Alaska Airlines has updated their award charts to show more partner award options and costs. The changes rolled out earlier this week and now features award costs for Emirates awards from the Continental United States to Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the new awards now officially listing Emirates Awards to NZ and Oz, Alaska Airline has removed Aeromexico awards from their award charts.
Alaska Airlines partnership with Aeromexico dates back to December 2012 when the two airlines announced a codeshare agreement and reciprocal mile earning and burning. Mile earning ability began in early 2013 and award travel on miles launched in 2014. The ability to use Alaska miles on Aeromexico was very short-lived. By February 2016, a technical error was blamed for blocking Alaska’s ability to access award space on Aeromexico. Coincidentally, this was a couple of months after Delta Air lines bought a 49% stake in Aeromexico.
I originally was hopeful that Alaska and Aeromexico would work out their “technical difficulties” and the ability to redeem miles on Aeromexico would be restored. However, as of this week the award chart for flights to Mexico, Central America, and South America have been updated and Aeromexico has been completely removed. Award travel is still available to Mexico and Central America on other partners including Virgin America, Delta, and American Airlines. The ability to redeem miles on Delta will end May 1, 2017. And lets face it, AA doesn’t have the same coverage of Mexico as Aeromexico does!
The complete loss of Aeromexico as Mileage Plan Award partner is a blow to the Alaska Airlines Mileage program. Award travel, the number of routes, and awards availability to Mexico is highly cut for frequent flyers looking to redeem miles. At this point, Alaska would be better off partnering with a low cost carrier (LCC) in Mexico such as Interjet or Volaris for award flights. Yet currently, Alaska Airlines international partners are all full service operators and do not include any LCC. So this is unlikely. In addition, Aeromexico still codeshares on nearly 20 routes with Alaska Airlines. These codeshare provides feed and revenue sharing for the airlines. This makes Aeromexico a part time partner.
Earn Miles on Aeromexico
Alaska Airline Mileage Plan members still can earn miles on Aeromexico. There has been no announcements which would lead me to believe that this will change in the near future. However, with the pending joint venture between Delta and Aeromexico, the Aeromexico-Alaska partnership could be soon terminated. Time will only tell, but things are not looking good for this partnership. Remember that the Devilish Delta sits on Aeromexico’s board and there is an Alaska – Delta duel for Seattle. Delta may claim Aeromexico as their own, and push Alaska Airlines out of this partnership.