Alaska and American Airlines cut their partnership

Redemptions will end in February of next year

Are you a frequent-flier of Alaska, and do you fly American Airlines internationally? If so, you are in for a big surprise.

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines have decided to cut their partnership effective March 1, 2020.

What are the main changes affecting passengers?

Well, the changes are big. However, there are still some benefits if you still travel with American Airlines within the Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard. However, Alaska’s international benefits are severely cut. Alaska might need to rethink their strategy.

Here are the details of the changes as a result of the Alaska-American partnership cut

  • Passengers will no longer earn mileage plan miles on American Airlines on international flights.
  • Passengers will no longer be able to use their mileage plan miles for redemption or to utilize American Airlines for domestic or international mileage award flights. This is because of Alaska’s merger with Virgin America. Alaska has been expanding its network, but they don’t have the reach yet to go after the Midwest and the eastern seaboard market.
  • Mileage redemption on Alaska Airlines using a bandage mouse is ending effectively on February 29, 2020.
  • All award travel must be booked and ticketed by the date aforementioned.  
  • Travel is valid for a year after the ticketing date and must be flown no later than February 28th, 2021.
  • Changes to tickets would not be allowed after February 29th, 2020.

Benefits remaining

Even though these are important benefits, the other benefits that are staying in place after February 29, 2020, include:

  • Passengers will continue to earn one mile for every mile flown on domestic American Airlines flights operating with an Alaska Airlines co-share. This instead of two destinations required to the Midwest and the Eastern United States and Canada.
  • Alaska Lounge members still have access to over 50 Admirals Club lounges worldwide when flying on Alaska-American Airlines flights.
  • You will still earn AAdvantage miles when flying on an eligible American Airlines marketed flight operated by Alaska Airlines.

The list of what is staying versus what is going is absurdly lopsided to the benefits.

However, the interline agreement with American Airlines is still worthwhile to use if passengers from the Northwest of the United States fly to either the Midwest or the Eastern Seaboard regularly.

Are you using American Airlines to fly internationally?

If you use American Airlines to fly internationally then the mileage redemption agreement cut is a bummer.

Solar eclipse filmed onboard Alaska Airlines. Video: Alaska Airlines/YouTube.

Your opinion?

What do you think about the Alaska-American decision to cut their partnership? Will that affect how you fly? We’d like to hear from you. You can send your comments here.

Featured Image: CaptainJetson.com.

Alex Martinez Rivera is the Senior Airline and Aviation Correspondent for Captain Jetson. Have you read his popular reporting on IAG Acquiring Air Europa For US$1.1 Billion?

Air Europa airplane cabin
Air Europa airplane cabin. Photo: Air Europa.
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