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Alaska Airlines is tempting Delta flyers with a new route & a generous status match

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The dust may not have yet settled on the remains of the old Delta Skymiles program, but with details of the new Skymiles program already angering, upsetting or annoying what appears to be a significant number of people, Alaska Airlines is making moves to capitalize on Delta’s disenchanted flyers.

Alaska’s status match for Delta flyers

Per Alaska Airlines:

“Fell out of love with your airline loyalty program? We’ve got you covered with our best status match offer yet. Other airline frequent flyers can get matched into Mileage Plan™ elite status. And for a limited time, Delta frequent flyers can get matched into Mileage Plan™ elite status through 2024 by applying for a status match below and having an open Alaska Airlines Visa® card. Better yet, if you have Delta status through 2024, we’ll raise your status another level.

Mileage Plan rewards you when you fly, not just when you spend. That’s why we offer guests the fastest track to elite status and the ability to earn miles on any of our 28 global airline partners.

I’m not even a Delta flyer and I love it!

I particularly like “Mileage Plan rewards you when you fly, not just when you spend” as that cuts to the very heart of what appears to be annoying most disgruntled Skymilers.

Here’s how the status match works for Delta flyers:

  • Submit proof of your status by 31 October 2023.
  • Use the form on this page for SkyMiles status match requests
  • You’ll need your account overview page, which shows your current status and 2024 Status Progress.
  • Based on the following table…
a screenshot of a white table
Click or tap to enlarge

… Alaska Airlines will match Skymiles members to Alaska Mileage Plan™ status for the rest of 2023.

  • There are two ways to extend your status through 2024:
    • Have an open Alaska Airlines Visa® card by 12/31/2023.
    • Complete a status challenge within 90 days.

Put simply, if you hold Delta Skymiles status and take out an Alaska Airlines Visa card by 31 December 2023, you’ll be gifted Alaska Airlines elite status (oneworld elite status) through the end of next year.

Alaska announces a new daily service to Delta’s home

Alaska Airlines is probably only too aware that if it wants to lure any disgruntled Delta flyers over to Mileage Plan (as profitable customers) it needs to offer them a route network that they may actually need (Alaska’s route network is very West Coast centric while Delta’s network covers most of the 50 states).

Well, Alaska can’t really do very much to compete with Delta’s broad network across the whole of the country, but it can add more routes between the West Coast and cities with a high percentage of Delta captives, and that’s exactly what the airline has just announced.

Starting next year, Alaska Airlines will offer a new route between San Diego and Atlanta – Delta’s fortress hub.

The new route will launch on 16 May 2024 and the current published schedule looks like this:

AS474 SAN 09:20 – 16:40 ATL (Daily)
AS474 ATL 17:45 – 19:35 SAN (Daily)

The route will be operated by Alaska’s Boeing 737-900 aircraft offering 12 First Class seats, 24 Premium Class seats, 21 Economy Class seats seats reserved for Alaska & oneworld elites, and 93 other, regular, Economy Class seats.

Tickets for this route are already on sale at Alaskaair.com.

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines is wasting no time in attempting to win over as many disgruntled Delta Skymiles members as it can and it’s doing so by running a new (and very generous) elite status match and, to a lesser extent, by adding a new flight between the West Coast and Delta’s hometown of Atlanta.

If you’re a Delta flyer, let us know how you feel about this in the comments. Are you tempted? Or are you sticking with Delta?

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  1. Alaska Airlines is probably only too aware that if it wants to lure any disgruntled Delta flyers over to MileagePlus

    How could Alaska Airlines lure Delta flyers to United’s Mileage Plus with their route from SAN to ATL. Yea, we know you meant Mileage Plan which is Alaska’s program.

  2. I think it’s a great move on their part. I’m a Minneapolis traveler. If we could get some additional routes it would be all over my radar. I’m Diamond thru ‘24 and then out. Unless Delta acknowledges loyalty versus the dollar as a show of loyalty.

  3. In response to your question, “If you’re a Delta flyer, let us know how you feel about this in the comments. Are you tempted? Or are you sticking with Delta?”
    YES, definitely tempted and will persue the switch.

    Paul Berry

  4. I’m definitely a disgruntled Delta loyalist and Gold Medallion member. If that new Alaska route were Portland to Atlanta, one I fly several times a year, I might make the jump. I am still tempted because I do have an Alaska card and mileage plan. We’ll see what Ed Bastian’s “we moved too fast and changes are coming” actually amounts to.

    • How far would any rollback have to go to keep you happy? And how do you feel about the fact that even if we see rollbacks now, it looks like the eventual destination for Skymiles is the program as it was presented to us a couple of weeks ago?

  5. I’m currently a Delta Diamond member and will move back to Platinum next year. The new spend requirements are a joke for all of the current Skymiles Members. Then on top of that they want to cut the number of visits on my reserve card to 10 visits in 2025. I pay almost $600 for that membership not including the additional $150 for my wife. I am going to leave the program soon and find another program with an airline that suits my needs and cancel my American Express Reserve account. I also heard today that the Delta CEO stated that Delta went overboard with their new Skymiles program. Will have to see what they come up with next.

    • We’ve removed the Delta Amex cards from TFM (for the time being) because in their current guise, and with Delta planning to devalue Skymiles, it’s hard to make an argument for holding them.

  6. Had both a Personal and Business Amex Reserve card with their ridiculous Annual Fees. Had been Diamond Medallion for several years (but dropped to Platinum thru 2024 because of their past program changes) and well on my way to being a 2 Million-Miler, almost exclusively on personal trips (Not a business traveler). Now All OUT after the latest round of changes and doubt I’ll go back even after their “mistake” “Kiss and make-up” clean-up. Looks like Loyalty is a one-way street with Delta and I’m riding that street out of town. Thanks, Alaska, for your kind offer and I do hope the flying public rewards you richly.

    • Are you based at a Delta hub? How easy will it be for you to shift your trips to another airline (or multiple airlines)?

  7. It’s hard to believe deltas upper management , including the CEO, the VPs, and even the BODs thought this move would be ok with their frequent flyers like myself. After Delta has made significant monetary gains from travellers , hiring staff for their expanding global routes, and purchasing new planes , I’m wondering if they serious did a large miscalculation in their finances. And when the CEO and the VPs and all their elite upper management leaves the Delta corporation , I’m hoping they cut their exit bonuses and limit their exit corporate shares to help further streamline their cut back options then …

  8. Staying with Delta even with changes you can’t compare routes and services you receive from the Delta

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