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Alaska and American to Tie Loyalty Programs More Closely

Carriers will begin providing additional benefits next spring

by Business Traveler

November 24, 2020

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan and American Airlines AAdvantage are taking steps to more closely align the loyalty programs, according to an announcement from the airlines.

Beginning in the spring of 2021, Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold and MVP Mileage Plan members will be able to access premium seating, and MVP Gold 75Ks will be eligible for upgrades, when they book flights on American’s domestic and international routes.

The airlines say Alaska Airlines passengers can take advantage of these benefits on itineraries booked solely on American or when connecting to an American flight.

The tie-in with the AAdvantage program will be in addition to the elite perks travelers will be able to enjoy as part of Alaska’s membership in the oneworld global airline alliance, such as priority services, international lounge access and baggage benefits. Alaska Air is scheduled to join oneworld on March 31, 2021.

According to Andrew Harrison, Alaska’s chief commercial officer, the arrangement with American allows elite members to have access to premium seating or a possible upgrade “for a more comfortable journey,” in addition to other perks.

American’s AAdvantage program elite members will receive reciprocal benefits on Alaska.,