Alaska & Aeromexico Cut Ties As Of January 1, 2018

One of the great things about Alaska Mileage Plan is how many unique airline partners they have, including airlines belonging to the major alliances, and also many independent airlines. They’re working hard to add more partners as well. For example, recently they’ve introduced partnerships with CondorFinnairIcelandair, and Singapore.


Once in a while they also discontinue or scale back the scope of partnerships. Alaska is a pretty agreeable airline, so I feel like partnership cuts are largely prompted by other airlines. 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.

We’ve now learned the next Alaska Mileage Plan partnership to end. Alaska and Aeromexico will be cutting ties as of January 1, 2018. Per Alaska’s website:

Our partnership with Aeromexico is ending on December 31st, 2017.

Starting January 1st, 2018, Aeromexico will no longer be a Mileage Plan partner. Please review the details below for Aeromexico mileage earning information.* You can rest assured that Alaska still has your travel needs to Mexico covered. With new service to Mexico City this fall, Alaska and Virgin America have the most nonstop flights from the West Coast to Mexico of any U.S. airline.

The good news is that previously booked travel will continue to earn miles beyond 2017, which is only fair.

The main benefit of Alaska’s partnership with Aeromexico was the ability to credit the miles from Aeromexico flights to Alaska. Aeromexico frequently has attractive business class fares, and Mileage Plan was a great place to credit those miles. Back in the day it was possible to redeem Alaska miles on Aeromexico, though for the past couple of years such redemptions haven’t been possible — as Alaska described it, “due to technical difficulties award travel on Aeromexico will be unavailable until further notice.”

Aeromexico-787

So, why are Alaska and Aeromexico cutting ties? While no reason is given, I think it’s safe to assume that Delta is behind this. Delta and Aeromexico recently introduced a joint venture for travel between the US and Mexico, and I’d be very surprised if Delta didn’t strong-arm Aeromexico into cutting ties with Alaska.

I’m actually a bit surprised that Delta hasn’t convinced Air France & KLM to cut ties with Alaska. That would be a real shame.

What do you make of Alaska & Aeromexico cutting ties?

Comments

  1. Aeromexico’a cheap biz class usually books under ‘I’ which doesn’t earn anything when crediting to AS so not a huge deal in my opinion. AF/KLM would be a pretty big loss though so let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  2. Well, Aslaska cannot have it both ways. If it wants to be an adult airline rather than a quirky regional carrier, then it’s probably going to lose some partners.

    But it could join One World. Right now Alaska earns miles on, say, the BA Club, but not tier points like the full OneWorld partners do.

  3. you can bet KE AF KL will the next chips to fall. DL loves working with random airlines outside of the alliance then force them to break ties with others doing the same. Hypocrites.

    Partisans claim how QR’s 10% investment into IAG won’t influence them whatsoever, yet DL and AA managed to exert much more influence into airlines that barely bought single-digit-percents worth of shares.

  4. I always assumed that the reason Delta runs SEA-AMS and SEA-CDG instead of KLM and Air France is to squeeze Alaska.

  5. @Martin = AS can’t join OneWorld, AA wouldn’t let it happen. I wish they could, though, because aside from poor service to England, specifically (BA), it already has ties with the best OneWorld partners (QF, CX).

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought that Alaska is a bit over-rated. The hard product sucks, the routes aren’t all that useful, crediting miles from AA doesn’t net you much (also a sucky product), and serious coverage issues over big hunks of the world make this a sub-par “alliance.” Loss of partners is an issue and I agree with everyone that Air France/KLM will be next, followed shortly thereafter by Korean once the Korean/Delta JV is finalized.

  7. Regarding Alaska, I think the hard F product could be better but the coach isn’t have bad (as far as coach is concered). The people and service are typically excellent.

    Delta tends to play rough ball, and since they’re invested in AF we would expect that one to go away as well.

  8. I’ve flown AS for 25 years, I still don’t understand why people think they are so exceptional. Hard and soft product is sometimes marginally better than other offerings on some routes, but they are often more expensive on most of the routes I fly (at least in F, not sure about economy). For transcons I can usually fly Delta in a flat bed, or for $150 to $300 more I can fly Alaska with 38 inch seat pitch, I don’t get it. They are the best option for short haul on the West Coast though, especially to smaller cities. Other than that, I don’t know why people think it’s so much better. They have a lot to do in the next few years, need to integrate Virgin America and they definitely need to update their First Class, by March they’ll have two competitors offering transcons with flat beds from Alaska’s primary hub, often for lower prices than Alaska currently charges.

  9. AS losing Aeromexico, meh

    Don’t even bring up losing KLM/Air France! That would be terrible. Even if it is hard to find award travel with them using AS miles, its a great partnership because of their products. Iceland and Condor will get you to Europe, but they don’t even come close on the experience.

    I still think a Jet Blue / Alaska merger makes the most sense to create a really strong (albeit quirky) contender to the big US 3.

  10. Well, as long as we’re just spitballing¹ here . . .

    Alaska (AS) is an airline I’ve flown infrequently at best (four times since 2012, when I joined their Mileage Plan), but I’ve never been disappointed. That said, I am now an MVP Gold elite with Alaska due to my FF status with Virgin America (VX). Given the some 300k+ miles I have now with AS², I’ll continue to fly them unless and until they disappoint. That said . . .

    Seeing Delta (DL) as being behind the move to sever the ties between AS and AeroMexico is probably correct. It makes the most amount of sense, at least on the face of it. As others have already said, a potential loss of AirFrance/KLM would be substantial, indeed, and would no doubt be a result of DL playing some serious hardball. There are, however, other options available — both to Europe and the Far East — on other airlines so while it would be HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But the reason that I continue to “rack up” miles with AS is precisely for award travel overseas. If all I wanted was domestic travel, I’d have continued to make most of my flights via Southwest (WN).

    AS/VX is, IMHO, best seen as the “mirror image” of JetBlue (B6), extensive routes up-and-down one coast, some long-haul (domestic), and a smattering of (relatively) short international flights to Mexico and/or the Caribbean. I don’t expect any sort of merger to be considered between them for several years, until the AS/VX merger is all settled; any issues — both internal (with employees) and external (with consumers) — resolved; and any debt substantially paid off. I don’t see WN on any sort of a merger track — neither as the “swallower,” nor as the “swallowee.” But down the road — and largely contingent upon what DL does (for AA and UA seem content to follow in their footsteps) — it *is* a possibility.

    _______________
    ¹ “Maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here, maybe we have a responsibility as officers to train Santiago.” Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), in “A Few Good Men.”

    ² This is AFTER redeeming more than 200,000 points on AS/VX so far this year.

  11. AS provides an excellent service. Having just taken Aeromexico from Toronto to Mazatlan and having misconnections and delays in Mexico City on both ways due to their internal partner networks I would not see this as a great loss. Better AS service direct is preferred to connecting through Mexico City.Mileage Plan offers many choices and has not behaved fortunately like the Big 3 , with their penny pinching devaluations. Keep up the god work AS

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