Here at trvlvip we always suggest you choose a primary airline to credit most of your miles to and then
fly that airline whenever possible. It’s logical to choose a primary airline
based on your travel patterns. It will likely be dependent on which airline has
the most economical and convenient flights from your primary departure city to
those destinations you travel to most often.
But what happens when you can’t fly your favorite airline? Let’s dig into the partner airline alternatives for each major airline program so you’ll have an optimal mileage earning strategy on hand no matter the circumstances.
Most airline partners allow you to credit miles earned when flying their airline to your primary airline and many have Elite benefit reciprocity. The number of reward miles earned and which Elite benefits are reciprocated varies by airline. So it’s important to review the partner specifics and to be strategic. Doing so opens up the world with an expansive number of destinations to choose from while continuing to build miles and status with your favorite airline!
And we all know travel loyalty leads to more comfort and luxury whether you travel for business or pleasure. Frequent flyer miles turn into free trips. Elite status leads to shorter lines, complimentary upgrades and access to luxurious lounges.
Maximizing earning with partner airlines - it’s as simple as A-B-C:
ALWAYS FLY your primary airline whenever and wherever possible
BE AWARE which airlines partner with your primary airline - and how (our cheat-sheet below is a great start!)
CREDIT ANY MILES FLOWN on a partner airline to your primary airline frequent flyer program
So now we know how important choosing a primary airline is. It’s equally important to know who partners with your favorite airline and, when you fly, to add your frequent flyer number to that partner airline reservation.
So which airlines have affiliated as partners?
Alaska currently has 14 global airline partners including American and Delta, which provides a lot of flexibility domestically and internationally! Between these two US-based airlines your best earning potential is with American AAdvantage. You will earn full Mileage Plan credit and Elite benefits when flying American. On the other hand, because Delta and Alaska have become increasingly competitive in recent years, resulting in a reduction to some of the Elite status reciprocity benefits and the number of Mileage Plan miles and Elite credit you can earn while flying Delta (especially in the economy classes). So while it is still great to have Delta as an earning partner, we suggest you review the Delta partnership chart to gain a full understanding of the benefits you are entitled to when flying Delta and crediting your miles to Alaska's Mileage Plan. Click into each of Alaska's global airline partners to understand what you will earn and which Elite benefits you will enjoy.
American currently has 26 oneworld and other airline partners. Domestically, American and Alaska Airlines are partners and AAdvantage members enjoy both full mileage credit and Elite benefits across both programs, which provides great flexibility. Click into each of American's oneworld and other airline partners to understand what you will earn and which Elite benefits you will enjoy.
Delta currently has 25 SkyTeam and other airline partners. As we mentioned when reviewing Alaska Airlines, Delta and Alaska have become increasingly competitive in recent years. The result has been a reduction in Elite status reciprocity benefits and the number of SkyMiles and Elite credit you can earn while flying Alaska Airlines (especially in the economy classes). So while it is still great to have Alaska as an earning partner, we suggest you review the Alaska partnership chart to gain a full understanding of the benefits you are entitled to when flying Alaska Airlines and crediting your miles to Delta’s SkyMiles. Click into each of Delta's SkyTeam and other airline partners to understand what you will earn and which Elite benefits you will enjoy.
United currently has 39 Star Alliance and other airline partners providing the most flexibility internationally. Unfortunately, United no longer has a domestic airline partner. But they have the largest international network of partners to choose from for your overseas travel. Click into each of United's Star Alliance and other airline partners to understand what you will earn and which Elite benefits you will enjoy.
Airline partnerships open up the world with an ever-expanding number of destinations while continuing to build miles and status with your favorite airline! Choose a primary airline based on your travel patterns and then travel loyally. Never miss an opportunity to earn miles and Elite credit on your primary airline when flying a partner and enjoy an easier path to the comfort and luxury of Elite status!
Our Perks and Tips are your ticket to luxury travel for less and will open up a world of Elite benefits! We encourage you to sign up for complimentary email alerts so you never again miss an important update on the programs you care about most!