Several weeks ago it was announced that Alaska Airlines would be joining the oneworld alliance, and as part of that they’re also strengthening ties with American Airlines once again.
As of April 1 that partnership was improved. This is an update to that post, as it’s now possible for AAdvantage members to earn elite qualifying miles on all Alaska flights, which (oddly) wasn’t possible with the initial chart that was published last week.
The Alaska & American partnership
While Alaska Airlines will be joining the oneworld alliance in the summer of 2021, in the short term the airline is strengthening ties with American Airlines.
Alaska and American have had a rocky relationship. The two airlines used to have a close partnership, though over the past couple of years the partnership has been devalued:
- In early 2018, the two airlines cut reciprocal mileage earning on domestic flights (with the exception of codeshares), as well as reciprocal elite benefits
- As of early 2020, the two airlines were supposed to cut all mileage earning, with the exception of codeshare flights
The two airlines reversed their decision to cut mileage earning as of early 2020, and as of April 1 the airlines introduced improved mileage earning. This is part of an overall effort of the two airlines working together, clearly to try and fight Delta.
Alaska & American improve reciprocal mileage earning
Prior to April 1, Alaska and American only allowed reciprocal mileage earning on international flights and on codeshare flights, while reciprocal mileage earning on most domestic flights wasn’t possible.
- Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn elite qualifying and redeemable miles for travel on all American Airlines flights, including international and domestic ones
- American AAdvantage members can earn elite qualifying and redeemable miles for travel on all Alaska Airlines flights, including international and domestic ones
For example, here’s the new American AAdvantage chart for travel on Alaska:
Then here’s the new Alaska Mileage Plan chart for travel on American:
As hinted at above, when the charts were published on April 1, the American AAdvantage chart only showed the ability to earn redeemable miles on Alaska Airlines. That has now been updated, and you can earn both elite qualifying miles (EQMs) and elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) for those flights as well.
AAdvantage miles can be earned on flights that are marketed and operated by Alaska, as well as flights that are marketed by American and operated by Alaska.
It’s cool to see Alaska and American once again working more closely together. In particular, I’m happy to see full reciprocal elite qualifying mileage accrual.
I can’t wait to see this partnership develop further, as Alaska also joins oneworld in just over a year.