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Alaska Airways Mileage Plan Overview

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Signing up for bank cards by way of companion hyperlinks earns us a fee. Phrases apply to the gives listed on this web page. Right here’s our full promoting coverage.

When attempting to determine which airline miles to gather, many individuals begin with the airline that provides one of the best routes from their house airport.

I've by no means been to Alaska (or its hubs in Seattle or Portland), but Alaska Airways Mileage Plan is palms down my favourite frequent flyer program on the market. Alaska Airways isn’t a member of one of many three main airline alliances (Star Alliance, oneworld and SkyTeam), but it surely’s constructed a helpful loyalty program by way of particular person partnerships with plenty of airways. I fly between the U.S. and Asia roughly 5 occasions per 12 months, and Alaska Airways miles assist me make that journey in first-class as a rule.

Whereas Alaska Airways Mileage Plan miles will be fairly arduous to earn, each of the Alaska bank cards are at present providing all-time excessive welcome bonuses:

I'll share the other ways you may earn Alaska Airways miles and a number of the extremely high-value redemption choices you ought to be focusing on. Right here’s our Alaska Airways Mileage Plan evaluate.

Alaska Airways Mileage Plan evaluate: Alaska Airways miles are good for rather more than simply visits to the Alaskan wilderness. (Photograph by Martina Birnbaum / Shutterstock)

Alaska Airways Mileage Plan Overview

Alaska Airways has a deceiving title. It's headquartered in Seattle. And it's not almost as area of interest of an airline because it sounds.

Alaska Airways has tons of helpful airline companions that may take you all around the world. I'll present you the nuts and bolts of this airline loyalty program.

Find out how to wse Alaska Airways miles

Worldwide companion awards

Normally after we discuss methods to redeem an airline’s miles, the logical place to begin is for flights operated by that airline. Once more, Alaska Airways miles have broad attraction to individuals who don’t dwell / work / journey by way of any of Alaska’s west coast hubs, so we’ll begin by having a look on the companion award charts first. Listed below are the entire airways Alaska at present companions with:

One crucial factor to notice is that Alaska has totally different award charts for every airline companion, and plenty of of those charts restrict the routes you may truly fly.

Let's begin with my absolute favourite, flights between the U.S. and Asia on Cathay Pacific. You may fly in first-class for less than 70,000 miles every approach, or for 50,000 miles in enterprise class. Even 30,000 miles every approach in coach isn’t half dangerous, and also you’ll see that Cathay Pacific is among the few airways that makes it straightforward to redeem for premium economic system awards.

This must be the only greatest use of Alaska Airways miles, as most different packages would cost you twice as a lot for a one-way first-class flight to Asia.

One other nice choice is flying on Japan Airways, although you'll pay slightly extra in enterprise class. Whereas Alaska treats all of Asia as one area for redemptions on Cathay Pacific, you may see that Southeast Asia is barely costlier when flying with Japan Airways.

One benefit of flying Japan Airways is which you could guide these flights instantly on the Alaska Airways web site, whereas with Cathay Pacific you’ll must seek for award area elsewhere (attempt British Airways or Qantas) and name to guide.

One other approach that Alaska actually outshines the competitors is by permitting free stopovers on one-way award tickets. You're not allowed to have a number of companions on a single award flight, however you should utilize a home Alaska Airways flight to place your self for a global companion flight. Your stopover can both be within the U.S. as a part of the Alaska connection or on the hub metropolis of the companion you're flying. This implies for those who're flying with Cathay Pacific, you get a free stopover in Hong Kong (or in Tokyo for those who're flying with Japan Airways).

For companions which will be booked instantly on the Alaska Airways web site (which is all of them besides Cathay Pacific and LATAM), you may even guide the stopover your self by looking for a multi-city award. (I might nonetheless advocate first looking out segment-by-segment to seek out the award area you want earlier than happening to the multi-city search.)

With that each one out of the way in which, let’s check out a couple of different good makes use of of Alaska Airways miles for companion airways. Flights to Europe aren't outrageously costly, however they begin to really feel that approach when you concentrate on what number of methods there are to make use of Alaska Airways miles.

Per tip: American Airways might be one of the best companion to make use of for Europe, with charges as little as 22,500 miles every approach in coach throughout off-peak dates.

You may additionally wish to use the free stopover in Hong Kong to interrupt up a journey from the U.S. to Australia, one of many hardest locations to get to with factors and miles! Cathay Pacific’s intensive route community and the flexibility so as to add stopover will provide you with extra flexibility to seek out award area.

Alaska additionally companions with Qantas for journeys to Australia, though the percentages of you discovering a saver degree premium award seat on one in all Qantas ’nonstop flights from the U.S. is so low that it's most likely not price your time to hassle looking out.

What to not do: Alaska Airways was once among the finest choices for reserving Emirates first-class awards due to low charges and no gasoline surcharges, however a no-notice middle-of-the-night devaluation modified all of that. Whereas Alaska nonetheless does companion with Emirates, it’ll value you 150,000 miles for a first-class award from the U.S. to the Center East, or confusingly, 180,000 miles for a shorter journey to Europe on one in all Emirates’’s fifth freedom routes.

Is Emirates actually ok to be definitely worth the equal of two Cathay Pacific first-class awards? It completely is, particularly for those who can guide it with out paying any gasoline surcharges, but it surely's going to take you some time to rack up sufficient miles to make that dream a actuality.

