, was available for public comment and available here:

https://www.justice.gov/atr/case-doc...15971/download


The final version was published in the Federal Register.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:45 pm
  #328  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
Very true other than for those who need to frequent Alaska (non ANC) and some of the second/third tier PNW markets DL is probably a better option. Especially for those who have to go further East than DEN, AS offers limited options, x1-2 daily with no other connection options, isn't very attractive to many people traveling for business.
This is me, although I'll wait to see how codesharing may change price-wise from the uncompetitive fares that AS currently sells when having to travel past an AS destination domestically. As I purchase all of my own tickets, I have to consider that as one of the factors in the equation. Flying to a secondary market in the SE predominantly, I can hope that at the least AS will still codeshare with AA to CLT as there is currently no AS option there.

I fully understand that in any business decision there will be winners and losers amongst existing customers. This time the loser will likely be me and people with travel patterns like mine, which I accept even while now having to consider DL (primarily) and AA (to some extent) for much of my travel. I hope that AS is making the correct business decision to grow and strengthen whilst still keeping the things that in many of our minds made them our carrier of choice. When I started working in my profession, my first job took me from SEA all over the PNW and Alaska, and AS was obviously the place to put my loyalty. Although my travel patterns have changed over the years, my personal experience with AS has made them my carrier of choice, and by extension their partners as necessary. AS will always win a tie with me, or even something close, but with their loyalty program seemingly becoming not nearly as useful to me I'll be looking at other options as well. I will always wish AS well, and, should things change either with them or with my own travel patterns, I'll happily come back.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:48 pm
  #329  
 
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What AS would give for the old TW to still be around. That STL hub would be a perfect fit for most of AS's new troubles.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 12:53 pm
  #330  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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This is a potentially huge blow for me, but this year I doubt it will matter. Previously I had the option to fly American or Delta and make use of their regional aircraft when I needed to get somewhere not serviced by Alaska directly. I've already re-qualified for Gold for this year, but I doubt I could hit Delta gold if I started flying with them tomorrow so my decision will probably come at the end of December. If you were in my shoes what would you do?


Current FF Programs:
United Gold: Previously had 1k for a few years and have Gold as a Marriott PP. I previously liked their program until they cut tail and ran out of SEA. The product itself is lackluster, but I never had a problem redeeming for flights and went to Asia many times on *A (ANA or United) and was treated quite well.

Delta: Status matched to platinum off of United but it lapsed a couple of years ago. I really like their product but their program is stingy especially after the devaluation. Porsche pickup in MSP was nice the couple of times I had tight connections, but I'd rather have more miles and be able to redeem at lower rates more frequently.

Alaska: Currently 75k and can probably keep it this year. I really like Alaska's product, but their lounges aren't worth paying for IMO. The FF program is really generous and the partner network is good. It's unfortunate that an Alaska FF has no status when traveling with partners, but I'm not too picky as long as I'm not in a middle seat. The virgin acquisition does very little for me, if anything.

My gut says to stay with Alaska and just fly United when I have to hit those smaller markets.
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