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Now under normal circumstances an airline program electing not to change at all would be “non-news,” but given recent shifts from Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus and now American AAdvantage, it’s quite a relief to hear that Alaska’s Mileage Plan program will be maintain the status quo for a while longer.
According to aviation journalist Brian Sumers, during a conference last week, Alaska executives shared their plans to keep the Mileage Plan program intact for the time being. Based on Sumers’ report, CFO Brandon Pedersen said: “We like where we’re at. We’re sticking with the traditional model. It gives us an opportunity to look at how we perform versus how others perform. And we wouldn’t say that we would never go to that, certainly.”
So while Pedersen did confirm that Alaska won’t be racing to move to a revenue-based model, he did concede that a change could always come in the future.
For now, this means Alaska’s Mileage Plan program remains an excellent option for AA flyers to consider after the AAdvantage program goes revenue-based later this year. Not only will travelers purchasing discounted tickets likely earn more miles through Alaska (especially if they have elite status), Mileage Plan will also be the better option for redeeming for first-class travel on partner Cathay Pacific’s flights to Asia.
If you’re currently an AA elite, it might be worth participating in an Alaska status match — depending on your current status with American, you may earn MVP Gold or Gold 75K status, which includes four confirmed upgrades to use on Alaska-operated flights. Additionally, MVP elites earn a 50% mileage bonus, MVP Gold elites earn a 100% bonus and Gold 75K elites earn a whopping 125% bonus on American Airlines and Delta flights.
Ultimately, this is great news for American, Delta and Alaska Airlines flyers crediting their flights to Mileage Plan. For the foreseeable future, you’ll continue to earn miles based on distance flown, rather than the cost of your ticket.
H/T: View from the Wing
Will you be crediting AA or Delta flights to Alaska?