Earlier this year, Alaska Airlines ended its partnership with Delta. Today, the airline announced that its partnership with American Airlines would be changed dramatically beginning January 1, 2018. A great guide to the change in benefits can be found here.
If you regularly read Josh Trips, you know that I’ve been trying to status on Alaska Airlines this year based on the merger with Virgin America and the partnership with American Airlines. In fact, I am currently an American Airlines elite Gold member, and I was working to trade that for Alaska elite membership this year.
The most striking change, for me, is that you will no longer receive elite benefits when traveling on American Airlines if you are an Alaska Airlines elite member – something I relied on while going for status with Alaska.
Some other bad news? Alaska is devaluing the value of its award miles. See below for an updated chart:
Although some routes have the miles required dropping, most routes are going up (some, significantly).
I think it’s pretty shady for Alaska and American to be announcing this change in July, when over half the year has passed and customers have made flying decisions based on the partnership. I called Alaska to express my concern about this, and how I never would have flown Alaska (or, at least, would have credited those miles towards American) if I had known about this, and the customer service representative accused me of being “sneaky,” saying that’s never how they intended their elite program to be used. I found this comment to be pretty rude and offensive, and after a bunch of complaining, was credited with $75 miles towards a future flight.
I asked for help getting my Alaska flights this year credited to American instead, but was told it’s too late.
With this change, I am officially (and again) stopping my quest for status on Alaska and will end up without status on American next year as well.
Will the change in American and Alaska’s partnership effect you? Let me know in the comments!