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Effective March 1, 2020, the next and pretty much last shoe drops on the American Airlines and Alaska Airlines partnership

As noted by @xJonNYC on Twitter, next Feb 28th will be the end of earning and burning across these two airlines.

While AA is playing down the news, throwing out statistics around how few people book AS awards with AA miles and how AA serves 97% of the markets that AS does (per Gary Leff), the fact remains that a loss is a loss.

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Here’s the statement on the Alaska website

While it may be true that AA serves 97% of the markets that AS does, it’s not true that they offer the same amount of award availability.

So, This Will Sting A Bit

When looking for a transcon flight (JFK-LAX/SFO) there is often WELL more availability at saver levels in premium cabins on AS. And looking the other way, you can book a transcon premium flight that AA charges 32,500 miles for on Alaska for 25,000 MileagePlan miles.

Beyond that, certain routes that Alaska flies are just much more frequent and/or open for awards on Alaska.

I’ll note that recently trying to book from PPT to NYC with AA miles, my segment from LAX to JFK was available on an Alaska segment much more often than an AA segment, because, to be blunt, AA stinks with saver availability on its own planes.

For either program’s flyers, it may similarly mean having to buy a positioning flight to a partner departure gateway vs using a AA or AS flight segment.

Is this partnership ending the end of the world for either airline? No, not at all. I’m much more disheartened by United springing dynamic partner award pricing on us.

But, it’s still a loss of a nice program tie-up.

As you can see above, reciprocal lounge access remains for members of AS Boardroom and AA Admiral’s Club lounges. And you’ll still be able to cross earn on a very small sub-section of flights.

What are your thoughts on this?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


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