With Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America having just closed, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that some partnerships at Alaska may be changing, given how the “new Alaska” is competing in some markets that they hadn’t competed before. This change shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Alaska & Delta have just announced that they’re discontinuing their partnership as of May 1, 2017:
Effective May 1, 2017, Delta and Alaska will no longer have a codeshare agreement, and sales of flights under DL- and AS-coded flight numbers flown on Alaska and Delta aircraft respectively will cease. Additionally, customers of each airline will no longer be able to earn and redeem Delta miles or Mileage Plan miles on flights operated by the other carrier. The carriers will retain an interline agreement, allowing them to continue offering customers ticketing and baggage connectivity. Delta and Alaska today codeshare on only a small number of flights as Delta’s growth in Seattle has reduced the need for codeshare flying.
As you can see, they’re discontinuing their partnership full stop. They won’t codeshare, provide reciprocal benefits, or even let members earn and redeem miles for travel on the other airline. Alaska and Delta have been partners for years, even though they’ve been feuding as part of their “battle in Seattle.”
Members can continue to earn and redeem miles on both airlines for travel through April 30, 2017. Assuming travel was booked prior to December 19, 2016, members can continue to earn miles for travel May 1 through December 17, 2017. However, travel booked as of today for travel on May 1, 2017, or later, will no longer be eligible for mileage accrual.
As of May 1 the enhanced partnership will end, though, meaning that members won’t receive priority benefits when traveling on the other carrier, like priority boarding, space available upgrades, etc.
With Delta’s presence constantly increasing in Seattle, and with Virgin America competing head-to-head on many Delta routes, it’s no surprise that this partnership is ending.
One of the unique things about Alaska Mileage Plan has long been that they’ve partnered with both American and Delta, meaning that they were a great program to credit miles to if your travel was mixed between the two airlines. Going forward Alaska will continue to partner with a nice variety of airlines, including several in the oneworld alliance, SkyTeam alliance, and other independent airlines.
Are you surprised to see Alaska & Delta finally cut ties?