Alaska Mileage Plan announced a deeper partnership with American Airlines this morning. Mileage Plan members have had access to American’s expanded network of soon to be former US Airways flights since the schedule change that converted all US Airways flights to American Airlines flights just over 2 weeks ago.
According to Alaska Airlines, “members of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan now have access to book nearly 3,000 more daily flights on partner American Airlines following the most recent phase of the airline’s reservation system migration.” When the systems merge on October 17, “Mileage Plan members will enjoy seamless access to the world’s largest airline and have even more options to earn and redeem miles for award travel.”
There is more. Effective August 15, Alaska’s Board Room members will have access to all 54 of American’s Admirals Clubs, greatly expanding the partner lounge partnership between the two airlines. Admirals Club members can already access Alaska Board Rooms in four locations. This is a key benefit which I enjoyed in Portland over the July 4th holiday by virtue of my Admirals Club membership. Elite members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan also receive benefits on American which include priority security, priority check-in and boarding, complimentary or discounted access to Main Cabin Extra seats depending on elite level, as well as baggage waivers. The airlines are exploring opportunities to expand their codeshare relationship later this year.
MJ’s Take as Someone Who Lives in Atlanta
All in all, not an unexpected development that Alaska and American are enhancing their partnership. I once asked if Mileage Plan was the “silver widget” everyone always wanted? More recently I’ve pondered the idea of status matching to Alaska as a Delta flier. Depending on where you live, that is not a bad idea. Frankly, I’d be lying if I told you I had not seriously considered my options. On the other hand, I live in Atlanta and half my flying is business. Is some of that going to Southwest? Yes. Is all of it? No. Will what remains of the Alaska – Delta partnership last for the long term? Frankly, I doubt it. Yes, I renewed my Delta Platinum Amex, even if I haven’t spent anything on it this year. Will I status match to Alaska just to take what I can get while I can? Stay tuned.
-MJ, August 5, 2015