Changes to Delta / Alaska Partnership Starting April 1st
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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:
Here’s the Alaska earning chart 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.
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