Alaska Airlines announced a series of consumer-friendly changes to its Mileage Plan loyalty program on Monday. The improvements could soften the blow for Mileage Plan members, as Alaska and Delta announced Monday that they will end their codesharing agreement on April 30. As a result, Mileage Plan members will no longer be able to accrue or redeem miles on Delta flights beginning May 1. Effective immediately, Alaska is reducing the redemption threshold of one-way reward travel to 5,000 award miles (for trips of less than 700 miles). Previously, the carrier had required a minimum of 7,500 award miles for short intrastate trips and a minimum of 12,500 award miles for all other short trips. Also, Alaska reduced the minimum redemption of trips between 701 and 1,400 miles to 7,500 award miles, down from 12,500. In addition, the carrier lowered the minimum one-way redemption cost for flights of between 1,401 and 2,100 miles to 10,000 award miles, down from 12,500. Along with bringing a reduction in redemption thresholds, Monday marks the first day that Mileage Plan members can earn award miles for Virgin America-branded flights. Alaska on Dec. 14 completed its $2.6 billion purchase of Virgin America. To read more at Travel Weekly, click here.