Alaska Airlines has just announced that they’ll be discontinuing their partnership with Icelandair as of June 1, 2013, The details are as follows:
Effective June 1, 2013, Icelandair will no longer be a Mileage Plan™ partner. Tickets purchased on or after June 1, 2013, will not earn Mileage Plan™ Miles. Tickets purchased on or before May 31, 2013, will continue to earn miles for travel through February 28, 2014.
Existing award travel, and award travel booked by May 31, 2013, will be honored for travel through February 28, 2014. Award travel on Icelandair cannot be booked or changed after May 31, 2013.
On the plus side this is about as gradual of a break up as I’ve seen. Tickets purchased through May 31, 2013 and for travel through February 28, 2014, are still eligible for mileage accrual. Similarly, you can continue to make award bookings through May 31 for travel through February of next year.
It’s pretty sad to see this partnership end, on both the earnings and redemption side. Alaska was one of Icelandair’s only “useful” partners for earning or redeeming miles, and I was hoping to make a trip to Iceland soon, and earning Alaska miles for it was the icing on the cake.
Similarly, while Icelandair doesn’t have a very good business class product (it’s more like domestic first class on a US airline), I’ve been tempted to book one of their 80,000 mile awards from the US to Europe via Iceland, with a stopover enroute.
I find it bizarre that this partnership is ending, given that Icelandair is actually launching Anchorage service in May. I assumed that would strengthen their relationship, given that Alaska could provide feeder traffic for them.
The only thing I can think of is that there was bad blood over the whole Icelandair/Alaska mileage redemption opportunity. Maybe Icelandair was miffed about how much they were having to pay Alaska for those seats, and didn’t see the value in having them as a partner anymore.
Now I’m finally tempted to put Iceland near the top of my travel list so I can still visit before May and earn (or burn) miles.
(Tip of the hat to Alex)