The Blame Game

Don't you love it when airlines who tout all the benefits of their cozy mileage partnerships, then end up blaming each other when things go wrong?

Months after Delta acquired Northwest and became Alaska Airlines' new mileage partner, the two still can't seem to get their act together.

I booked a mileage ticket a while back with Delta for an Alaska Airlines flight to Tucson. Imagine my surprise when I went to check in for the flight online, and was told that I had to check in at the airport. Web check-in would not be possible, Alaska said, because of an error on Delta's part in writing the ticket. When I phoned Delta, it blamed the problem on Alaska. No skin off either of their backs - I'm the one who has to wait in a line at the airport ticket counter instead of checking on online at home. The customer, in this and so many cases when it comes to the airlines, always seems to be stuck in the middle.

The kicker: The Delta agent "congratulated'' me for being a member of its elite frequent flier program. She was reading from a script of course, since, in this case, the benefits of elite status got me nowhere when it came to solving whatever the problem was.


  1. We've used our Alaska miles to book flights on British Air, Air France and have an upcoming trip on Delta. We've always checked in at SeaTac for BA and AF. We haven't yet tried to do so on Delta but I suspect we will be checking in at the airport. We, however, had no problems finding FF seat availability on Delta and selecting seats in advance.