So most of you have heard that I’m now an Alaska Airlines fanboy after I status matched to them earlier this year. Well, I’m thinking about doing my first mileage run with them now and want my reader’s opinion on this.
Alaska Airlines is currently offering a double miles promotion for flights on Emirates from the US (Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York – JFK, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC) to Dubai (and onward). You must register by June 15, 2014 (and before your flight) and travel between April 21, 2014 and November 30, 2014.
Once you’re registered, go to emirates.com/as to buy your tickets. There’s also a discount promo of 5% off for economy tickets and 10% off for business and first class tickets automatically added to that link in addition to the double miles. If the discount code doesn’t auto-populate, just type in USALK14.
But here are the restrictions.
- Flights must be marketed AND operated by Emirates.
- Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines account.
- Flights must be flown in A, B, C, E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, P, Q, R, T, U, V, W, X and Y fare classes.
- Travel must be completed by November 30, 2014.
- Not valid on free or award travel.
- Double miles do not count towards elite status.
- Blackout dates do apply. You can find them here.
And here’s the other catch.
- Economy class flights in E, R, W and Y will earn actual flight miles.
- Economy class flights in B, H, K, L, M, T, U, V and X will only earn 50% of actual flight miles.
- Business class flights in C, I, J and O will earn actual flight miles.
- First class flights in A, F and P will earn actual flight miles.
So here’s what I’m looking to do.
With this promotion, if I travel 10,000 miles with Emirates in E, R, W or Y, I will earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles and 20,000 redeemable miles. And as an MVP Gold member, I will get another 100% bonus on the actual flight miles for a total of 30,000 redeemable miles. That’s pretty damn impressive!
But let’s be honest, I’m not buying a full fare ticket. I’m doing a mileage run and I’m looking for the cheapest fare class possible. Those discounted economy fares will only earn me 50% of actual flight miles.
With the discounted economy fares, if I travel 10,000 miles with Emirates, I will now only earn 5,000 elite qualifying miles and 5,000 redeemable miles. But with this promotion, I will earn 5,000 elite qualifying miles and 10,000 redeemable miles. And with my MVP Gold bonus, I will get a total of 15,000 redeemable miles.
With that formula in hand, let’s look at some actual flight options.
I went to the emirates.com/as link and found fares from LAX to Dubai to Kuala Lumper. Why Kuala Lumpar, you ask? It’s just a far away destination that I have never visited but would love to visit. That’s all. The fare was for $1282 and was in H class.
That’s a total roundtrip distance of 23,574 miles (LAX-DXB–KUL–DXB-LAX). With this promotion, I would earn 11,787 elite qualifying miles and 35,361 redeemable miles (23,574 actual miles x 50% + 11,787 promo bonus + 11,787 MVP Gold bonus). That’s 3.6 cents per mile!
I also found fares to Bangkok for $1252 in H class. I have already been to Bangkok once but would not mind visiting again. That’s a total roundtrip distance of 22,778 miles (LAX-DXB-BKK-DXB-LAX). With this promotion, I would earn 11,389 elite qualifying miles and 34,167 redeemable miles. That’s 3.7 cents per mile!
Not a big difference at all. Now, let’s look at the flights.
- LAX to Dubai is economy class on the A380. Dubai to LAX will be the same.
- Emirates A380 has been touted as the best economy class experience.
- Dubai to Bangkok will be on an Airbus A380. Bangkok to Dubai will be the same.
- The Bangkok routes gets four whole flights on the A380 but it visits a destination that I have already been to.
- Dubai to Kuala Lumpur is economy class on a Boeing 777-300ER. Kuala Lumpur to Dabai is the same. Both legs are 7 hours each.
- The Emirates Boeing 777-300ER has not been touted as the best economy class experience. Probably because they shove in 10 seats across where there should only be nine. Thus dropping the seat width down to 17 inches.
- The Kuala Lumpur route only gets 2 A380 flights (with 2 Boeing 777-300ER flights) but I get to visit a new destination.
So here’s my reader poll. Would you. . . ?
Take advantage of this promotion? Yes or No? Why or Why not?
Which destination? Why?
Thanks for your advice. Feel free to check my math or the terms and conditions of the offer and let me know if you find any discrepancies.