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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Awards Fails Frequent Flyers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Awards Fails Frequent Flyers

Old Jan 13, 18, 2:06 pm
  #1  
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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Awards Fails Frequent Flyers

A pretty well written blog post that sums up how I currently feel about Alaska, and why I am now a Delta Diamond Medallion.

I have no relationship with this writer or blog, I just honestly feel like it is a perfect summary of why I am moving on past Alaska after years of status at 75K.

Alaska really has failed to serve those of us in the midwest, which the Delta and American partnership gave me those flights I needed to move about the country.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 2:31 pm
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I'm PDX based rather than Mid-west based so take this with a grain of salt, but any frequent flyer program that still maintains a traditional mileage rather than revenue-based frequent flyer program is automatically going to be one of my top choices. There is no way I'm going to spend double the $$ just to earn the same entry-level status on UA, DL, or AA. As for mileage redemptions, I've actually had found AS awards to be a relatively good deal if you know where to look....especially for short haul flights....as an example, I just booked DEN-SEA-PDX (2 month stopover)-BOI for 5K miles....try booking that on any other airline.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 2:46 pm
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If you're in the Midwest, MileagePlan isn't for you. It's for people up and down the west coast.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 3:34 pm
  #4  
 
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Yeah, I'm not buying it.
I feel similar disappointment (and have written about it in other threads here at FT) at the loss of any valid domestic connecting partners.
But a person who lives outside of the coverage area of an airline really doesn't have a leg to stand on when they ..... about the loyalty program "failing them."
Exactly how would the loyalty program be targeted at such a person in the first place?
You know, I live in Alaska, but I think I'm going to write a post about how Lufthansa's Miles and More has FAILED ME!

In summary, if anyone feels that a mileage award program as generous as Alaska's continues to be has failed them, then, BY ALL MEANS, go fly someone else.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
If you're in the Midwest, 2018 MileagePlan isn't for you. It's for people up and down the west coast.
Fixed that for you. I feel that the before the AA changes the midwest was serviceable. The 2018 version of MP has become a West Coast centric program for the most part, as it should be as that is where AS has shifted its focus in the near term.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 4:11 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by mrapollinax View Post
Fixed that for you. I feel that the before the AA changes the midwest was serviceable. The 2018 version of MP has become a West Coast centric program for the most part, as it should be as that is where AS has shifted its focus in the near term.
Exactly my thoughts... I became an AS customer living on the west coast before moving to the midwest... 2018 MP is no longer interested in me as a customer.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 4:35 pm
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So are we to blame AS & AA directly, or the government (DOT?) for not allowing AS & AA to share post-merger? Or both?
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Old Jan 13, 18, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by ryandc99 View Post
Exactly my thoughts... I became an AS customer living on the west coast before moving to the midwest... 2018 MP is no longer interested in me as a customer.
At least you are realizing this at the beginning of the year and can either fly the airlines that are most convenient for your travel patterns or choose another FF program that better suits you. You moved, not AS so plan accordingly based upon the new reality.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
If you're in the Midwest, MileagePlan isn't for you. It's for people up and down the west coast.

Unfortunately, thatís inarguably true now. It wasnít as recently as last year; I was very happy using Mileage Plan when I was PHL based.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
So are we to blame AS & AA directly, or the government (DOT?) for not allowing AS & AA to share post-merger? Or both?
Neither. This is the nature of the business. Many shifted to DL after that changed, more shifted to AA after that change. AS is focusing on WC routes and will eventually start servicing more midwest destinations, but as of 2018 earning and maintaining status outside of the focus areas/routes will not be feasible. I like the program and the product and consider it for my MSP-SEA trips but outside of that route not much I can do really so I've moved on. No hard feelings, I enjoyed being MVPG and hope to be able to do so again in the future. Just wont be able to do it in 2018.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 7:19 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ryandc99 View Post
Exactly my thoughts... I became an AS customer living on the west coast before moving to the midwest... 2018 MP is no longer interested in me as a customer.
Unless you routinely fly to the West Coast, you are correct, Sir.

I used to be a SFO-based CO flyer before CO merged with UA and DL had a hub in LAX. The only way to go up and down the West Coast was on AS (SFO-LAX was served once a day, and AS hadn't served Hawaii yet). So basically there was no way in that program to make many popular destinations work. Oh, NW did have one poorly timed SFO-HNL flight.

That said, the bulk of my domestic flying was to the East Coast and to the Southeast, and CO had a lower top tier requirement (75K) than others (100K), so it was still doable.

It's unfortunate we lost AA and DL as domestic partners, but really it's your travel patterns that will dictate what works for you, and AS has made it clear with the lack of partners that if you're flying domestically, you should be on them.

As the article rightly points out, AS is the last carrier offering a distance-based program. I suspect AA has been paying AS quite a bit in earned miles because of this and wants to reduce this expense. I was targeted with a temporary AA status last year because of my AA flying (I was crediting AS, but I think they figured out who I was likely based on KTN and birthdate info) and proactively bumped up my AA account with temporary status to entice me to credit them. I don't think they liked the idea of AS being a surrogate program for its customers.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 8:29 pm
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Old Jan 13, 18, 8:59 pm
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One of the authorís complaints is you canít get two stopovers on an AS one-way award.
Oooookay.
Losing partners, OK, phantom space, sure, but seriously, ANY stopovers on a one way is pretty good.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Jan 13, 18 at 9:06 pm
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Old Jan 14, 18, 6:53 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
One of the authorís complaints is you canít get two stopovers on an AS one-way award.
Oooookay.
Losing partners, OK, phantom space, sure, but seriously, ANY stopovers on a one way is pretty good.
One doesn't get any stopovers on an AA or DL award. That's been the case for ~3 years with DL, and the better part of a decade with AA.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
One of the authorís complaints is you canít get two stopovers on an AS one-way award.
Oooookay.
Losing partners, OK, phantom space, sure, but seriously, ANY stopovers on a one way is pretty good.
I re-read that section - I think the complaint is that one cannot book a standalone award with AS miles between Australia and New Zealand; it's just poorly worded and makes it seem like he wants to add multiple stopovers. It's part of the usual complaint about mileage plan awards mostly originating or ending in the US.
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