Home flights

For those who're seeking to keep throughout the U.S., you may redeem your Alaska Airways miles for flights on Alaska Airways or American Airways. Alaska costs its awards based mostly on distance, whether or not you wish to take a hop, skip or a bounce:

Flights on American Airways are a lot less complicated, as you’ll pay 12,500 miles every approach in economic system and 25,000 in enterprise class. You can even use your Alaska Airways miles to fly to Hawaii, beginning at simply 15,000 miles every approach for flights on Alaska Airways and 22,500 miles every approach for flights on American Airways.

Alaska Airways elite standing

Alaska Airways at present has three totally different tiers of elite standing. In contrast to the most important U.S. airways, you're not required to spend a sure amount of cash to qualify for elite standing. The tiers are:

  • MVP (20,000 elite qualifying miles on Alaska or 25,000 on Alaska + companions or 30 segments)
  • MVP gold (40,000 elite qualifying miles on Alaska or 50,000 on Alaska + companions or 60 segments)
  • MVP Gold 75Okay (75,000 elite qualifying miles on Alaska or 90,000 on Alaska + companions or 90 segments)

Fast jargon rationalization: Elite qualifying miles means the quantity of miles you've truly flown on Alaska Airways. For those who fly 2,000 miles, you'll obtain 2,000 elite qualifying miles. Plus, if in case you have elite standing, you can rise up to a 75% bonus on these miles!

A phase means a flight from one airport to a different. For instance, for those who fly from Los Angeles to Seattle to Portland, you've flown two segments.

The excellent news is that each one elite members, even the bottom tier MVP elites, are eligible for upgrades to Premium Class and first-class. MVP elites will obtain a 50% bonus on the miles they earn, whereas MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75Ks obtain a 100% and a 125% bonus respectively. MVP Golds additionally obtain 4 visitor improve certificates.

Find out how to earn Alaska Airways miles

You may earn Alaska Airways miles in plenty of other ways, although you’ll wish to get artistic because you don’t have as many switch choices as you do for the opposite main U.S. airways.

Bank cards

There are two Alaska Airways bank cards: One private model and one enterprise model. Each playing cards are at present providing all-time excessive welcome bonuses of 40,000 miles after assembly minimal spending necessities, which is sort of sufficient for a one-way business-class ticket to Asia on Cathay Pacific.

The annual payment is $ 75 on each playing cards, and every comes with an Alaska Airways companion fare while you open the cardboard, in addition to yearly while you renew your card.

For as little as $ 121 ($ 99 fare plus taxes and costs from $ 22), you may take a journey buddy with you while you pay for a round-trip or one-way coach fare on Alaska Airways. You may go anyplace Alaska Airways flies! That's sure to save lots of you a whole lot yearly.

Purchase miles

Shopping for miles typically represents a reasonably poor worth in comparison with incomes them from bank card bonuses and spending, however Alaska Airways is a big exception to this. Alaska Airways incessantly gives bonuses on bought miles of as much as 50%.

With a reduction like this, you can purchase 70,000 miles for just below $ 1,400 and use these miles to guide a $ 20,000 Cathay Pacific first-class ticket from the U.S. to Hong Kong. That mentioned, I wouldn’t purchase these miles speculatively (particularly since Alaska Airways runs this sale fairly often). Use this selection solely if in case you have an concept in thoughts and have already discovered obtainable award seats.

Fly Alaska Airways or credit score companion flights to Alaska Airways

With all of the speak of bank card bonuses, folks generally neglect that it’s nonetheless, in truth, potential to earn miles by truly flying your self. You’ll earn Alaska Airways miles for flights on Alaska Airways, and you can too credit score paid flights from companions like American Airways or British Airways to Alaska Airways.

They’ve received some very beneficiant bonus alternatives for his or her elite members, which might make this a compelling choice (particularly for those who’re touring on paid business-class fares). You’ll earn Alaska Airways miles on the following charges, along with any bonus miles out of your elite standing:

Switch from Marriott

Alaska Airways doesn’t companion with any of the most important transferable factors packages like Chase Final Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards, however it’s potential to switch factors from Marriott. Whereas I typically want to make use of my Marriott factors for resort stays, Alaska is among the few exceptions.

Marriott factors switch at a 3: 1 ratio. Plus, you'll obtain a 5,000 mile bonus for each 60,000 Marriott factors transferred. This implies to get the 70,000 miles wanted for a Cathay Pacific first-class award, you'd have to switch 180,000 Marriott factors, which isn't a nasty deal in any respect. Transfers can take 4 days or extra to submit, although, so remember that the obtainable seats you discovered might be snatched up by the point your miles deposit.

Use the Alaska Airways purchasing portal

Alaska Airways miles are arduous to earn, so I usually discover myself utilizing the Alaska Airways purchasing portal, even when it isn't providing the very best charge for a given retailer. With the low value of companion award flights, a couple of hundred additional miles right here and there actually begin to add up.

Backside line

Visiting Alaska is excessive on my bucket record, however I'm comfortable to maintain racking up Alaska Airways miles even whereas dwelling exterior the U.S. Between a number of heavy-hitter companion airways, beneficiant free stopovers on one-way award tickets, and nearly comically low award charges, Alaska Airways miles have grow to be my go-to approach to journey between the U.S. and Asia.

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Editorial observe: We're the Million Mile Secrets and techniques group. And we're happy with our content material, opinions and evaluation, and of our reader's feedback. These haven’t been reviewed, authorized or endorsed by any of the airways, lodges, or bank card issuers which we regularly write about. And that's simply how we prefer it! 🙂

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