Several readers messaged me this morning that Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines have agreed to limit the reciprocal benefits they provide to elite customers traveling on the other’s flights (HT to Paul). These changes are effective on May 1 and indicate a continuing deterioration in the relationship between the companies as Delta makes an aggressive bid to gain marketshare in the Seattle market.
For Alaska Airlines MVP members:
- Losing baggage fee waivers for flights ticketed after April 30, 2014.
- Losing priority baggage handling
- Losing discount on Economy Comfort Seats
For Alaska Airlines MVP Gold and Gold 75K members, all of the above as well as:
- Reduced priority check-in and boarding (Zone 1 instead of Sky Priority)
- Losing priority security line access
Alaska Airlines elite members will still receive some elite benefits when they fly on Delta Air Lines, including:
- Elite bonus miles
- Preferred seating
- Complimentary upgrades on select routes
- Zone 1 priority check-in and boarding
Worth noting: customers who book their tickets by April 30 will still receive free checked bags for travel after April 30. Delta makes this less clear for its customers flying on Alaska, but a similar policy appears to be in effect for tickets booked b
Delta has announced similar changes on its Sky Medallion benefits page for its customers when traveling on Alaska Airlines, though to my knowledge there have been no email announcements. Sky Medallion elite members will no longer receive free checked baggage or priority security line access. It appears many other benefits will remain, consistent with what Delta offers Alaska’s elites.
I’m not sure if the timing is coincidental or intentional given yesterday’s news that Delta is using a novel strategy to encourage customers to sign up for its credit cards. However, it certainly doesn’t help the situation from a customer’s perspective.