Icelandair has one of the more interesting business models out there, as they offer flights to 16 cities in North America, and over 20 cities in Europe.
The idea is that Iceland is a connecting point for travel between the US and Europe, and they intentionally schedule really short layovers so that you can minimize your overall travel time. Alternatively, you can even plan a free stopover in Iceland, which is brilliant, given that it’s a place a lot of people want to see.
The only issue is that Icelandair has historically lacked decent airline partners, so it has been tough to earn and redeem miles for travel on them. Icelandair partnered with Alaska Airlines until 2013, though that partnership was discontinued without an explanation.
Well, it seems the two airlines have missed one another, because Alaska and Icelandair have just announced a codeshare and frequent flyer partnership agreement, which will launch in the coming weeks.
Through this new partnership we’ll see:
- Reciprocal mileage earning opportunities between frequent flyer members at both airlines
- Reciprocal lounge access for elite level frequent flyers at both airlines
- Codesharing, which will allow passengers to enjoy seamless reservations, ticketing, and checked baggage, as well as coordinated flight schedules
Earn Alaska miles on Icelandair
As of October 1, 2015, Alaska Mileage Plan members will be able to earn miles for travel on Icelandair. As far as I’m concerned, this is by far the best program for crediting Icelandair flights. The mileage earnings rates for travel on Icelandair will be as follows:
Elite Qualifying Flight Miles: Earned flight miles and premium cabin bonuses on Icelandair count towards Elite Status.
Economy Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in M, B, K, or Q classes of service.
Earn 50% of actual flight miles* flown in T, V, H, L, S, or O classes of service.
Earn 25% of actual flight miles* flown in N, U, or P classes of service.
Economy Comfort Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in Y, E, or A class of service, plus 25% Bonus Miles.
Saga Class Cabin: Earn actual flight miles* flown in C, D, or J classes of service, plus 150% Bonus Miles.
Icelandair economy class
As you’d expect, economy fares earn anywhere from 25-100% of flown miles, while premium travel can earn up to a 50% bonus on top of that. All travel counts towards both elite qualifying and redeemable miles, which is exciting. Under the old partnership a couple of years ago, miles flown on Icelandair didn’t count towards elite status. Nowadays travel on all Alaska partners counts towards status, though.
Earn 150% Alaska miles for travel in Icelandair Saga Class
To celebrate the partnership being relaunched, Mileage Plan members can earn double miles for travel on Icelandair between October 1 and December 15, 2015. Registration is required, and the terms of the promotion are as follows:
*Registration is required prior to your first qualifying flight. Double miles offer is valid on all routes from October 1, 2015 through December 15, 2015. All travel must be completed by December 15, 2015. Flights must be marketed and operated by Icelandair. Double miles offer is valid for Saga, Comfort, and Economy Classes of service C, D, J, Y, E, A, M, B, K, Q, T, V, H, L, S, O, N, U, or P. Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ account in order to earn Double miles. Not valid on free or award travel. Double miles do not count towards Mileage Plan™ Elite Status. Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan™ account. All terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan™ program apply. Offer subject to change without notice.
Can you redeem Alaska miles on Icelandair?
Will it be possible to redeem Alaska miles for travel on Icelandair, which used to be possible under the old agreement? Presently Alaska’s Icelandair page states the following for redeeming miles:
Award Travel on Icelandair
Please check back soon for updates.
So it sounds to me like they’re working on it, but don’t have anything firm just yet.
Access Icelandair Saga Lounge as Alaska elite
As of October 1, 2015, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members will receive complimentary access to Icelandair’s Saga Lounge at Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik. That benefit is reciprocal, as Icelandair Saga Gold and Silver members will enjoy complimentary access to Alaska Board Rooms in Seattle, Portland, Anchorage and Los Angeles.
Icelandair has quite a nice lounge at their hub, so that’s a pretty nice perk for Alaska members.
Icelandair Saga Lounge at Keflavik International Airport
It’s interesting to see Alaska and Icelandair get back together again, as they discontinued their partnership a couple of years ago. I suspect the motivation for this is partly as follows:
- Alaska is miffed at Delta, and wants to find ways to route people to Europe without putting them on Delta
- Icelandair is getting competition from WOW Air, and wants to do everything they can to get passengers on their flights
I’m really excited about this partnership being relaunched, as I love Iceland, and Icelandair often has great fares. Now that you can credit miles from flights on Icelandair to Alaska again, I’d be much more inclined to fly with them.
Here’s to hoping reciprocal mileage redemptions return soon as well!
Are you excited about the partnership between Alaska and Icelandair returning?
Alaska website no longer lists P class in the earnings table. Does this mean that no miles are earned for flights booked in P class?
Just booked KEF-EWR on Icelandair for travel on November 27 via Priceline. Can I retroactively have the miles credited and still be eligible for the double miles offer?
@Sunny morris No, you can't transfer miles. Your best bet for them is to use them for inflight duty free shopping/inflight food and drinks. Otherwise you can transfer them to some other airlines/Amtrak through points.com. I ended up doing the later since I was sure I'd wouldn't be on another Icelandair flight before they expired. I wish I had kept them for inflight purchases now because the transfer rate on points.com is pretty poor. 9000...
@Sunny morris No, you can't transfer miles. Your best bet for them is to use them for inflight duty free shopping/inflight food and drinks. Otherwise you can transfer them to some other airlines/Amtrak through points.com. I ended up doing the later since I was sure I'd wouldn't be on another Icelandair flight before they expired. I wish I had kept them for inflight purchases now because the transfer rate on points.com is pretty poor. 9000 Saga miles transferred to Amtrak would be worth about $78 which isn't bad if they're just going to expire anyway.
This is the best news ever!
I have 9000 Saga points that expire in December. I have no use for them before they expire but does this now mean I can transfer them to Alaska?
Looks like the "150% bonus" was a typo... it's been corrected to "50% bonus" on Alaska's site.
Too bad -- have a trip to London coming up next month and was way too excited as it would have pushed me over the 75k tier threshold. Guess it was too good to be true!
Ben, why we never saw the trip report from your experience with iceland air a while ago?
I was really into that. Same as TAP Portugal. What happen with that?
I think Saga Class gives you 250%: 'actual flight miles plus 150%'. That's a nice bonus.
So how has the "Battle for Seattle" progressed over the course of these past few months? I don't think I'm hearing a lot about it in the media anymore, but I doubt that SeaTac's being given up on by one airline just yet.