Alaska Airlines’ elite flyers will earn added benefits on American Airlines in 2021

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Starting this spring, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines will make it a more hassle-free, rewarding experience for elite guests from one airline to travel on the other, with new benefits that will roll out during 2021.

As part of the enhancements, 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. Travelers can take advantage of these benefits on itineraries that are solely on American or when connecting to an American flight.

Here’s some of what’s to come:

  • In the spring, all Alaska elite members will receive complimentary access to preferred seats when traveling on American Airlines, including Main Cabin Extra.
  • Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will be eligible to earn global upgrade certificates that can be used to move from the main cabin to Business Class on American. For example, one of those certificates can be redeemed to upgrade from the main cabin to Business Class on American’s new nonstop international service from Seattle to London or Seattle to Shanghai in spring 2021, based on availability.
  • Later in 2021, Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will be eligible for unlimited complimentary, space available upgrades to Business or First Class when traveling on American’s domestic flights.

These benefits will be in addition to the elite perks offered as part of Alaska’s membership in the oneworld global alliance, which takes effect on March 31, 2021. As a oneworld member, Alaska’s elite travelers will be able to take advantage of priority services, international lounge access and baggage benefits.

“Our upcoming membership in oneworld makes these added benefits with American even more rewarding for our guests,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “On any American flight, our elites will 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.

“Alaska and American are improving our service on the West Coast so that customers can enjoy their loyalty benefits on either carrier,” said Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer. “Next year will bring significant enhancements that will make the experience more seamless and rewarding for our customers traveling to, through or from the West Coast.”

The expanded relationship between Alaska and American was first announced in February 2020. In fall 2021, American will begin its inaugural service from Seattle to Bangalore, India – connecting two global technology hubs.

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