I know every other blogger is writing about United’s announcement, but I noticed some good news today in the fact that Alaska Airlines has added another EQM-earning partner, Aeromexico, to its list of AA, DL, and EK. I know writing about Alaska’s FF program is a little outside my normal subjects, but I am a big fan of AS and have been for years. That program is unique with AS in that you can earn EQM towards status by flying AA and DL and that status will get you priviledges on all those major airlines including upgrades on DL. So between AS covering AA and DL and United covering them and USAIR (for now), I have just about every airline covered and concentrate all my miles on only two programs which grants me similar status on every U.S. airline that the government may make me fly.
So adding Aeromexico adds one more into the mix. While some fares only earn 75% EQM, this is still a pretty good deal compared with Delta’s recent changes for partners. What excites me is a vast expansion of Alaska’s network. See Aeromexico’s route map here. What is the big deal? Until now, EQM earning opportunities on AS for international flights was somewhat limited. A lot of the AA or DL flights transpac or translant did not count for EQM. Only certain flight numbers. I had some DL flights to Korea that I was going to credit to AS and then found out they didn’t qualify. Adding Aeromexico adds possible flights to every continent. Obviously Central and South America is a big add, but they also fly to Tokyo, Shanghai, London and Paris.
Obviously award travel to destinations in Central and South America should excite you. Award flights on Aeromexico are cheap compared to AA or DL, needing only 50,000 to fly to “deep” South America round trip. I often have to spend close to that on some airlines for a U.S. domestic flight. I haven’t tried booking anything so it may be harder than it looks, but it is worth a try. Here is the award chart. Looks like a great new use for all those AS miles piling up in my account.
Now I just have to figure out how to take some time off….