Time to Switch to Alaska?

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Old Jan 17, 19, 11:55 am
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Time to Switch to Alaska?

I am a long-time Medallion Silver, occasional Medallion Gold person, traveling frequently along the SJC <--> SEA corridor along with a few flights per year to PDX, SFO, ZRH, FRA, & Shanghai. Because of large-scale changes to Delta's Skymiles partners, I am considering switching all my flights to Alaska and their Partners. I did not enjoy flying through Moscow; Delta's evening flights out of SJC are notoriously 2 or more hours late. My home base is SEA.

Thanks in advance for your insights and wisdom!
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Old Jan 17, 19, 12:34 pm
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I have zero clue what you mean by “large-scale changes” or why you would be connecting via Moscow for the cities you mentioned, but you should certainly consider switching if you aren’t happy. However, for the routes you mention, I would say that DL serves you as well or better than AS.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mitchwyle View Post
I am a long-time Medallion Silver, occasional Medallion Gold person, traveling frequently along the SJC <--> SEA corridor along with a few flights per year to PDX, SFO, ZRH, FRA, & Shanghai. Because of large-scale changes to Delta's Skymiles partners, I am considering switching all my flights to Alaska and their Partners. I did not enjoy flying through Moscow; Delta's evening flights out of SJC are notoriously 2 or more hours late. My home base is SEA.

Thanks in advance for your insights and wisdom!
If most of your flying is indeed along the West Coast, then AS would be a good option and AS is probably your top choice to the Bay Area from SEA (though DL is not a bad alternate with still frequent service to SFO and SJC). Do realize that for international (TPAC/TATL) on partners, AS status has few, if any, benefits where as DL status, especially if can achieve GM status, would have far more value, including when traveling on SkyTeam partners. All depends on your actual travel patterns.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
I have zero clue what you mean by “large-scale changes” or why you would be connecting via Moscow for the cities you mentioned, but you should certainly consider switching if you aren’t happy. However, for the routes you mention, I would say that DL serves you as well or better than AS.
My guess is OP is using Aeroflot, which often comes up as low bid using google flights. There are many reasons those flights are so much less - you get what you pay for. I am also lost as to what the large scale changes are. If anything, the most recent changes have been very positive. I do concur that with those travel patterns, DL is a better choice.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 3:52 pm
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CP is at a disadvantage compared to mainline AS (or even DL) flights. First, if the weather craps out, those planes get even more delayed and they seem to have more mechanical problems. My last flight with them was delayed almost 12 hours. Luckily, I was put on an AS flight instead.

So, if you are looking for reliability to SJC, I would go with AS. But, as others have mentioned, flying AS's partners on international routes does not get you the same benefits as you would with DL's partners (or UA and AA) either. But, as an FO, the benefits aren't really worth staying around for IMO.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:10 pm
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If you sometimes need to go to SFO, be aware that AS often diverts its flights to OAK. There's a thread on this in the AS forum.

I'm also confused why the OP would be routing through SVO unless it's a cost or award availability thing. It's so far out of the way from the west coast to either PVG or Western European airports such as FRA or ZRH. Maybe Moscow, Idaho?

However, OP is only a FO with DL, which suggests that these international trips aren't very frequent and moreover OP isn't getting SkyTeam ElitePlus benefits such as international lounge access. OTOH, I'm not aware of any changes regarding whether SkyTeam Elites get SkyPriority check in and security lines at the airports listed.

Switching to AS would presumably mean using CX to Asia. It's a good airline but generally not cheap unless one goes through YVR. Europe would probably mean AA or BA, and huge "fuel surcharges" on BA award tickets as well as bad BA aircraft and service combined with being forced to connect through LHR. However, IIRC AS still partners with AF/KLM, so those options would be open, but with fewer FF perks than the OP would get as a DL FO on these carriers.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
However, IIRC AS still partners with AF/KLM, so those options would be open, but with fewer FF perks than the OP would get as a DL FO on these carriers.
The AS partnership with AF/KL ended last April.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
However, IIRC AS still partners with AF/KLM, so those options would be open, but with fewer FF perks than the OP would get as a DL FO on these carriers.
Sadly AF/KLM is now not an AS partner (since April 2018)---->https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...rline-partners
AS have lost several partners DL, AF/KLM and AA is not a full partner.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Sadly AF/KLM is now not an AS partner (since April 2018)---->https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...rline-partners
AS have lost several partners DL, AF/KLM and AA is not a full partner.
AM as well. And probably KE very soon too.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 10:32 am
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I am Silver on Delta and MVP on Alaska - honestly the only reason I stay with AS is the credit card companion tickets. You cannot beat the price when flying to an AS destination. But with AS losing all it's great partners abroad we fly Delta to Europe using mostly AF out of YVR and that helps maintain our Silver status.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by ab2013 View Post


AM as well. And probably KE very soon too.
I don't know why you think KE will end its relationship with AS. DOT approval for the KE/DL joint venture prohibits an exclusive JV. A condition of South Korean government approval is that The joint venture will be required to maintain the current level of seats available on the routes servicing between Korea and the U.S. In particular, it must not reduce seats at current level on five routes - between Incheon and Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit, and Washington D.C.

Emphasis SEA.

https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2018&no=201910
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Old Jan 18, 19, 7:54 pm
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Because of the international flights, I think I'd be inclined to stay with DL. I'm surprised to hear about unreliable operations at SJC, that's my home airport and that has not been my experience.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:07 pm
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I dabbled with AS for a few years and found the grass wasn't greener at all; F upgrades were much harder to get, the front line agents had less flexibility to help with issues I encountered, and they lost most of the international partners I was interested in flying to Europe (AF, KL, AM) leaving a really motley collection of lousy leftovers (BA, FI, EI, OY). AS catering is also worse than Delta's, and they have terrible terminal/gate assignments on the east coast (with BOS being a particular offender). And no PDBs (well, they supposedly introduced them, but the flight attendants rarely bother...)

The one case I'd say it makes sense to switch is if you're commuting on the west coast and would use the elite cancellation/change benefits, which are very generous at the MVPG/75k level on paid tickets. That alone might be enough to tip the scales...
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:11 pm
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Unfortunately I doubt you have enough flying to really earn much status. And Alaska's status doesn't matter internationally, as in on their partners there is no benefit. The only benefit of using Alaska is you get more worthwhile miles.
If you can make it to Alaska MVP gold you get pretty decent benefits, that is the change fee waiver.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I don't know why you think KE will end its relationship with AS. DOT approval for the KE/DL joint venture prohibits an exclusive JV. A condition of South Korean government approval is that The joint venture will be required to maintain the current level of seats available on the routes servicing between Korea and the U.S. In particular, it must not reduce seats at current level on five routes - between Incheon and Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit, and Washington D.C.

Emphasis SEA.

https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2018&no=201910
I think KE will cut AS once either some contract term is fulfilled or they think they can operate 2 dailies SEA-ICN without AS feed. AF added SEA-CDG to complement DL's daily after cutting AS off last year, and they added frequency this year.
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