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I used to not pay much attention to Alaska Airlines, since I live in a “dead-zone” where Alaska does not fly. But that was a naive opinion without realizing the value of the many Alaska Airlines Mileage partners. For instance, I used 100,000 Alaska Airlines to fly first class on Emirates around the world (before they devalued)
I also used Alaska Airlines to get lie flat seats to Peru on their partner LAN airline. Alaska Airlines has a unique award chart where only specific regions are connected by specific airlines. If they don’t specify the airline / region pair, then you can not book the flights, even if the city pairs are served by Alaska or its partners.
Recently Alaska made 2 additions to the available awards that you can book with their Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles
Alaska miles to Australia on Emirates
You can now book Emirates flights to Australia using Alaska miles. Previously you could only book Emirates flights to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, but now Emirates flights are also bookable. The award chart is not up yet, but according to Point Me to the Plane, the one way mileage values are
- Economy Class: 65,000 miles one-way
- Business Class: 120,000 miles one-way
- First Class: 225,000 miles one-way
That is a lot of miles and may not be a great redemption, mostly because you route through Dubai (going eastbound from the US) instead of going west across the Pacific. As a comparison, the coach cost from the US to Australia is 40,000 on Cathay Pacific and Fiji Airways and 42,500 on Qantas.
Alaska miles to Asia on Japan Airlines
You can also now use Alaska miles to fly to Asia on Japan Airlines. Whereas you could already fly to Asia on Cathay, Emirates, American and several other airlines, Alaska has now published their award chart for Japan Airlines to Asia
Asia is defined as China, India (?) and South Korea, while Southeast Asia is China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Here’s an example of a flight from the US to India on JAL
That is bookable for 35,000 Alaska miles plus $63 in taxes and fees.
Point Me to the Plane has a good rundown on using Alaska miles on JAL with a few good sweet spots. To me, India is the biggest sweetspot – 35,000 miles from the US to India is among the cheapest miles out there. Couple that with miles that are easy to get, low fuel surcharges, and this is probably the easiest way for beginners wanting to go to India.
Good luck and happy booking!