Both Alaska Airlines and American Airlines passengers can now enjoy greater reciprocal mileage earning opportunities. Prior to 1st April, reciprocal mileage earning arrangement was limited to domestic flights. This arrangement has now been expanded to cover both domestic and international flights. Here are the details:
Earnings for Alaska Mileage Plan Members
|Alaska Mileage Plan Members||Redeemable Miles||Elite Qualifying Miles|
|American Airlines marketed and operated flights||Domestic: Yes|
Earnings for AAdvantage Members
|AAdvantage Members||Redeemable Miles||Elite Qualifying Miles|
|Alaska Airlines marketed and operated flights||Domestic: Yes |
At the point of writing, AAdvantage members cannot earn elite qualifying miles on Alaska Airlines flights; unless it is marketed by American Airlines (booked as an AA flight number).
Recap: Roller Coaster Relationship Between Alaska Airlines and American Airlines
Back in Dec 2016 the relationship between Alaska Airlines and American Airlines turned sour, when Alaska Airlines took over Virgin America. There were many overlapping routes between Virgin America and American Airlines. However, things turned the other way round last year when both airlines face the same enemy.
Jan 2018: American Airlines and Alaska Airlines cut reciprocal mileage earning and elite benefits on domestic flights.
Oct 2019: Cessation of all reciprocal mileage earnings from March 2020.
Feb 2020: Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld alliance. Announcement of “West Coast International Alliance” between American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
Apr 2020: Full reciprocal mileage earning (both domestic and international flights).
It is believed that Delta was the main driver that pushed Alaska Airlines and American Airlines to work together again.
Firstly Alaska Airlines and Delta do not see eye to eye, as Delta has been using Seattle as a transpacific hub since 2014; this threatens Alaska’s survival as Delta feeds this transpacific hub with their domestic traffic.
Secondly American Airlines and Oneworld Alliance were forced to cut ties with LATAM, when Delta purchased a 20% stake in late 2019.
On A Side Note: American Airlines Now Selling Miles At The Lowest Cost
American Airlines is now selling their miles at 1.6 US cent per mile – the lowest cost in years. The previous price in past promotions was set between 1.78 to 2.03 US cent per mile.
Although now is not the time for non-essential travel, we can satisfy our itch for holidays by planning ahead. Here are some great uses of Aadvantage miles:
|Route (One Way)||Cabin Class||Operating Airlines||If Redeem With Miles|
(1.6 US cent/mile)
|US – Asia||Business Class||Cathay Pacific||70k miles ($1,120)|
|US – Middle East||Business Class||Qatar Airways||70k miles ($1,120)|
|Middle East – Asia||Business Class||Qatar Airways||40k miles ($640)|
|Europe – Middle East||First Class||Etihad||62.5k miles ($1,000)|