Alaska Airlines breaks up with Delta

Alaska-Delta graphic
A graphic from happier times touted the partnership between Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines. (Alaska Airlines Graphic)

Breaking up with old flames is part of getting married, and that’s what Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines are doing in the wake of Alaska Air’s acquisition of Virgin America.

Effective May 1, Alaska and Delta will sever their frequent-flier and codeshare partnerships. After April 30, customers who belong to Delta SkyMiles won’t be able to redeem their miles in Alaska’s Mileage Plan, and vice versa.

Seattle-based Alaska said it’s making some enhancements in its mileage program, including lowering the bar for award travel and bumping up earnings for flights in business or first class. Also, starting today, Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn and redeem miles on Virgin America flights, and vice versa.

Part of the motivation for the Delta breakup has to do with the Alaska-Virgin America combination, but only part. This split has been in the works for quite some time.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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