Elite Status The Basics

5 Reasons To (Still) Love Alaska Airlines

love alaska Airlines
Written by Charlie

Even with the recent Emirates change, there are still quite a few reasons to love Alaska Airlines. Here are 5 of those reasons to love Alaska Airlines!

Alaska Airlines took a hit with many in the travel rewards community recently when they made an unannounced, overnight change to the redemption charts for travel on Emirates. This made many people very upset with some going kind of overboard with their anger (even when they admittedly were not planning on booking on Emirates and had actually never flown on Alaska!). Even with that change, there are still plenty of reasons to love Alaska Airlines – here are just 5 reasons to still love Alaska Airlines.

5 Reasons To (Still) Love Alaska Airlines

Fee-Free Award Redeposits

While other airlines charge you if you are not a top-tier elite and you want to cancel your award (around $200 per ticket with some carriers), Alaska Airlines actually will let all members cancel/change their award tickets for no-fee up to 60 days before departure! That is a huge benefit that is really helpful for locking in some trips without the worry if something comes up later. See more here.

Great Premium Redemptions Available

Even though premium awards for Emirates have shot up, there are still other premium redemptions available that are the best value around (when using miles from American programs). Some of these include:

  • Flying the best trans-continental option around – JFK to Vancouver aboard Cathay Pacific first class for only 35,000 miles each way
  • First class on Cathay Pacific from the US to Asia for only 70,000 miles each way
  • Hainan business class from the US to Asia for only 50,000 miles each way
  • Business class on Fiji Airways to the South Pacific for only 55,000 miles each way
  • Business class on Qantas to Australia for only 55,000 miles each way
  • First class on  Qantas to Australia for only 70,000 miles each way

That gives you an idea of the tremendous redemption possibilities that still exist! Of course, some of those awards can be hard (and some very hard) to find availability for but they are priced right!

Bonus: If you enjoyed the off-peak calendar with American Airlines, you can still redeem on AA flights at those rates using Alaska Airlines! Read about it here.

Great Mileage Earning With Partners

Alaska Airlines

Elite earning partners with Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is not part of an alliance but they have partnerships with airlines from various alliances. These partnerships allow you to credit your flights on those airlines to Alaska Airlines for award miles and elite miles. That means you could fly Delta and American and credit them to Alaska to help earn status on Alaska that will give you some basic elite benefits on both Delta and American!

Go here for the full list of partners and the earning tables for them.

Companion Tickets

If you are interested in Alaska Airlines, you probably have 1 of their credit cards (or 10). These credit cards are easy to get and they do not require any spending to earn the 25,000 bonus miles – great! Plus, they come with a companion ticket that is good for flying with one companion on their network and only paying $99 plus tax for that companion.

The nice part, in addition to the cheap ticket, is that both you and your companion will earn miles for your flights! This is a nice perk that the Delta companion tickets do not offer. Plus, there are plenty of easy ways to get incredible redemption value on them across their network. If you have a couple of these cards, you also have a couple of these companion certificates!

Elite Benefits On Other Airlines

Like I mentioned before, as an Alaska Airline elite member, you also get certain benefits on some of their partners as well.

These benefits can include everything from priority access to counters, security, and boarding to things like upgrades, complimentary access to better seats, and lounge access. These benefits apply to these airline partners:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Delta Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair

To see the full slate of benefits and what is available with each airline, go here.


As I said, these are just 5 reasons to (still) love Alaska Airlines. This airline has had an incredible track record (Emirates change not withstanding) with frequent flyers and they have given their customers a lot to like about them.

Of course, their credit card is also a thing to love. It is easy to get and gives 25,000 miles just for opening the account – plus, you can get quite a few of them every few months to rack up your Alaska Airlines mileage totals! You can also go here for this link that will give you a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in 90 days – it helps to wipe out the $75 annual fee.

What do you love about Alaska Airlines?

Some of the links on Running with Miles are affiliate links that pay a commission if a purchase is made. Running with Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • But are there any seats actually ever available on these flight?

    • Business class on Fiji Airways to the South Pacific for only 55,000 miles each way
    • Business class on Qantas to Australia for only 55,000 miles each way
    • First class on Qantas to Australia for only 70,000 miles each way

    • Yes, most of the J class is hard to come by, most of the time I just redeem for Y. Most of my booking are last minute booking anyway which have high cost, so even redeeming for Y make sense.

    • Yes trying to find CX J or F is near impossible. I have spent a great deal of time on the phone w/ the AS partner desk – with no avail. Even the HU J has a high dollar amount (typically ~$240) which makes me consider just paying for discounted biz class on AA or otherwise. Qantas doesn’t ever seem to have availability either. The Fiji business class is typically mixed and not 100% lie-flat from the So Pac -> USA west coast.

      • For CX J/F you can search it on BA website to get availability. I saw Qantas J recently departing from LAX/SFO to MEL/SYD, but no J and F with CX. HU’s high YQ is a bit turn off, but for 50k J is not so bad.

        • the BA site is not always accurate for AS allocations. I did find availability and called AS, however they couldn’t see it. So – be careful with what you see on the BA site and don’t get your hopes up.

  • The problem is that Amex points don’t seem to be transferrable to Alaska Airlines. Am I right? Alaska Air is not on the Amex partner site. Thanks.