Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Delta Air Lines have signed a comprehensive marketing agreement to provide customers with a wider array of destinations and benefits. The agreement provides for the carriers to codeshare on each other’s flights, giving the partner airlines incremental passenger traffic.
In addition to codesharing, the three carriers plan to provide reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. This will allow customers to accrue and redeem awards in either of the airlines’ frequent flyer programs, regardless of which program they belong to or on which airline they fly. The agreement also provides for additional airline lounge privileges in selected cities. For Alaska’s Board Room lounge members, access will be available at Delta Crown Room locations in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. For Delta members, access will be available to Alaska’s Board Room facilities in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver, B.C. Additionally, while the airlines will continue to schedule their respective flights independently, each will evaluate their schedules to optimize connections between one another in order to provide customers with more convenient travel options.
The codesharing and frequent flyer components of the new agreement are subject to review by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, codesharing by Delta on Alaska flights will require negotiated changes to the scope clause of the Delta pilot contract. The carriers will work with the DOT in an effort to have the review completed as soon as possible, and Delta will work to conclude its pilot approvals and negotiations as soon as possible. If approvals are received in a timely manner, the airlines could begin implementing the agreements late this fall and early next year.
Preliminary award charts for flights on Delta indicate that award levels will be generally consistent with regular Mileage Plan partner awards. For example, coach-class travel in the continental U.S. and Canada will be 25,000 miles; coach travel to Hawaii will be 35,000 miles; Europe, 50,000 miles; and Japan, 60,000.
We’re sure that this latest frequent flyer program tie-up was not well received in Dallas where American Airlines has done well in reciprocating the frequent flyer benefits between its AAdvantage program and Alaska’s Mileage Plan.
While airlines such as Alaska have scurried to build alliance after alliance with major airlines, other airlines of similar strength such as America West have been conspicously absent. While it is well known that Southwest is taking an independent path, one might think that America West, knowing the advantages of a relationship (they once enjoyed one with Continental OnePass) with another of the major airlines , is either following Southwest or simply biding their time to make only one relationship work.