Alaska Airlines has one of those truly unique loyalty programs. They do not belong to any airline alliance so they have somewhat assembled their own version of an alliance where you can earn miles with their Mileage Plan program when flying airlines from all over the world. Not only is that a great way to accrue loyalty status with Alaska Airlines but it is also a great way to redeem their miles on some truly wonderful carriers.
Earn 10,000 Alaska Miles with Partner Airline Flights
There is a great promo starting with them as of March 1 where they will top up every trip between North America and the world on partner airlines. That top up? 10,000 miles for a roundtrip. Not bad at all! Here are the details as discovered by Loyalty Lobby:
- Earn a minimum of 5,000 total miles each way on partner airline flights between North America and a non-North America destination between March 1 and December 31, 2020.
- North America is defined as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
- Any bonus miles added to reach the 5,000 mile minimum do not count toward elite status qualification.
- Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account.
The List of Alaska Airline Mileage Plan Partners
Here is a complete list of the partners that you can fly to earn this bonus (you can click each partner to see the mileage earning for tickets credited to Alaska):
- Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Condor, EL AL Israel Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines
As you can see, there are some great airlines on that list for premium cabin travel – Emirates (though it is very expensive in miles to fly them), Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and Singapore to name a few.
Even flying in economy with those airlines is quite a step up from some domestic airlines. So, if you want to rack up the Alaska Airline miles this year, you will want to choose to fly one of those airlines above when heading out from the US.
This is actually a smart move on the part of Alaska Airlines. Alaska does not have an international network like their other big rivals in the US. Obviously, they would rather you not fly those rivals and accrue miles and status with them so they are, in essence, paying for you (with miles) to ride on their partner airlines when leaving North America.
Why This Alaska Airlines Promo Is Great for Discounted Economy Tickets
Let’s take a little dive into the numbers here. The terms say that you will receive a “minimum of 5,000 total miles each way.” That means that if you were to earn 5,000 miles for an expensive economy ticket on a partner, this bonus will not do anything extra for you. But, if you are flying discounted economy tickets that may only credit at 25% of the miles flown, this promo is golden!
Let’s say you fly an economy ticket with Aer Lingus and it is a “S” fare class. The will earn just 25% of the miles flown when credited to Alaska’s Mileage Plan. So, if you were to fly a one way ticket from an Aer Lingus gateway in the US to someplace in Europe that is 3,500 miles away, you would earn just 875 miles.
But, with this promo, that will get a giant rounding up to 5,000 miles for that trip! In essence, this promo would add 4,125 miles to that trip for your mileage balance! Not bad at all!
Now, these are just award miles and not elite miles so going the discount economy way will not help you earn elite status quicker. Still, with plenty of cheap economy tickets out there for travel around the world, it could be pretty easy to rack up 20,000 – 50,000 miles this year if you have several trips and book them on Alaska Airline partners.
Now, here is one little tidbit that I see in the terms. It says “between North America and a non-North America destination.” That doesn’t say “from” and it specifically calls out one-way travel as well. So, it sure looks like this will work on flights to North America from outside of North America as well. That is really great news!
The reason it is great is because flights from Europe (for example) to the US are often cheaper than flights the other way. So, you could grab some roundtrip tickets or one way tickets from other origination points around the world for trips to North America and still be picking up a minimum of 5,000 miles a pop.