This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

TPG reader Dale sent me a message on Facebook to ask:

“When can we expect Alaska to make a bold move to slow down Delta’s efforts here in Seattle market ? So far, they have not lit the fire!” 

I love to watch airlines duke it out for control. With so many mergers these days, it’s fun to see a little friendly competition, especially in a market that’s not totally dominated by one carrier.

Seattle was Alaska’s market for a long time, but in the past several years, Delta has crept into their territory by adding international flights and a lot more domestic flights, including premium transcontinental service from JFK. I don’t expect that to slow down any time soon. Seattle’s a great city for premium fares, for Asia Pacific travel, and even for travel to Europe, so I can see why Delta has been decided to swoop in.

Will Alaska make a bold move to take over the Seattle market? First, they need to update their product! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Will Alaska make a bold move to take over the Seattle market? Updating their product doesn’t hurt! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

One thing to consider is that Delta and Alaska are partners, and have been for many years. However, there are some cracks in the foundation; both airlines recently cut down on the ability to bank miles and points to either carrier. You can still do it, and there’s reciprocity in the form of frequent flyer benefits, but it’s decreasing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Alaska and Delta completely cut ties over the next year or two, and Alaska synced up with American Airlines and the Oneworld alliance, especially as carriers open up more Europe to West Coast routes. I think this could happen in 2015, but right now, both carriers are making money from their code-sharing and partnership, so they aren’t quite ready to completely disband.

Since Delta is highly profitable right now and growing internationally, I see the airline puffing its chest out and making a bigger play in Seattle, and frankly, I can see why people there want to fly Delta. Delta has nicer premium products, while Alaska’s transcontinental planes and seats are outdated. For my last visit to Seattle, I flew Delta home (not Alaska or American) because I prefer premium seating. On a five hour red-eye flight; those newer premium seats/lie flat beds can really make the difference.

If Alaska wants to keep up, I think it needs to do more than sever ties or make a bold move, the airline also has to invest in its product. Apparently, Alaska feels the same way, as it’s in the process of installing new seats and power outlets across a portion of its fleet.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.