In 2015 Alaska Airlines and Hainan Airlines announced a partnership. This has been fantastic for Mileage Plan members, since Hainan often has reasonable paid business class fares, and they also have an excellent onboard product.
So you’ve been able to book a reasonably priced business class fare on Hainan and earn a lot of miles, which I’ve argued is one of the best ways to earn Alaska status. This has also opened up a great new opportunity for those looking to redeem miles for travel to/from Asia, since Hainan is pretty good about opening up award space.
Well, Mileage Plan has announced that they’ll change mileage earning rates for travel on Hainan as of October 1, 2018 (this is based on the travel date and not the ticketing date).
Here’s the mileage earning chart for flights taken through September 30, 2018:
And here’s the mileage earning chart for flights taken as of October 1, 2018:
As you can see, there are some adjustments across the board, ranging from the cheapest economy fares to the most expensive business class fares. Perhaps the most noteworthy change involves “R” class. Up until now, Mileage Plan has been awarding 200% elite qualifying and redeemable miles for tickets booked in the “R” fare class.
While they’ve categorized this as first class, in reality many of their longhaul discounted business class fares book into the “R” class, which has been an incredible opportunity to earn a lot of elite qualifying miles on cheap fares.
So I’m not surprised to see them finally fix this oversight, as these fares now go from earning 200% elite qualifying miles to earning 100% elite qualifying miles and 200% redeemable miles.
Meanwhile those booking Hainan’s most expensive business class fares are getting a huge mileage boost, as they’ll be going from earning 150% elite qualifying miles and 250% redeemable miles to earning 250% elite qualifying miles and 350% redeemable miles.
Frankly I’m a bit surprised it took them so long to make these updates.
What do you make of these Alaska Mileage Plan changes to travel on Hainan?
(Tip of the hat to @HKTBlog_Dom)