Alaska Airlines is very proud of it’s unique partnerships with other airlines. Instead of joining a traditional alliance — Star Alliance, oneworld, or Sky Team — it has instead negotiated separate agreements with multiple carriers. To promote those partnerships Alaska is promising that you’ll earn at least 10,000 miles in its Mileage Plan loyalty program when you travel on one of its Global Partners between March 1 and December 31, 2020. (HT to God Save the Points)
How to Earn Bonus Miles
The promotion is structured to award a minimum of 5,000 award miles for each one-way journey. Essentially the award miles will be calculated using the normal earning charts, and then if you haven’t reached the 5,000 threshold you’ll get some bonus miles to top up. Round-trip travel is not required.
The minimum guarantee applies to award miles only, not elite qualifying miles.
You must be traveling between North America and another destination NOT in North America. North America is defined as including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
You must be traveling on one of Alaska’s 15 global partners, including: 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. Travel on American Airlines, Ravn Alaska, or PenAir is not eligible.
You must obviously include your Alaska Mileage Plan number on your reservation to be eligible to earn miles. Additional requirements may apply to earn miles with Mileage Plan; be sure to visit Alaska’s partner page and read the conditions applicable to each airline.
Is It a Good Deal?
I like Alaska’s partnerships quite a bit. Alaska miles are relatively easy to earn because the carrier still uses a loyalty program based primarily on the distance you fly, and their awards tend to be cheaper than those you can book with another carrier’s miles. For example:
- You’ll always earn at least a mile per mile flown on Alaska’s flights.
- You might not always earn a mile per mile flown on partner airlines, but the formula starts with distance. Some partners have a multiplier for cheaper or more expensive fares.
- Nearly all awards on partner airlines have fixed prices. These prices also tend to be cheaper. For example, you might redeem as many American AAdvantage miles to fly business class on Cathay Pacific, but the same number of Alaska miles gets you first class and a free stopover.
- Some awards on Alaska’s own flights do have dynamic pricing. These pricing bands, however, are based on distance. Shorter flights should cost less on average.
In the past I have often used partner flights to earn 50% or more of the miles I need to requalify for MVP Gold status. Travel on Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific has also earned me huge bonuses when I take advantage of sales for first or business class. The new 10,000 minimum wouldn’t help much in that case, but it could still be useful if you are traveling in economy class or have a shorter flight on a discounted fare.