Latest Hint That Alaska’s Partnership With Air France-KLM Is Ending Soon

I love the Alaska Mileage Plan program. Not only do they have a great elite program and continue to award miles based on distance flown rather than dollars spent, but they also have an incredible array of airline partners. I appreciate the unique partners they have, and that they continue to add partners as well.

However, unfortunately some of their partnerships have been discontinued or scaled back, largely through no fault of their own. For example, as of May 2017, Alaska and Delta completely cut ties (following Delta building up their Seattle hub), and as of January 2018, Alaska and American are scaling back their partnership, and Alaska and Aeromexico are discontinuing their partnership.

For a long time I’ve been predicting that Air France-KLM will cut ties with Alaska. I would hate to see this happen, though it seems inevitable. Delta has a joint venture with Air France-KLM, and Delta recently announced that they’re buying a 10% stake in the company. Similarly, Delta has a joint venture with Aeromexico, and shortly after that was announced we learned that they’d no longer partner with Alaska.

So while I hate to see it, all the signs are pointing towards this partnership ending. Late last year Alaska Mileage Plan increased their mileage earning on most partner airlines, though Air France-KLM was excluded.

Well, here’s the latest hint pointing at this partnership ending soon. Alaska just unveiled an ad called “Glocal,” which highlights their global partners:

Towards the end of the video it shows their global partners:

Notice any airlines missing? Something tells me that this isn’t a glitch, and that at this point it’s a matter of when, not if. As of now the Alaska Mileage Plan partner pages haven’t been updated, though if I had to guess I’d say something will be announced before the end of the year.

What do you think — will Alaska & Air France-KLM cut ties?

(Tip of the hat to Jma12)

Comments

  1. @Ben –

    It’s just a matter of time (once the Korean government approves the DL/KE joint venture) that Korean Airlines will also disappear from the partners ranks with Alaska Airlines.

  2. I won’t miss AF/KL. KL doesn’t have First Class and their Business Class is sad and the food sucks.
    AF won’t allow any awards on First Class unless you have status with them and the prices are outrageously expensive. And o ly Air France can award First Class seat.
    Alaska is better off without them.
    Korean air hopefully is next. Only roundtrip awards and no First Class awards from Alaska air

  3. No big loss as I haven’t seen any award space on AF through Mileage Plan in years. At least not out of LAX. Lord knows I’ve looked and looked and looked.

  4. I took advantage of a couple of cheap KLM business class fares that I helped me with my AS mileage status. KLM/AF biz is better than BA’s but only 125% more bonus miles where BA biz gives around 150% + 100% (not counting elite status bonus). End of the day, I’d still fly with BA as I get way more miles in return.

    As a Canadian living in the US, I’d love to have AC to become a partner.

  5. There are strong rumours that Aer Lingus are about to announce a partnership with Alaska after announcing their new flight to Seattle.

  6. I really don’t want this to happen. I have a lot of KLM business class flights next summer that I was planning on crediting to Alaska because that’s one of my main loyalty airlines and not stupid Delta SkyMiles 🙁

  7. @RD

    They usually have some grace period after the announcement (like what they did with Delta). As long as it is ticketed before the announcement date, it should be okay. Hopefully 🙂

  8. AF and KLM were gone years ago. It’s been at least three years since I have seen an award seat of any kind on AF and KLM on Alaska Mileage Plan redemptions. So I guess I won’t miss something that doesn’t exist.

  9. If that were the case then I expect Alaska is already looking into other partnerships in Europe… I hardly think Condor, Finnair and Iceland Air could fill the hole left by AF-KL.

  10. There’s really no awards that pop up for KL/AF. So no big loss. I would love to see Aer Lingus become a partner! I used AS miles to book a QF First; one of the best deals. I don’t like using BA with the fuel surcharge. Agree on Korean Air having to take a roundtrip. You used to be able to combine Delta on one segment and Korean Air. But that’s gone. The pickings are getting slim with AS partners. Finnair doesn’t pop up often, limited flights to U.S. Condor is not LH. Cathay F and J is excellent and good respectively, and available from Asia to Europe as well. LATAM is OK in their J 787 and the NA-SA mile price is decent. Icelandair J on a tight and narrow 757 is 55K. The J seat reclines only and while service is good, the J is really like a U.S. domestic transcon regular F. Japan Airlines in F is most excellent, while the JAL F cabin is like a rabbit warren and claustrophobic.

  11. I never really looked for AF/KL award space on Alaska until this fall, and we scored 2 biz class tickets on KL AMS-SLC and 1 biz class ticket on KL YYC-AMS for this summer.

    There also seemed to be plenty of AF award space on the new SEA-CDG flight when it was first announced.

  12. When one partner goes, I was hoping another would take their place. Seems like Alaska’s network is getting smaller, not bigger, at least in terms of global reach.

    If Alaska was smart, they would partner up with Lufthansa or Air Lingus (now that Air Lingus flies directly from Dublin to Seattle).

  13. I got a one way on AF about four years ago in J out of SFO as an award ticket. Now looking to get back from Europe next fall and am only seeing BA/FI with fuel surcharges and AA in Y. Makes two CX one way awards look to be a nicer way home.

    I noticed that the DL/KE joint venture seemed to exclude codeshares out of SEA but I could be wrong. I’d hate to lose KE, they’re quite nice, even in the back.

  14. If Alaska cuts ties with D̶e̶l̶t̶a̶T̶e̶a̶m̶ SkyTeam, I would love to see them expand partnerships with other Star Alliance airlines beyond Singapore Airlines. There was that rumor of a few weeks back about Thai wanting to begin flights to Seattle. Additionally, if they cut ties with Korean Air as many have speculated here, they could jump over to Asiana, which would probably be mutually beneficial for both airlines as well as me as a diamond member.

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