Chile, Seattle, or Dublin? Sydney, Hong Kong, and Fiji? even in Tokyo. What is the commonality among these places? All of these are affordable destinations that may be reached using Alaska Airlines miles.
Whether you’re traveling in the economy or treating yourself to first class, Alaska’s frequent flyer program, called Alaska Mileage Plan, offers some of the greatest prices to these and other places across the globe. Due to the inability to transfer points from popular credit cards like Capital One, Chase, or American Express, Alaska miles are generally harder to accrue than those of many other airlines. However, earning them justifies more effort.
There are numerous fantastic sweet spots and distinctive benefits with Alaska miles that may make you want to add more to your collection, even if recent adjustments to its reward chart and an increase for many redemptions flying partner carrier Japan Airlines have dulled some of the shine off Alaska miles.
Now let’s review seven of the top uses for Alaska miles. Let’s first take a brief look at the operation of the Alaska Mileage Plan.
Alaska Mileage Plan Basics
The Alaska Airlines miles Plan is arguably the most profitable miles program offered by any American airline. The miles are more difficult to accrue (unless you travel to Alaska frequently), but they can get you to some incredible destinations for a lot less money than other frequent flyer programs.
You’re in for a pleasant surprise if you assumed that the only way to travel to Alaska was with Alaska miles. As a member of the Oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines has several airline partners even though it only flies inside the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Also, it extends beyond that to additional partners who are not members of the alliance.
23 Alaska Airlines Partners
There are currently twenty-three airlines that Alaska works with, meaning that you may use your miles to book almost free tickets or even accrue additional miles when you pay with cash. Additionally, they rank among the top airlines worldwide.
This approach is not nearly as transparent, even though it is simpler than a jumble of more than twenty individual award charts. It displays award prices “starting from,” which means that the same travel to Asia could end up costing you substantially more in the long run. For example, 50,000 miles each way in business class. Luckily, a lot of the amazing offers that have contributed to the value of Alaska miles have remained unchanged.
It won’t take long to reach the top of the list. Let me first discuss what may be the best benefit of using Alaska miles to purchase travel.
- Korean Air
- LATAM Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Ravn Alaska
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- Singapore Airlines
- Sri Lankan Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Air Tahiti Nui
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- El Al
- Fiji Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Japan Airlines
Wish to spend the cost of one visit in two cities? Alaska Mileage Plan excels in this particular area.
The majority of award tickets on Alaska Airlines, regardless of the airline or whether you’re traveling one-way or round-trip, allow you to add a free stopover (a halt of more than 24 hours) en route to your ultimate destination. When compared to using other frequent flyer programs, which sometimes only permit round-trip stops or impose exorbitant costs to do so, this can open up some incredible travel chances.
For example, with American AAdvantage points, you are unable to book any stopovers. Numerous airline programs only permit one stopover per round of journeys, such as Turkish Airlines and United Airlines’ excursionist perks.
With Alaska, you may schedule a stopover for when you’re traveling to your destination and another for when you’re returning. Booking a stopover for both domestic and international travel is possible, and there are no additional mileage costs.
The Top 7 Uses for Alaska Airlines Miles
Now that we’ve covered all the bases, let’s see what the greatest offers are for using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to book a domestic flight or a multi-stop international vacation.
Travel to Asia and Beyond in Cathay Pacific First or Business Class
This offer is among the best available. If you use Alaska points instead of Cathay Pacific’s own Asia points or even American AAdvantage miles for the same trip, you may reserve premium accommodations for a lot less money. Take a look at some of the amazing prices available when using Alaska miles to book this excellent flight.
Business Class on Fiji Airways to Australia New Zealand or Fiji
Flying directly to Fiji on Fiji Airways or down to Australia or New Zealand in business class for under 55,000 miles one way is an amazing deal that can be booked with Alaska miles!
Compared to nonstop flights to Australia, this is about as cheap as business class travel goes, and it is conceivable to obtain award space and book it. In my opinion, this is one of the best offers you can find with any mileage program when you include the option to stop over in Fiji for a short island stay on your way to or from (or both) for no additional miles.
