El Al Airlines Added As Alaska Mileage Plan Partner

Filed Under: Alaska, El Al

This news leaked last Friday, but as the partnership has now been officially announced by Alaska, we’re republishing this post.


Well this is a bit of a surprise.

As of July 1st 2019, El Al passengers will have the option to credit flown miles to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, rather than El Al’s own Matmid frequent flyer program.

For their part, Alaska is touting El Al as a new option for Mileage Plan members with service to “Israel and beyond”:

“With gateways in Los Angeles and San Francisco, members earn Mileage Plan miles flying nonstop to Tel Aviv.”

Presumably Mileage Plan members will also be able to earn miles for flights on other El Al routes, including flights from the Alaska-served cities of Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Newark, and Orlando. 😉

Be sure to check out Ben’s review of El Al business class for more details on the in-flight experience.

When crediting El Al flights to Alaska Mileage Plan, the earnings rates will be as follows:

In terms of earning elite status with Alaska Mileage plan, most flown miles will count towards status, including:

  • Base miles earned on El Al flights
  • Class of service bonuses for W, J, Z, D, I, and C fares

The “additional bonus” for El Al business class flights will not count towards elite status however — those miles will only increment your balance of redeemable miles.

Can I credit Alaska Airlines flights to El Al Matmid?

At present, it’s hard to say. In theory reciprocal earning should be possible, though right now El Al’s website doesn’t have any indication that Alaska is a partner.

In general though, I wouldn’t recommend crediting flights to Matmid anyway, as the program is not terribly competitive.

Can I redeem Alaska Airlines miles for El Al flights?

Not yet, though we can expect that to happen eventually. With a heavy emphasis on “eventually”.

Historically Alaska Mileage Plan has announced earnings rates for new partners long before redemption rates are divulged. Alaska began a partnership with Singapore Airlines back in 2017, as an example, but as of May 2019 it’s not yet possible to redeem Alaska miles for Singapore flights.

But eventually

In the interim, the best way to redeem miles for El Al is through Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program.

Bottom line

It’s good to see Alaska Mileage Plan adding partner airlines to their program.

The loss of Air France/KLM has made it incredibly difficult to use Alaska miles for transatlantic itineraries, to the point where most of the best uses of Alaska Airlines miles are for destinations in Asia or the South Pacific.

So seeing an additional partner with service to the Middle East and Europe should be an improvement, and the option to have a complimentary stopover on award tickets through Tel Aviv could be an interesting as well.

Ultimately, we’ll have to see what redemption rates look like to know how valuable this partnership really is, but it’s certainly an intriguing new partnership.

What do you make of the Alaska and El Al partnership?

Comments
  1. If only AS could find a way to ever honestly finish creating partnerships with SQ and EI that were actually useful (or even offer meaningful award availability in J on QF, or FJ) then this might mean anything. Aside from a VERY few people banking miles more conveniently, this is useless.

    (Can’t wait to watch all the excited commentary by n00bs about redeeming AS miles on El Al any time soon).

  2. @Kalboz
    I hope not. I believe the day when AA is able to make award redemptions for ALL its partners will be the same day for AA to introduce dynamic pricing on all award redemptions, same applies to AS

  3. I never understood why AA didn’t renew its loyalty partnership with LY after cancelling both that and code sharing shortly after the US merger, presumably due to the PHL-TLV route voiding the benefit of the arrangement. Seems like a no-brainer given that AA has no service to TLV anymore, a gap among the US big three. For some reason, they code share now only on routes via European hubs and AA domestic flights, but not on LY’s direct US flights. And no mileage partnership.

    Can someone shed light on this mystery?

  4. @V:

    It was working earlier. Someone on FlyerTalk (ya know, where bloggers ste-I mean, find their source material) posted screenshots.

    Looks like the intern for the AS website did something a bit early. Whoopsadoodle!

  5. I too found the AA cessation of LY partnership weird. I assume it was because of the PHL-TLV route but now that that is gone, they should reconsider LY.

    This is terrific news for those of us who visit the holy land. I just can’t wait to be able to redeem on LY with AS miles (oh yeah and Aer Lingus and Singapore).

  6. As others have reported, page is no longer available on Alaska’s website.

    If this chart ends up being correct, that’s great news of course.

  7. Great News! El Al has recently announced new service to Vegas, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale. I predict Seattle service in the next wave of new destinations and a new partnership with Alaska. Reciprocal Frequent Flyer Programs is the first step to this.

  8. Correction! El Al has recently announced Chicago, San Francisco, Vegas and Orlando

  9. While El Al is useful as a nonstop to Tel Aviv from US, the airline and TLV is hardly useful as a global carrier/hub. Very few destinations east of Israel and zero use for travelling within the Middle East. Obviously you’re not going to fly all the way to Israel to backtrack into Europe from USA either.

    Nice niche airline for Holy Land travelers but not very useful as a global people mover.

    Not surprised by lack of formal alliance

  10. Travel with El Al improved enormously with the introduction of
    787 9 aircraft versus the vintage planes I have ridden previously.
    I actually slept 5 hours of the 11 plus hour mia tlv journey gasp in economy!
    Tov maod.

  11. great option for Cairo and Nairobi, even Johannesburg connections. niche but nice add for AS when this completes in a few years. way more flights than the Finnair partnership.

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