Here’s some terrible news that frequent flyers around the world will find disappointing. American Airlines & Alaska Airlines have announced that starting March 1st, 2020 significant cuts to their partnership will be made.
Per Alaska’s website:
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
American Airlines is claiming that this is being done to free up award space for their own members. As many know, it can be borderline impossible to redeem American miles on American planes and American is suggesting that it’s because Alaska members are redeeming more miles than American members. However, it is difficult to know if dissolving the partnership will actually aid the situation.
We began to see changes in this partnership around the time that Alaska and Virgin America merged (2016). Before the merger, the route networks of Alaska and American largely complemented one another. However, American has expanded their presence on the West Coast, particularly out of their LAX hub and now they have a lot of overlap with American’s route network.
So they’ve come to the conclusion that:
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will no longer be able to redeem Mileage Plan miles on American Airlines domestic or international flights.
- American Airlines AAdvantage members will no longer be able to redeem AAdvantage miles on Alaska Airlines flights
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will no longer earn Mileage Plan miles on international American Airlines flights.
It’s disappointing to see the partnership between American and Alaska dissolving but this is the aviation industry and big changes are happening everyday.
While I understand this industry is under serious pressure to increase profit margins and the airlines are more competitive than in the past, this seems like a bad move for both airlines. Both airlines have lost airline partners recently and that has created some major shakeups lately. Neither Alaska nor American can afford to lose any more airline partners.
What do you think about the partnership dissolving?