Travel America and Canada with Fly Alaska
Naturally, Alaska Airlines flights can be paid for with Alaska Airlines miles. And one-way rates as low as 5,000 miles are available. The fact that you’ll never pay for Alaska Airlines basic economy tickets and will always receive a Main Cabin ticket when redeeming miles may be the nicest thing about using miles rather than cash to purchase trips. As a result, you’ll have additional choices for a complimentary seat assignment and the freedom to modify your ticket as much as you’d like or cancel it completely and receive your miles back.
Alaska Airlines offers variable pricing based on distance for flights inside the continental United States, Alaska, and Canada. If you’re using Alaska miles for an American Airlines flight, these same rates apply.
Travel to South America by LATAM Business Class
The two airlines have maintained a connection even though LATAM exited the Oneworld alliance in 2020, well before Alaska Airlines developed its strategy to join the alliance. For travelers holding a large amount of Mileage Plan miles, this is excellent news.
One of the finest methods to travel in business class to South America is to use 45,000 Alaska miles to fly LATAM, especially if you can use those miles to travel down to Santiago (SCL) in Chile.
Five U.S. gateways—Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York City (JFK), and Orlando (MCO)—offer LATAM flights to cities around South America. It’s quite simple to search and book on this additional partner airline, which Alaska recently brought online after requiring customers to call in.
Travel to Asia with Japan Airlines in First or Business Class
Japan Airlines offers one of the world’s greatest experiences in premium cabins. Utilizing Alaska miles has long been considered one of the most affordable options. Flights in business class began at just 60,000 Alaskan miles each trip. Moreover, the first-class ticket on Japan Airlines to Tokyo was astonishingly only 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles. With only 35,000 miles per trip, even economy flights were an excellent deal.
Go to Europe in Business Class with Aer Lingus
Although we might not have chosen Aer Lingus initially, we would be willing to pay the extra money to travel in a flat seat.
There’s a competitive method to use points and miles to fly business class to Europe with Aer Lingus, starting at just 60,000 Alaska miles and less than $20 in taxes and fees each way. Additionally, economy travel is available for a very reasonable 60,000 miles roundtrip. Additionally, if you’re traveling to another location in Europe, you can make a detour in Dublin to sample Guinness directly from the source.
Go to Australia with Qantas in First or Business Class
There are various methods for traveling to Australia with Alaska Miles. Traveling 55,000 miles in business class or, even better, merely 70,000 miles in Qantas’ renowned first class is maybe the best option of all. To be honest, this prize is a little bit of a unicorn fare. Rarely do Qantas flights have award space available in the premium cabins.
How Points Are Earned on Alaska Airlines
To reserve these lovely locations, how might one get the necessary miles? Earning Alaska miles is a little more difficult than with some other programs because, regrettably, Alaska doesn’t partner with any of the major banks that provide transferrable points, such as Chase or American Express. However, there are still a few ways to start earning a lot of Alaska miles quickly.
Currently, the best option is to use the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. Compared to nearly every other significant American airline, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has a significant edge. Although most airlines now award miles based on fare paid, Alaska continues to reward mileage based on actual flight distance. That’s a bonus for accruing miles when traveling Alaska, particularly for those who reside on the West Coast where Alaska has the greatest route network.
Even with Alaska’s Saver Fares, every flight operated by Alaska earns at least 100% of the miles flown, with additional mileage awarded to certain fare classes such as first class and full-fare economy. Here’s a summary:
Take this into consideration: When traveling on Delta from Seattle (SEA) to New York City (JFK), you would only accrue 790 SkyMiles on a $183 ticket; however, following a disruptive change late in 2018, you would receive 0 SkyMiles if you purchased a Delta basic economy ticket. However, since Mileage Plan points are awarded depending on flight duration, you would receive at least 2,421 miles on that same journey with Alaska Airlines. For travelers to Alaska frequently, the difference might quickly mount up.
Naturally, you may also credit miles for flights taken on partner airlines with Alaska Airlines. To determine the precise amount you will receive by pooling those miles with Alaska instead, use a fantastic resource such as wheretocredit.com.
Additionally, you may convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Alaska miles at a 3:1 ratio, earning an extra 5,000 miles for each 60,000 points transferred. However, you should only use that as a last resort to top off your account and get the remaining few thousand miles you require.