Starting March 1, 2020, our partnership with American Airlines will change. American Airlines has been and continues to be a valued partner, and many of the benefits guests have come to enjoy will continue to be available.
Here are some of the most popular and frequent questions being asked:
Q: Why is the Alaska Airlines relationship with American Airlines changing?
A: We’re a really different airline than when we first kicked off our Mileage Plan partnership with American Airlines 20 years ago. Back then, we flew just 18.6 million passengers compared to the 46 million passengers we flew in 2018. We’re now the fifth largest airline in the United States and can now fly more people where they want to go when they want to go there. As we’ve grown and the industry has evolved, the structure of our partnership needed to evolve as well. Learn more about these changes.
Q: What does the change to Alaska’s relationship with American mean for Alaska Airlines customers?
A: The vast majority of our Mileage Plan members will not be impacted by the change. For those who earned or redeemed miles on American in the past, we still serve about 90% of those destinations ourselves or through our partners.
Q: How long can people earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles by flying on American Airlines flights?
A: What this means for Mileage Plan members is that if they’ve already booked a domestic flight on American Airlines, marketed by Alaska, they will continue to earn miles as usual. International flights on American Airlines booked before Oct. 2, 2019, are still eligible to earn Alaska miles by submitting a mileage credit request after your flight is completed. For flight booked on or after Oct. 2, 2019, travel must be completed by Feb. 29, 2020, to be eligible for earning Alaska miles.
Q: What about for customers interested in redeeming Mileage Plan miles for award travel on American?
A: Mileage Plan members can continue to redeem miles for award travel on American as long as the bookings occur before Feb. 29, 2020. However, it is important to note that after Feb. 29, 2020, Alaska will be unable to accommodate any customer-initiated changes to booked American award tickets, other than cancellations.
Q: If people want to continue booking through Alaska Airlines for travel on American flights, how long can they do that?
A: We will continue to have a code sharing agreement with American Airlines for select key destinations in the Midwest, eastern U.S. and Canada. These flights – with flight numbers starting with the code “AS”— can be purchased on the Alaska Airlines website.
Q: As an Alaska Lounge member, are my lounge benefits impacted?
A: There are no changes to our Lounge benefits with American. Alaska Lounge members will continue to be able to access Admirals Club lounges when flying on Alaska or American.
Q: Can you share more about access to markets around the world. Will Alaska Airlines customers continue to have broad access to key international destinations?
A: Yes. Thanks to our Global Partner network, customers will be able to seamlessly travel to more than 800 destinations worldwide through direct flights or connections at our Global Partners’ hubs.
Q: What does this mean for Alaska’s other Global Partners?
A: It continues to be business as usual with our other airline partners, including those who are in oneworld: British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL (Japan Airlines), LATAM and Qantas. Alaska Mileage Plan members may continue to earn and redeem Mileage Plan miles when flying on our Global Partners and those base miles will continue to count toward elite qualification. In many cases, we have had these partnerships in place for decades.
Q: Many airlines are moving to revenue-based rewards programs. Are you still committed to offering a mileage-based loyalty program?
A: At Alaska Airlines, we remain committed to rewarding our guests with a mile for a mile flown. While many other airlines have headed in a different direction and simply look at how much people spend, we’re focused on rewarding people across the board for how much they fly. We are proud to have been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for Best Airline Rewards Program for five consecutive years.