You Can Now Earn Alaska Miles For Travel On Aer Lingus

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, thanks to the fact that they continue to award miles based on distance flown, have unique airline partners, have low award redemption rates, allow stopovers on one-way awards, and offer generous elite benefits.

While Alaska Airlines doesn’t belong to one of the major global alliances, they have valuable airline partners, including airlines that belong to the major alliances, and also some airlines that are independent.

Alaska’s newest airline partner is Aer Lingus. That partnership was announced in late March, ahead of Aer Lingus launching flights to Seattle as of this month. This is an exciting new partnership for Mileage Plan members:

  • Aer Lingus often has reasonable transatlantic fares, so Alaska Mileage Plan will be one of the best programs for crediting those flights
  • Mileage Plan members will be able to redeem miles for travel on Aer Lingus between the US and Europe, with a stopover in Dublin
  • Aer Lingus has an excellent business class product

Aer Lingus Business Class A330
Aer Lingus business class

When the partnership was announced, Mileage Plan hadn’t yet published any mileage earning or redemption rates, but rather said that they’d be introduced at some point in the future. The partnership is officially live as of today.

Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn miles for flights taken on Aer Lingus as of May 18, 2018. Here are the mileage earning rates:

As you can see:

  • Business class passengers can earn 150% elite qualifying miles and 250% redeemable miles
  • Economy passengers earn anywhere from 25%-100% redeemable and elite qualifying miles

With Alaska Airlines, elite members receive their mileage bonuses for travel on all partner airlines, so elite members would earn anywhere from a 50-125% bonus on base miles. For example, an MVP Gold 75K member traveling on a paid business class ticket would earn 375% redeemable miles, which is huge.

Mileage Plan is taking an unconventional approach to this new partnership. While you can earn miles for travel on Aer Lingus as of today, you won’t see those miles for a couple of months. Alaska describes this as a “work in progress:”

We’re still getting our newest partnership up and running and will begin crediting miles earned on Aer Lingus flights to your Mileage Plan account later this summer.

In the meantime, we’re giving you a head start on earning miles. Aer Lingus flights taken on or after May 18, 2018 will be eligible to earn miles as shown in the chart below.

An important note: you won’t see these flights post to your account until late July. If your Aer Lingus flight has not posted by August 1, 2018, you may request missing credit; Aer Lingus missing credit requests will not be accepted prior to this date.


Aer Lingus A330

Unfortunately award redemptions on Aer Lingus aren’t live yet, but rather are “coming soon.” I can appreciate that setting up these new partnerships isn’t easy, but Alaska really needs to get their stuff together when it comes to their new partners.

Some value has been lost with the Mileage Plan program in recent years, as they’ve cut ties with Delta, Air France-KLM, and Aeromexico, and have scaled back their partnership with American. This has a significant impact on the program’s value, though in fairness, it seems like these changes were all prompted by their partners, so they had little control over them.

While they’ve added some partners, they haven’t added award redemptions on them. Three of their newest partners are Finnair, Singapore Airlines, and Aer Lingus, and we don’t have a timeline for award travel being added on any of those airlines. It sure would be nice if they added it soon. Finnair was supposed to be added last fall, but that still hasn’t happened.


When will Mileage Plan add award redemptions on Finnair?

Does anyone have upcoming travel on Aer Lingus that they plan to credit to Alaska Mileage Plan?

Comments

  1. ugh SQ situation again.
    the gripe of MileagePlan is that their new partners seem to conveniently “miss” quite a few economy fare classes. Look at their SQ crediting page, only the most expensive buckets credit to AS, the rest do not show up at all, and it seems like Aer Lingus may be another one, as I feel there should be more than 4 discount economy buckets.
    Hope I am wrong though.

  2. Thanks for the good news! I like Aer Lingus’ business class product and it will be a great way to earn AS miles and keep AS status. Now I just wish Hong Kong Airlines will become an Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan partner soon. That will be perfect!

  3. My tier status is with Alaska so this is great news. It will give me another option for trips to the UK rather than British Air horribly overpriced and underperforming business class.

  4. AS should now start looking into partnering with the third IAG member, IB!

    Also, kinda off topic, when AS partners with a new airlines, I really wish they would include any of the new airlines’ subsidiaries. This would increase the amount of routes AS members can earn and redeem miles on. The fact that they do not this this is an annoyance. Not huge enough that it’d make me switch flying/earning on AS, but still. It’s annoying that I can fly CX F to HKG and then not be able to connect to another city since the route is operated by KA.

  5. The scaling back of the AS-AA partnership is quite problematic for anyone wanting to build/maintain their status with MileagePlan but also not wanting to spend an absolute fortune.

