Alaska Airlines purchased Virgin America last year. They have been in the process of merging ever since. Virgin America had a very different set of partners than did Alaska. With the merger closing, most of what was Virgin America would be lost. Alaska even went on to say that they would phase out Virgin’s Airbus fleet for an all-Boeing fleet. Most of the partnerships that Virgin America had are expected to be lost. However, there is one exception so far.
Alaska Airlines Partners With Singapore Airlines
Virgin America used to partner with Singapore AIrlines. They would codeshare on flights out of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airlines also had a frequent flyer program partnership. Members of each airline’s loyalty programs could redeem miles on the other airline. Virgin America had reasonable redemptions on Singapore (albeit with high fuel surcharges).
It seems that Alaska noticed the value proposition in that relationship and has further partnered with Singapore. The two airlines will codeshare and revive the frequent flyer partnership. The expanded codeshare will now cover flights operated by Alaska from their hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Alaska is the leading airline in the West Coast, even more so in California. With the new partnership, Alaska fliers will have access to Singapore Airlines’ Asia network, as well as the ability to earn and redeem miles on them.
Why This Partnership Can Be Very Lucrative
I am very excited for this partnership. As soon as Alaska and Singapore release their reciprocal award charts, I am hoping to see reasonable redemption on SQ. Alaska offers some of the best redemptions with its partners, except with Emirates. Alaska Airlines has some of the most complete set of partners. They used to partner with Delta, until Delta expanded in Seattle. The airline still partners with American in the US, although limitedly. Alaska has partners in all major alliances, while they don’t participate in one. Their Mileage Plan FFP is the most valuable in the US. It still offers miles based on distance, and not spending. I look forward to being able to use my Mileage Plan miles on Singapore. The key now is to find the very limited award availability.
As I mentioned, this partnership can be very lucrative for everyone involved. This will give further access to Asia for Alaska passengers. Singapore Airlines’ customers will be able to have more connections in the US. If this partnership evolves positively, we may even see SQ flying to Seattle. That is a speculation, but not as far fected with the arrival of more fuel efficient aircraft. For customers this is a win-win. They will have greater ability to redeem their miles, as well as earn them. I can’t wait for the exact details to be announced. For now, pending government approval, the partnership will start September 27. Counting down the days.
What do you think? What do you make of this partnership? Will it be a good fit for both of them? Do you think that Mileage Plan redemptions will be reasonable? Let us know!
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H/T: USA Today
Images from Wikimedia.