Alaska Airlines & American Are Offering Improved Reciprocal Mileage Earning

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Updated 8 April 2020: American Airlines has now added elite status earnings to its Alaska Airlines earnings chart.

The relationship between American and Alaska is a strange one as the past few years have seen the two airlines going from being the best of friends to barely tolerating one another to being the best of friends again. It’s almost like a plot from a very bad movie.

Now that American and Alaska are playing nicely together again both airlines are offering significantly improved reciprocal mileage earnings on each other’s flights – flyers can now earn and redeem Alaska miles on all American Airlines flights and they can earn and redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles on all Alaska Airlines flights.

Here’s American Airlines’ earnings chart for flights booked with Alaska…

a screenshot of a graph
Click to enlarge

…and here’s the Alaska Airlines earnings chart for flights booked with American:

a screenshot of a screen

A key thing to note is that American’s Basic Economy fares (which fall into fare code “B”) don’t appear anywhere on the Alaska Airlines earnings chart and will not accrue miles or elite status credits. Alaska’s cheapest Economy Class fares (which fall into fare code “X”) *do* appear on the American Airlines chart and will accrue miles at a rate of 25% of the distance flown.

Also, a significant positive aspect of the earnings that American Airlines offers for Alaska Airlines flights is the Elite Qualifying Dollar earnings rate for discounted Business Class fares.

American calculates the number of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) to award for Alaska Airlines flights by using the distance traveled (rather than the price of the fare) so anyone managing to find good discounted First Class deals on Alaska Airlines will earn miles at a rate of 30% of the distance flown and may be able to rack up a significant number of EQD at a very economical cost/EQD.

Bottom Line

Alaska Airlines is one of the last remaining airlines whose every move doesn’t appear to be designed to bleed every last cent out of its customers so it’s great that we have regained the option to earn AAdvantage Miles when flying one of the more civilized airlines.