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Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are ending their long-term frequent flyer partnership. Starting March 1, 2020, the reciprocity agreement that allowed members of both rewards programs to book flights on either American Airlines or Alaska Airlines flights will end. Specifically:
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will no longer be able to redeem miles for American Airlines flights.
AAdvantage members will no longer be able to redeem miles for Alaska Airlines flights.
Deadlines for booking award travel
Mileage Plan members can still redeem miles for flights on American Airlines through Feb. 29, 2020. Travel must also be completed by that date. Past that date, Alaska Airlines will no longer be able to accommodate changes, except for cancellations.
AAdvantage members may still book award tickets on Alaska Airlines through Feb. 29, 2020. Ticket changes will not be permitted after that date.
» Learn more: American Airlines AAdvantage program: The complete guide
Deadline for earning miles
Alaska Mileage Plan members will continue to earn miles on domestic American Airline flights marketed by Alaska. Mileage Plan members who booked international flights operated by American before Oct. 2, 2019, can still receive miles if they submit a mileage credit request after the completion of the flight.
Flights booked on or after Oct. 2, 2019, must be completed by Feb. 29, 2020, to be eligible for Mileage Plan miles. For more information regarding specific flights, visit this page.
What isn’t changing
The updates to mileage earning and redemptions doesn’t mean that the relationship between Alaska and American Airlines is completely finished. The two airlines will continue to have a code-sharing agreement for certain flights to the East Coast, Midwest and Canada. AAdvantage members will also still be able to earn miles while flying on code-share flights.
Frequent flyers will also retain reciprocal access to each of the airline lounges. The rules remain the same as before, meaning you must be flying on American or Alaska Airlines that day and meet access requirements.
The bottom line
This isn’t the first time the two airlines have adjusted their partnership. In early 2018, the companies reduced their reciprocal benefits, including things like priority boarding and free checked bags.
Alaska Airlines continues to maintain a robust international airline partnership with airlines that include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, LATAM and Qantas.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your complete guide Which American Airlines credit card should you choose?