I’m a huge fan of the Alaska Mileage Plan program. Even though the airline doesn’t belong to any of the global alliances, they have a variety of airline partners across the three alliances, and also have several independent airline partners.
Alaska Mileage Plan is one of the most generous programs when it comes to how many miles they’ll issue you for partner flights, and they’ve just made that even more generous for most of 2020.
Earn at least 10K Alaska miles per partner trip
Between March 1 and December 31, 2020, Alaska Mileage Plan will offer a minimum of 10,000 miles per roundtrip on eligible partners between North American and non-North American destinations.
There are some things to be aware of:
- This is valid for flights on Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Condor, EL AL, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines
- In reality you’ll earn a minimum of 5,000 miles on a one-way, should you not be flying roundtrip
- North America is defined as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean
- Bonus miles offered through this promotion are redeemable award miles, so don’t count towards elite status
- The promotion is based on when you travel, and even tickets booked before the start of the promotion are eligible
- Allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account
- There’s no registration required, though you can see the promotion mentioned on this page
Obviously this promotion won’t benefit everyone, but this will be especially useful for those booking discounted fares. For example, if you’re flying roundtrip from Boston to London on British Airways in the cheapest fare class you’d ordinarily earn ~1,633 miles (the trip covers a distance of 6,530 miles, and the cheapest fares earn mileage for 25% of the distance flown).
If you’re in that position you’d earn an additional ~8,367 miles, which is the equivalent of over a 500% bonus. Very nice!
Are elite members at a disadvantage?
One interesting wrinkle here seems to be that elite members may be at a disadvantage. Best I can tell they’re promising a minimum of 10,000 total award miles roundtrip, so it would appear that this would factor in elite bonuses. In other words, non-elite members have the most to gain here.
What does Alaska gain with this promotion?
Reimbursement between airlines for having miles issued is complicated, so I do wonder how exactly the economics of this work. Generally airlines have some sort of an agreed upon rate for reimbursing one another for crediting miles.
My guess would be that in this case Alaska is picking up most (or maybe even all) of the cost associated with the promotion. That’s because the promotion is with virtually all partner airlines.
Presumably they’re doing this to get people crediting miles to Alaska Mileage, so think of it as a marketing expense on Alaska’s end.
Other ways to earn Alaska miles
If you’re looking to earn Alaska miles aside from this promotion, Alaska offers two credit cards that can help you rack up points quickly:
Both offer welcome bonuses after completing a moderate minimum spend, along with Alaska’s famous Companion Fare, which lets you “buy one, get one for cheap” for economy flights on Alaska. This is one of the easiest companion tickets to use, and the main reason I keep the cards year after year.
I love the creativity of this promotion. While other loyalty programs increasingly move towards a revenue based model where only those on high fares are being rewarded, it’s nice to see a program offering a promotion that others can benefit from as well.
If you have any discounted long haul tickets coming up that wouldn’t earn a lot of miles with other programs, be sure to consider Alaska Mileage Plan.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this Alaska Mileage Plan promotion?
(Tip of the hat to Cariverga)