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American Airlines and Alaska Airlines will end reciprocal reward point redemption on March 1.
The change means that AAdvantage members won’t be able to use their points anymore to book Alaska flights and Mileage Plan members won’t be able to use their points to book American flights.
In addition, Mileage Plan members will no longer accrue points on international flights operated by American beginning March 1, except American flights to Canada for which Alaska is a codeshare partner.
Mileage Plan accruals will also continue for Alaska codeshares on American flights to the Midwest and Eastern U.S.
Similarly, AAdvantage members will earn points only on Alaska-operated flights on which American codeshares.
American spokeswoman Susannah Wesley-Ahischwede explained that the mileage redemption program with Alaska has lost much of its value since Alaska purchased Virgin America in 2016. The merger led to more route overlap between American and Alaska. Only 1.7% of AAdvantage miles redeemed during the 12 months that ended in August were on Alaska-operated flights, she said.
In addition, 97% of those AAdvantage miles that were redeemed on Alaska could have been redeemed via overlapping service through the American network.
“This benefits AAdvantage members by opening up award seats on our network,” Wesley-Ahischwede wrote in an email. “AAdvantage members will now have more access to redeem miles for places they want to go on American’s network — like between our hubs and Seattle or Portland.”
The carriers last shrunk their points partnership in 2017.
Alaska did not respond to a request for comment.