American Airlines and Alaska introduce reciprocalservice class upgrades
Gary Leff on the 31st. March 2021.
Today Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance. You are still unable to use Alaska Airlines award miles for travel on Oneworld airlines which were not airline partners prior to this change. But the big news today, I think, is the announcement:
- American Airlines elites have access to additional economy class seats with more legroom and the option to upgrade to first class on flights to Alaska.
- Alaska Airlines elites have access to seats with more legroom and upgrades to first class when traveling on American Airlines.
America and Alaska are closer partners than just members of the same global alliance. They are working together to develop a west coast route with Alaska that will bring domestic travelers to American’s international services and vice versa. There’s a good opportunity for tight integration, so customers feel like their experience is more or less the same across all airlines (not really the case, due to product differences and the general friendliness I felt from Alaska Airlines employees).
How American Airlines elites are treated in Alaska
In addition to check-in, security, priority boarding and baggage, and lounge access on international routes (in other words, oneworld benefits), American Airlines elite passengers have access to an Alaska carriage with extra legroom and upgrades to first class.
From 5. In April 2021, AAdvantage elites will have access to additional (premium) buses in Alaska as follows:
- Executive Platinum and Concierge key: at time of reservation
- Platinum Pro and Platinum: at time of booking unless the lowest fare has been purchased (i.e. if booked at Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S or N fares) or at a lower fare within 72 hours prior to travel.
- Gold: at the time of booking at the full rate (Y, B, H) or within 48 hours before travel.
Executive Platinum members not booked in Basic Economy can be upgraded within 120 hours prior to departure. The benefit will initially apply only to the elite member, but thereafter to the companion as well, under the same clause.
American Executive Platinums are given priority on the upgrade list over Alaska MVP Gold 75K Elites, and thereafter priority is determined based on fare class and time of application.
Alaska Airlines First Class
How Alaska’s elites are treated in the United States
In addition to check-in, security, priority boarding and baggage, and lounge access on international routes (in other words, oneworld benefits), Alaska Elites have access to American Airlines’ economy class with extra legroom and upgrades to first class.
From 5. In April 2021, Alaska Elite members will have access to an American Airlines cabin with extra legroom (Main Cabin Extra) :
- MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K: at time of booking.
- MVP: within 24 hours of travel
The relative winners here are the Alaska elites without fare class restrictions.
Additionally, while American’s 100,000-mile Executive Platinums are eligible for upgrades in Alaska, Alaska MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members are eligible for upgrades on domestic and international short-haul flights in the U.S. (Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America).
However, this upgrade only takes place on the day of departure, at check-in. MVP Gold 75K members can upgrade their companion’s status by making a reservation.
American Airlines Domestic First Class
More services will be
Alaska has other benefits planned, and you can expect them for AAdvantage elite as well.
MVP Gold 75K members are finally upgraded 72 hours before departure, probably because American didn’t arrive in time for takeoff. If so, they’ll be on the waiting list after American Platinum Pro (75k level), though it’s not clear how the Gold 75K MVP will take precedence over the others.
Presumably, these elites will fall behind Executive Platinum participants but ahead of Platinum Pro participants when the 100,000-mile level is introduced at Alaska, based on this structure, although this is obviously not guaranteed.
In 2022, MVP Gold 75K participants will receive a comprehensive international travel certificate from American Airlines.
See more of wing
frequently asked questions
Is Alaska Airlines a subsidiary of American Airlines?
Alaska already has a codeshare partnership with American Airlines. Thanks to this codeshare partnership, you can book flights from Alaska on American Airlines. On these flights, you’ll earn elite miles (and award miles) as if you were flying Alaska Airlines.
Does Alaska Airlines recognize the status of American?
Credit Alaska Airlines flights on American AAdvantage…. complicated. You will get a different number of qualifying miles than the number of miles you have to pay for, and as a percentage you will get the corresponding dollars. … Alaska’s status would still be recognized as American.
Can I use US miles for an upgrade in Alaska?
Can I use my miles for upgrades on Alaska Airlines partner airlines? You cannot use Mileage Plan miles for upgrades on an Alaska Airlines partner. However, you can use Mileage Plan miles to purchase tickets on Alaska Airlines partner airlines and earn miles when traveling on partner airlines.
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