Alaska & American Improve Reciprocal Mileage Earning

Filed Under: Alaska, American

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:

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.

Now:

  • 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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments
  1. It’s nice to see Alaska & American work together in their efforts to Slap Delta in the face. Now if only AA would replace the 5 gallon buckets they call seats with real seats.

  2. There are for us long time AS flyers a foul taste left in our mouths from the old NWA, Delta and AA “partnerships” that were more one-sided. I personally think there is also a concern about how well this will work as long as Parker is at AA, I am one in that camp.

    As for award space it still sucks on AA internationally unless of course you want to fly coach. not even premium coach internationally, of course currently due to the virus outbreak a non issue. But before I was actively looking for flights to Italy or Paris, nothing.

    Time will tell I am just not convinced OW was the best option

  3. Would you start crediting AA flights to Alaska or are you taking a more case by case approach?

  4. So, I’m confused. For example, SEA-LAX is 954 miles. If I flew Alaska I would earn 954 Alaska Miles. If I fly American in class Q and credit to Alaska, I would get 25%…of what? 954 miles? Or is it still fare based?

  5. Please correct me if wrong, but looks like basic economy (B) on AA will not earn any AS miles?

  6. @Mark P Yes, it is distance based. So that would be 239 miles.

    The goal for them is for you to fly on whatever airline you are loyal to and fly on partners if that airline is not available, not to fly full time on another airline and credit it to an airline that you have not flown on.

  7. Today is also (supposed to be?) the official date for Royal Air Maroc to join oneworld, despite the current situation.

  8. Still think it’s possible AA could just merge with Alaska as a result of the massive hit the airline industry is taking. Can we really get through this crisis without any US airlines consolidating? Seems doubtful right? Also depends how much of the pie Alaska Airlines is getting from the government aid, but wouldn’t surprise me if it wan’t entirely equitable across US airlines.

  9. @FlyingWillNeverBeTheSameAgain got it right: Does this really matter? I don’t know much about Alaska miles, but AA miles are not what they once were. I no longer fly AA to get AA miles. If I happen to fly AA, of course, I get the miles. Otherwise, I use AA shopping to get AA miles because they are there for the taking and it costs me nothing to get them.

  10. Please please please…. no merger or acquisition of Alaska by American. AA is a lousy airline and the employees seem to really dislike the company. Alaska is the opposite. It seems like we’ll eventually be left with one large lousy airline in the US, and it would be a real tragedy for passengers.

  11. David, I agree although if something like that did happen I would hope that Alaska’s management gets a lot of representation in the new organization!

  12. David Offutt you’re not the only one has is fearful of a merger, before this crisis the general opinion is that the Justice Department would not have agreed to any more mergers at this point, having said that we really don’t know how things will look after this mess is over. Parker has to go, AA is a shell of its former self, having flown AA and DL Delta has it hands down over AA for service clean fresh planes. As a AS flyers ( mm) my stomach would churn if AS and DL merged. Anderson really messed that one up I was happy to see Anderson got fired from Amtrak.

    I will say AS has lost its “hometown” airline feel.

  13. I booked an AA flight before Alaska Airlines announced that it would join OneWorld alliance. How do I earn Alaska miles for that flight? Do I need to call an AA customer rep to add my Alaska number to the flight? I don’t see a way to add my Alaska number after purchasing the AA flight (and using my AA number for the flight).

    Thanks in advance.

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