American & Alaska Airlines Cut Back Loyalty Ties

October 2, 2019

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines used to be strong partners in code sharing and loyalty, but the relationship between them has expanded. Starting March 1, 2020, you will no longer be able to redeem AAdvantage miles to book flights to Alaska, or you can spend miles to book American Airlines.

These changes occur in a continuous erosion relationship between the two operators. In 2017, Alaska and American Airlines removed the ability to allow frequent flyers to earn miles on each other’s flights (although it is still possible and still possible to earn miles in code sharing). These plans are now even more dysfunctional due to restrictions on the way Alaska and US mileage partners spend their miles.

In the past few years, Alaska has undergone many changes to help drive these changes. After the Seattle-based company successfully completed the acquisition of West Coast competitor Virgin America in 2016, the combined airlines have greater coverage and provide passengers with a more powerful route network, thereby reducing The needs of partner flights.

Alaska has also expanded its loyalty programs in other industries, thereby reducing its reliance on traditional American airlines. For example, the airline established a new partnership with Israel’s flagship airline El Al in May.

For American Airlines, the imminent erosion is as good as its frequent flyers, indicating that it will now provide more seats for AAdvantage frequent flyers. The carrier said in an e-mailed statement: “AAdvantage members rely on American Airlines’ award travel, and we are committed to providing a network that enables them to reach their destination. We regularly review our airline partners and programs and look at them. At this point, we are changing our partnership with Alaska Airlines.”

Indeed, after the ability of AAdvantage and Mileage Plan members to book a cooperative flight on March 1st, they may find more reward seats on their home carrier. However, if there is a lack of partners to book unique flights, especially for American passengers who want to book from Seattle or Alaska passengers who rely on the powerful Latin American network of the United States, this cooperation will certainly be stinging.