For the frequent Federal traveler…

The FY13 GSA City Pairs have been announced.

Did your ‘favorite’ airline lose the contract this year between your most frequently traveled City Pair?  No need to fret about orphaning frequent flyer miles if you roll like I do.

I’ve been in the same boat-  In some cases, I’d earn elite status on United in an even year, and then be forced to fly American (without status) for almost every trip during the following odd year.  The miles I was accruing towards status were nearly useless.

Then I discovered a bit of a workaround.  Alaska’s program – Mileage Plan– lets you accrue Alaska miles when you fly Alaska, AA, Delta, or British Airways.  For the past two years whenever I fly AA or  Delta I hand or type in my Alaska frequent flyer code for a tripple whammy- miles banked one-for-one on Alaska, my Alaska elite status is recognized 100% on AA and Delta (check-in, booking, and bag allowance), and I don’t really have to worry about who wins which City Pair contracts next Fiscal Year.

Elite Status is your only ticket to a decent seat unless you meet the above criteria.

The only major carriers who do not partner with Alaska are Southwest and United, so hang on to those cards if you still have them.  But if your ‘favorite’ airline lost the bid on your frequently traveled city pair this year, you don’t have to rack up miles that will be essentially ‘orphaned’- give Alaska’s Mileage Plan a try!



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