Alaska Airlines scales back miles partnership with American

Prior to the Oct. 2 announcement, American Airlines was Alaska’s last domestic mileage plan partner.

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Airlines and American Airlines will scale back their mileage plan partnership early next year.

Alaska Airlines mileage plan members will not be able to earn miles on American Airlines international flights beginning March 1, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.

Alaska Airlines passengers will also no longer be able to use miles for award travel on flights operated by Texas-based American Airlines, company officials said.

Alaska plan holders will still be able to earn mile-for-mile value on American flights with Alaska flight numbers to locations in the Midwest, the East Coast and parts of Canada, the airlines said.

Prior to the Oct. 2 announcement, American Airlines was Alaska’s last domestic mileage plan partner, meaning Alaska plan members will not have another major carrier on which to use miles.

Alaska now serves about 90% of the destinations connected with the American Airlines partnership, and the arrangement no longer benefits either airline the way it did before Alaska purchased its West Coast rival Virgin America in 2016, Alaska Airlines said.

Alaska’s domestic partnership situation is part of a natural evolution as airlines grow, said Steve Danishek, president of Seattle-based TMA Travel.

“The airlines will do better revenue-wise if they take all the mileage members and put them into their own planes because they don’t pay anything” to a partner airline, Danishek said.

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