I stumbled across something interesting today while searching for Delta flights between Seattle and Tokyo.
Delta offers a nonstop flight from SEA to Haneda (HND), plus other options involving connections.
Nothing unusual there.
But several itineraries involving stops in Portland (PDX) are flown by Alaska Airlines.
That Alaska Airlines.
Delta vs. Alaska
You may recall Delta and Alaska once were partners — until a rather ugly split in 2017. They’ve since fired shots across each other’s bows a few times. Not to mention, Alaska just expanded a partnership with American.
All that made today’s discovery even more eye-brow raising.
Delta to Tokyo via Alaska Airlines?
Let’s look at these examples.
The top option is 100% Delta metal — and cheaper than the Alaska trip.
Plus, the Alaska trip doesn’t appear to be a codeshare. SkyMiles members won’t earn mileage or segment credit, nor are they subject to benefits such as upgrades.
Here’s another option:
Note that it reads “AS 3436 is operated by SkyWest DBA Delta Connection. You will not earn miles, credit toward Medallion Status or receive Medallion Benefits on this flight.” (Bold mine) Perhaps that’s a typo — but certainly an interesting one.
FWIW, Alaska isn’t selling a trip to Tokyo on those dates.
Other SEA to PDX Flights
I checked Delta flights from SEA to PDX for the same dates. Here were the options:
Not a single Alaska option in the bunch. Everything’s either Delta or Delta Connection.
Possible Route Consolidation?
Reports suggest airlines may consolidate some routes in order to save money. I wondered, at first, if perhaps Delta and Alaska were consolidating the SEA-PDX line. But why are Alaska options available on the Tokyo itineraries — and not the Seattle to Portland roundtrips?
Or are they consolidating — and the IT is being slow to fully reflect the changes?
Neither Delta’s nor Alaska’s media reps have responded to our requests for comment.
Is This News To You?
I have family up and down the western United States and spend a chunk of time looking at West Coast routes. But I can’t remember seeing Delta sell Alaska flights. (At least, in the past few years.) That being said, it’s entirely possible I missed something. Have you seen DL selling AS tickets? If so, between which cities?
Could the virus usher in a newfound thawing between airlines? (I think we all know the answer but hey.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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