    For example, flying to anywhere that involves an AS codeshare on AA metal within the US is over twice as expensive as flying on AA (or DL for that matter). This makes me a sad panda.

  6. Partner, schmartner. Come on, Alaska, get off your frozen butt.

    I’m becoming a bit skeptical about how AS actually “partners” with some if its “partners.” AeroMexico, for example, was unusable as a partner for redemptions for over two years before AS finally admitted they were parting ways with them. Finnair supposedly became a partner last year. Yet, that partnership has been at best a one-way street. Now it look slike Aer Lingus is getting the same treatment.

    I’d love to have real partners in Finnair and Aer Lingus, but until AS publishes an award chart for those airlines, and it actually becomes possible to redeem AS miles on those partners, this looks more like a bait-and-switch than a true partner to me.

  7. This is better than the situation with American where Aer Lingus flights show up on the AA site search and can be booked, but you earn no AA miles at all.

  8. I wish Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest or some domestic carrier makes a partnership with Norwegian.

  9. AS just integrated VX into their system less than a month ago. It doesn’t make much sense putting out award charts for AS when you are running two airlines in parallel and can’t use them on pre merger VX.

    Mergers are an arduous task and taxing on IT services.

    James

  10. The problem with Aer Lingus is that I do not believe they have business class past Dublin. How are business class passengers treated on the connection?

  11. @ Nevsky — That’s correct. There have been rumors that they’ll add business class intra-Europe, but it hasn’t happened yet. If you’re connecting same day you should get lounge access, but otherwise not. Onboard the experience is no different.

  12. I want to see the award chart. I fly aer lingus to Dublin. It is cheap using Avios, so I would like to see how many Mileage Plan miles, it will cost.

  13. Another partner that will soon happen with Alaska is with Latam Brasil (former TAM).
    Last week LA and JJ integrated their system, so now pretty much all domestic JJ flights are LA (albeit the USA will continue to use JJ). JJ was using Amadeus and LA uses Sabre. So now they are both using Sabre.
    If you look at the Latam BR page you can see the earning rates with Alaska Airlines

  14. Until AS updates their website I wouldn’t book based on what Latam BR says. Hope they do and soon, looking st some Crazy cheep mixed-cabin RTW itineraries and it would offer more choice.

    James

  15. Singapore, Finnair, and now Aer Lingus we can all earn on but we still cannot redeem?? This is getting annoying. Using SQ Krisflyer you could practically redeem on AS the day they entered into a partnership. But MileagePlan members are still waiting to redeem on SQ.

  16. As usual, some random thoughts, from a VX die-hard that now has MVP Gold status with AS…

    @Lucky, you wrote “Some value has been lost with the Mileage Plan program in recent years, as they’ve cut ties with Delta, Air France-KLM, and Aeromexico, and have scaled back their partnership with American.”

    Is that really accurate? It seems to me that a) Delta, once they got what they wanted from their DL-AS partnership (a foothold at SEA, among other things), DL decided to make SEA a hub and compete directly with AS; b) whether AS or DL pulled the plug, things had gotten to the point where the two weren’t even “frenemies” anymore, and it made sense to sever the relationship; c) DL owns a 49% stake in AeroMexico, so they could certainly pressure AM to cut their ties with AS; d) DL owns a 10% stake in AirFrance/KLM, and since DL is a “hands-on” owner/investor, it’s easy to see DL pressuring Flying Blue to cut ties to AS.

    As an aside, DL also owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic (VS), and when they acquired their 10% stake in AirFrance/KLM (for €375 million), AirFrance/KLM turned around and bought 31% of VS (for £220 million). See https://onemileatatime.com/2017/07/27/delta-air-france-virgin-atlantic-joint-venture/

    As for the AS-AA partnership, in your post on July 6, 2017 entitled “Ouch: Alaska & American Are Devaluing Their Partnership As Of January 1, 2018”, you wrote, “Now that Alaska has taken over Virgin America, the airlines have more markets in which they overlap and compete. It’s no surprise that American doesn’t want to credit you miles for flying Virgin America between Los Angeles and New York, for example.” I would suspect that AA was the one to start this “devaluation” *precisely* because “…American doesn’t want to credit you miles for flying Virgin America between Los Angeles and New York” or other destination served by both AS and AA. MY point is simply that AS had everything to gain by continuing/extending the status quo with AA, while AA had everything to lose.

    In other words, I’m not sure that any of these changes in the Mileage Plan program originated with AS.

  17. @ Jason Brandt Lewis — Check out the next sentence of the same blog post:
    “This has a significant impact on the program’s value, though in fairness, it seems like these changes were all prompted by their partners, so they had little control over them.”

    We’re on the same page. 🙂

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