Huge Changes All Around!

Wow – so many changes this week… busy busy!

  • Alaska Airlines released their plan for Virgin America on their blog, and while a lot of changes are promising, Virgin’s amazing First Class hard product will be missed.
  • There was confirmation that you can use your Alaska Airlines companion certificate on Virgin America routes, which is a surprisingly smooth integration of systems (not going to lie… I was not expecting it to go that well between their IT departments!). I have this card and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it!
  • Massive LAX changes with Delta moving from T5 and T6 to T2 and T3, displacing pretty much everyone else. I usually avoid LAX simply because I spend more time on the tarmac than in the SkyClub, but this could make things interesting.
  • The Centurion Lounge in SEA-TAC was undergoing expansion earlier this year, and it has finally completed! I’ve been known to fly through there from time to time and I am very excited to go back.
  • One of the biggest changes to Delta was announced by RenĂ© – you can now be upgraded even after boarding. It’s only a pilot program right now, but I truly hope it will be adopted system-wide.

New Seattle Routes on @Delta / #KeepClimbing

With the dissolution of Delta’s relationship with Alaska Airlines, Delta recently announced the introduction of seven new domestic routes to and from Seattle for the coming year. There are also plans to increase the frequency of a few other existing routes to expand their footprint on the West Coast.

I am really looking forward to the new route from Raleigh, as well as the additional flights to Boston and San Diego. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to hit up the Centurion Lounge (and new SkyClub) more often!

New Routes

Destination Frequency Start Date Equipment
MKE 1/day March 9, 2017 E175
EUG 3/day April 1, 2017 CRJ700
BNA 1/day May 26, 2017 A319
RDU 1/day June 8, 2017 B737
AUS 1/day June 12, 2017 A319
RDM 2/day June 12, 2017 CRJ700
LIH 1/day December 21, 2017 B757
Courtesy of GCMap

Existing Route Changes

Destination New Frequency
ORD 2/day
BOS 2/day
SAN 5/day
PDX 8/day
Courtesy of GCMap

Battle for #SEA: @Delta vs @AlaskaAir

Though once codeshare partners, Delta and Alaska have been getting progressively aggressive in their battle for territory. Seattle is one of Alaska Air’s biggest cities, and and serves as a great routing city for Delta to cities in Asia. Since 2014, however, there has been a widening rift between the two.

There are currently two promotions available to flyers in Seattle, though one is available only to those not currently belonging to the SkyMiles program. You need to be living in Washington state to take advantage of these, though.

The first offers a starting 5,000 miles just for joining, and then doubles your earnings for the duration of the program (November 30th). If you complete two round-trip flights in that time, you get Gold Medallion Status through January 2017.

Hello, new members!
Hello, new members!

Meanwhile, 12status is a program that rewards fans of the Seattle Seahawks that are also SkyMiles members. You can see all that this entails at their website, but suffice it to say, it is quite compelling! Just be sure to do the first promotion first, as it offers quite a nice starting bonus (and double miles through the end of November).

Earning rates
Earning rates
One last perk...
One last perk…

Meanwhile, Alaska responded with a fantasy football driven miles program. Each passing yard added to Russel Wilson’s stats for the season equates to 100 miles to “the pot”. At the end of the season, three individuals will be selected at random to split it. The nice thing here is that you don’t have to be a resident of Washington state to participate!

While it’s unlikely that Alaska will be kicked out of their home airport (especially now that they are acquiring Virgin America to solidify their West-coast presence), competition is always good from a consumer’s standpoint! Who are you rooting for?