Alaska Airlines has announced that it is trimming the frequent-flyer benefits of its partnership with American Airlines, and will no longer credit travellers with Mileage Plan miles for domestic flights booked directly with American after January 1, 2018.
Some award redemption levels on American Airlines international flights will also be increasing, according to Alaska Airlines, and off-peak rewards pricing for Central America, South America, and Asia is being eliminated.
“On the other hand, some premium cabin award levels to Hawaii and within the U.S. will be reduced, providing better-than-ever value to members,” according to a post on the Alaska Airlines blog.
Alaska elite members will no longer get priority boarding, free bags, or preferred seating on American Airlines. “Remember that you can now receive priority check-in, boarding, and free bags on Virgin America on many of the same routes flown by American, with access to preferred seating and Main Cabin Select upgrades coming later this summer,” according to the blog post; the airline acquired Virgin America in 2016.
Travellers will continue to earn Mileage Plan miles on domestic American Airlines flights booked at the Alaska Airlines website as long as the itinerary has an “AS” flight number (indicating a code-shared flight) and not an “AA” prefix. All American Airlines international flights will continue to earn miles (even though these, too, start with an AA prefix), and “elite members will continue to earn elite-qualifying miles and elite bonus miles” on qualifying domestic and international flights with American, according to Alaska Airlines. International flights on American Airlines can be booked at the American website.
Mileage Plan members will still be able to redeem miles for American flights, and Alaska Lounge members will continue to get access to American’s Admirals Club lounges.