Alaska Airlines just announced changes to its Mileage Plan program that are effective today except that the partnership with Delta will end on April 30, 2017.
Alaska Airlines members can now earn miles for Virgin America flights, more miles earned for business and first class on select airline partners and short-haul awards are no longer only within single state.
You can access Alaska’s web page for these announcement here.
Mileage Plan members can now earn more miles when flying in premium cabin with most partners.
Earning On Virgin Americas:
Virgin America is owned by Alaska Airlines (as of last week) and Virgin America fights can be credited to Mileage Plan effective today
Previously, these short-haul awards at just 5,000 miles were available for flights within specific states. Now they are valid for flights between state lines.
Delta Partnership Ending April 30, 2017:
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone that Alaska’s partnership with Delta Air Lines would be ending. The last day to earn and redeem on Delta flights is April 30, 2017. You cannot change ticketed Delta award flights on/after May 1, 2017 (surely you can refund them but that’s all).
The fact that Mileage Plan members can now earn much more miles for premium cabin flights on most partners is a very good development. If only their award chart would allow multi carrier awards.
The partnership with Delta ending is not something unexpected. I am more surprised that it didn’t end earlier. Alaska must not been too happy with Delta expanding its presence in Seattle.
Cheaper short haul awards on Alaska flights have been available using BA Avios (needed to call though). Good that one can redeem for these using Mileage Plan miles.