Dear Alaska Airlines,
We’ve been friends for a long time. In fact, I’ve been flying you my entire life! We haven’t always had the best relationship though. In fact, when I was younger, I’d fly you but credit my miles to Northwest Airlines. It was not that I didn’t like you, it was just that Northwest would give me phantom upgrades to Asia and you don’t fly outside of North America. With that said, for the last several years I’ve been flying you 75,000 miles or more a year. I love flying Alaska, but if you were Santa Claus this is what I would ask for!
Award Redemption on All Partner Airlines
I have been asking for this since…well as long as I can remember. I recall when your website said award travel coming on some partners in fall of 2017. Well that date came and went, and now, it just reads “Not Available.” Sure I love that ability to earn miles on Singapore Airlines and Aer Lingus, but the ability to redeem miles would be even better! It seems really unfair that Singapore Airlines Krisflyer members can redeem miles on Alaska Airlines, but we cannot fly Singapore Airlines with miles.
Or what about the TAM in LATAM airlines. That merger was YEARS ago! We are talking 2012 and the merger closed in 2015. It’s now 6 years later since the announcement and 3 years past the launch of the single brand. Heck, it’s been 4 years since TAM stop flying First Class to align itself with it’s big brother LAN. Yet here we are at the end of 2018 and Alaska Airlines miles can only earn and redeem miles on LAN flights.
Award Charts for All Routes
Alaska Airlines has a global network of partners. Big name airlines such as Emirates, Qantas, JAL, Korean, and many more. Yet, awards are very restrictive to flying to and from the United States. Only Cathay Pacific and Finnair allow for award redemptions on routes between Europe and Asia.
British Airways flies from London to the world, yet Mileage Plan members cannot use miles to fly between London and Kiev, or London and Dubai, or London and Hong Kong, or London and Buenos Aires…You get my point. Stop being so restrictive! Alaska Airlines has opened their entire route network up for partner redemptions, why can’t your partners do the same?
Mixing of Partners on Award Tickets
It would be great if I could mix and match award partners on tickets. I know I can go one-way on JAL and return on Korean, but what would be even better if I could mix and match partners in the same direction. Or at the VERY least partners from the same alliance. My ideal compromise, let me fly American Airlines Dallas to Los Angeles, then connect on Japan Airlines to Tokyo and in Tokyo connect onwards with Cathay Pacific. Heck, they are all OneWorld after all! The entire worry about the ability to check luggage through to the destination would never be an issue if you kept it to alliance members partner redemptions. Let’s compromise here 😊
Include Fully Owned Subsidiaries in Your Partnerships
Once again Alaska Airlines has some AWESOME partnerships, but they are limited. Alaska fully owns Horizon air, and they fly a lot of regional flights for the airlines. Alaska Airlines allows their partners to redeem miles on Horizon Air flights.
Similarly, partner Cathay Pacific owns Cathay Dragon (FKA DragonAir). Dragonair flies regional routes from Hong Kong to most of China, South East Asia, and beyond. Many destinations that Cathay Dragon operates are not serviced by Cathay Pacific. This makes getting to your final destination using Award miles extremely difficult. The same issue can be said again about the TAM in LATAM.
I don’t want a lot for Christmas
Friend, I’ve been asking for these items for years. I hope you’re listening. I love Alaska, I love Mileage Plan, but the miles become less rewarding and valuable with some many restrictions. A mile flown is a mile earned is awesome, but too many restrictions makes it hard to be your cheerleader all the time.
There are a lot of other things I would change if I could, but I’ll ask for those later. You know, like tablets on mid-continental flights again, blankets and pillows in the forward cabin on flights other than transcons, more meals which change more frequently than every month or two, menus on every flight, an actual Pre-departure beverage in First Class, etc etc. But again, I don’t want those for Christmas, I just want the things I listed above in bold. I’ll deal with the service cuts, if you can return something to your most dedicated and frequent flyers!
Thanks for listening Alaska Claus! I promise I’ve been good this year!