Alaska Airlines announced a number of changes today. There has been growing competition in the Seattle and West Coast markets as Delta has increased their flights and community involvement. Up to now, Delta and Alaska had a code sharing agreement, and you could earn miles on the other carrier by flying the other, earn miles for Alaska on Delta and vice Versace. Delta nerfed those earning rates a couple years ago, but you still could get something in Alaska miles on Delta.
With the announcement today Alaska is lowering their minimum miles on some routes to 5,000 miles one-way, and appears to be strengthening their arrangements with other non-US carriers to bulk up their international partnerships.
But the ending of the code-share and miles bridge means the gloves are off in Seattle between Delta and Alaska. It’s been good for us who fly Delta out of Seattle, and this healthy competition should keep things interesting and good deals for some time to come.