As of July 16, 2010, the partnership between AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines will end. After Midwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines were purchased by Republic Air Holdings Inc., the writing was on the wall for AirTran Airways’ partnership with Frontier Airlines. Both AirTran and Midwest maintain hubs in Milwaukee and competition between the two airlines is fierce.
Frontier EarlyReturns and AirTran A+ Rewards have maintained a reciprocal frequent flyer partnership since November 2006 but as of July 16, 2010, members will no longer be able to earn and redeem miles on either airline. For award tickets booked on AirTran with EarlyReturns miles, if your award was booked and ticketed by June 2, 2010, your flight will be honored regardless of the travel date. For award flights booked between June 2 and July 16, 2010, travel must be completed by Oct. 31, 2010. Frontier Airlines was AirTran Airways’ sole airline partner.
In a rather interesting move by AirTran Airways, Midwest Miles members residing in Milwaukee or Northern Illinois who donated a minimum of 50,000 Midwest miles to a qualified Midwest Airlines charity by June 14, 2010 received enough A+ Rewards points for a roundtrip business class award ticket on AirTran.AirTran also matched the elite status of Midwest Miles Aspire or Executive members in a move to gain loyalty from Midwest flyers. But according to a report in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Jim Reichart, Republic’s vice president of sales, distribution and loyalty programs said that “hardly anyone” from the Midwest program has responded to the promotion. AirTran reports that it plans to continue to expand its Milwaukee hub.