Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Changes to Delta / Alaska Partnership Starting April 1st

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.

Earlier this week, Delta announced some changes to the SkyMiles program, including the introduction of one-way awards for 10,000 miles on select routes, and the ability to earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars on partner airlines. One negative change included in this announcement pertains to earning Medallion Qualifying Dollars while flying Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines was previously a Group 1 partner airline with Delta; however, Alaska has now been downgraded to a Group 4 partner, which means it’s no longer included in the list of Delta partner airlines that will earn MQDs, since only Groups 1-3 qualify.

Here’s the current earning chart structure on Alaska flights:

Delta's current earning chart when flying Alaska prior to April 1, 2015.
Delta’s current earning chart when flying Alaska prior to April 1, 2015.

Here’s the Alaska earning chart starting April 1, 2015.

Delta's new earning chart when flying Alaska starting April 1, 2015.
Delta’s new earning chart when flying Alaska starting April 1, 2015.

As you can see, the biggest change is that you’ll no longer earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars while flying Alaska. There are also some changes to the amount of Medallion Qualifying Miles earned in select fare classes.

Delta is in fierce competition with Alaska over Seattle and other markets, and is doing everything it can to make flying on its own metal more attractive. This new change to MQD earning is just the latest blow to Alaska.

Alaska Airlines is planning to launch service between Seattle and New York (JFK).
Alaska Airlines is planning to launch service between Seattle and New York (JFK).

New Route Announcement

Alaska Airlines is planning to take on Delta in New York, by launching non-stop service between Seattle and New York (JFK). Alaska Airlines currently serves the NYC area with flights between Seattle and Newark, so this new service will bolster options for Mileage Plan members flying into New York.

The new daily non-stop service will begin September 16, 2015, and will be operated by Alaska’s Next Generation 737 aircraft. To kick off this new service, Alaska is offering fares from $149 each-way, as well as double miles on flights between Seattle and JFK between September 16 and October 28, 2015.

Hat Tip: One Mile at a Time

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
None 15.99%-24.99% Variable $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit