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American Airlines and Alaska Airlines Elite Flyers Earn Added Benefits for 2021

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

This spring select elite members will be able to upgrade on both airlines’ domestic and international networks. Elite members will receive priority check-in, security and boarding, reciprocal baggage allowances, access to lounges when traveling internationally and more.

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines Introduce Enhanced Benefits for Elite Flyers in 2021 - Courtesy American Airlines

On Friday (November 20, 2020), American Airlines announced that in partnership with Alaska Airlines the carriers will offer enhanced reciprocal benefits from spring 2021. Select elite members will be able to upgrade on domestic and international flights on both networks and will receive priority check-in, security, boarding as well as reciprocal baggage allowances and access to the lounges of both airlines when traveling internationally. Additionally, select elite members will have complimentary access to extra legroom seats and preferred seating options at time of booking along with same day flight changes. AAdvantage® members will also enjoy more rewards when the carriers implement reciprocal benefits as part of their West Coast International Alliance.

In Friday’s announcement, American Airlines’ Chief Revenue Officer, Vasu Raja, said,

“We look forward to offering our loyal members more ways to earn miles and realize the benefits of our West Coast International Alliance with Alaska Airlines. We’re working tirelessly to bring our customers the value they deserve with access to the best of both networks, and a seamless travel experience throughout the customer journey.”

While members of both airlines’ loyalty programs can currently earn and redeem miles on both networks, the carriers are working to offer enhanced mileage accrual opportunities for 2021. American’s Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members can receive free domestic upgrades on Alaska, while Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K members will be eligible for free domestic upgrades on American Airlines.

In a separate announcement on Friday, Alaska Airlines’ Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Harrison, added,

“Our upcoming membership in oneworld makes these added benefits with American even more rewarding for our guests. 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.”

Last February the airlines announced a West Coast International Alliance created to bring more international routes to Seattle. Beginning next year, American Airlines plans on launching new international service between Seattle (SEA) and London-Heathrow (LHR), Bengaluru (BLR) and Shanghai (PVG). Once the new flights are launched, Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will have access to long-haul upgrades when traveling on American Airlines.

American Airlines’ purpose is to “care for people on life’s journey.” Shares in the American Airlines Group, Inc., trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500.

Alaska Airlines and their regional partners serve over 115 destinations in the United States and North America, providing essential service for their guests and critical cargo shipments. The carrier has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage and is known for low fares, excellent service and sustainability efforts. The award-winning airline serves over 47 million guests annually and has been named “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power for the last 12 years. Along with their Global Partners, Alaska Airlines’ guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 global destinations. On March 31, 2021, Alaska Airlines will become a member of the oneworld global alliance. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of the Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

Source(s): American Airlines, Alaska Airlines


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