The competition between Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines for the Seattle market is past the point of amusement and starting to get annoying. One carrier announces new routes so the other carrier announces new routes. One carrier announces double miles so the other carrier announces double miles.
So far I think Alaska still has the upper hand in this argument. While Delta has been making broad and impressive offers (like a huge credit card bonus for Seattle residents or double EQM on all routes departing Seattle), Alaska has been more selective in its responses. It has also implemented changes to its frequent flyer program that have been largely positive or neutral, like awarding elite credit from flights on most partners and very minor changes to its award chart. Delta, in contrast, has been cutting the credit it awards from some partners — even as far as zero — and its new plan for awarding and redeeming miles looks likely to result in many losers.
Now Delta has decided to end some of its codeshare agreements with Alaska Airlines on select routes. (HT to Airlineroute.net, via TheSterlingTraveler)
Effective June 5
- Seattle – Las Vegas
- Seattle – Los Angeles
- Seattle – San Diego
- Seattle – San Francisco
- Seattle – San Jose CA
- Seattle – Vancouver
Effective July 14
- Seattle – Anchorage
- Seattle – Houston
Effective December 20
- Seattle – Phoenix
There’s some logic to removing a codeshare if Delta is able to provide its own service on a route it previously left up to a partner. But it does like another provocative step for a carrier that has historically been one of Alaska’s closest partners. Consider that Alaska Mileage Plan members get reciprocal elite benefits on both American and and Delta, but only Delta offers some of the more valuable perks like free upgrades.
One last thing: I normally delete emails about sweepstakes from airlines and hotels. It’s a hassle to enter and I never win. But I went back and sifted through my trash this morning after I realized that I had received similar offers from both carriers on free trips to Seattle.
Delta Air Lines is offering first class, round-trip travel for two and a three-night hotel stay.
Alaska Airlines is offering economy class, round-trip travel for two and a two-night hotel stay. But it also throws in a pair of VIP tickets to the Taste Washington wine event on March 29-30.
What’s next? Will Delta roll out a selection of locally sourced spirits from Atlanta? Will Alaska decide to provide gate-to-gate connections in a Toyota Prius? I’m secretly hoping to see this spat turn into an all-out brawl.