Since I live in the Midwest, in one of Alaska’s “dead” zones, I originally discounted them. I have never made an Alaska Airlines card one of the cards I signed up for as part of any of my credit card churns.
But, one thing that I did not take into account is Alaska Airlines mileage partners – although Alaska is not part of an airline alliance, there are several Alaska Airlines mileage partners that you can use. Coupled with the fact that the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card is one of the easiest ones to churn make Alaska a pretty good airline to accrue points in
Alaska Airlines mileage partners
You can view the full list of Alaska Airlines mileage partners on Alaska’s site.
The complete list (with their current air alliance) is
- AeroMexico (Skyteam)
- Air France (Skyteam)
- American Airlines (oneworld)
- British Airways (oneworld)
- Cathay Pacific (oneworld)
- Delta (Skyeam)
- Emirates (none)
- Fiji Air (none)
- KLM (Skyteam)
- Korean Air (Skyteam)
- LAN (oneworld)
- Qantas (oneworld)
- PenAir (none)
- Ravn (none)
All of the Alaska Airlines mileage partners have their uses, but probably the most useful is their partnerships with Emirates. Emirates is not in an airline alliance, and has a large list of partners, but none of them are as easy to get miles on as Alaska Airlines.
Crediting miles flown on Alaska Airlines mileage partners
One thing that many flyers do is credit butt-in-seat miles that are flown on one of the Alaska Airlines mileage partners to Alaska. So if you fly an American flight, instead of earning miles on American, you can instead credit those miles to Alaska.
Different airlines earn a different percentage of the flown miles based on the fare class. You can check the full list for any of the Alaska Airlines mileage partners on Alaska’s partner page, but here are a few of the more common scenarios
Earning on American Airlines
Economy Class Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in B, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, Q, R, S, V, W, X or Y classes of service.
Business Class Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in C, D, I, or J classes of service, plus 25% Bonus Miles.
First Class Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in A, F, or P classes of service, plus 50% Bonus Miles.
Earning on Delta Airlines
Economy Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X, V, or E classes of service.
Business Elite (Business Class) Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in J, C, D, I or Z classes of service, plus 25% Bonus Miles.
First Class Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in F, P, A or G classes of service, plus 50% Bonus Miles.
Do note that the earning of Alaska miles flown on Delta flights will change for flights taken after January 1, 2015, as part of the Delta Skymiles 2015 changes. Travel Codex (formerly Hack my Trip) has all the details!
Redeeming awards on Alaska Airlines mileage partners
As I said earlier, one of the real benefits to earning Alaska miles is they offer some very interesting redemptions. First of all, Alaska is one of the very few programs that allows a stopover, even on a one-way. British Airways is another one, but those are just about the only ones I can think of
There are different award charts for all of the Alaska Airlines mileage partners, and it’s also different by region. For example, here is Alaska’s award chart for travel to the Middle East, India and Africa.
A one-way ticket from North America to Africa, India or the Middle East in Economy Class is 40,000 miles on Air France or KLM, but 50,000 on British Airways or Cathay Pacific, and 42,500 on Emirates.
The luxury on Emirates First Class is pretty wild
Including a lounge and a shower (!) on board. Even better, Alaska does not collect fuel surcharges on Emirates flights, which means that a one-way First Class booking from North America to the Middle East is only 90,000 miles!
You can also continue on to Asia for only another 10,000 miles. The $19.50 does include a $12.50 partner award booking fee, which is mandatory and assessed on all partner award bookings. Still, when you compare that to the hundreds if not thousands of dollars that British Airways charges, it’s quite the bargain!
Do you have a stash of Alaska Airlines miles? What do you think is the best redemption for them? Let us know in the comments!