As Alaska Airlines’ relationship with Delta continues to disintegrate, Alaska’s ties to American are solidifying further.
Since 1999, Alaska and American have been continuously deepening their marketing ties, currently highlighted by code sharing flights on some routes and reciprocal frequent-flyer program participation.
New Earning, Award Opportunities
For members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan program, the benefits of the tie-up will increase significantly on October 17, when the American-US Airways merger is finally consummated at the operational level and US Airways flights become American flights in a unified reservations system.
According to Alaska, the inclusion of the former US Airways flights in American’s network will add 61 new destinations available to Mileage Plan members for mileage earning and award travel, 14 of which are not currently served by other Mileage Plan partner airlines.
Expanded Lounge Access
There’s good news for Alaska customers in the short term as well.
Beginning on August 15, travelers who pay for access to Alaska’s Board Room airport lounges will also be entitled to visit any of American’s Admirals Club lounges in more than 50 airport locations.
That almost doubles the number of lounges Board Room members have at their disposal, a significant value-add to the benefits of membership.
In the just-released U.S. News ranking of airline frequent-flyer programs, Alaska’s Mileage Plan led the pack, followed by American’s AAdvantage at #2. Savvy tie-ups with other quality airlines, like the one with American, are a big part of that success.
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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.