Alaska Mileage Plan Publishes New Partner Award Chart

Alaska Mileage Plan Publishes New Partner Award Chart

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A few months ago, Alaska Mileage Plan announced it would publish a new partner award chart before the end of the year. The airline has just done that, and I’m not sure whether to be relieved or worried.

Alaska Airlines’ new partner award chart

There are lots of amazing uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles. What has historically made the program unique is that Mileage Plan has separate award charts for each partner airline, meaning you can’t mix and match partner airlines on a single award.

A few months ago, Alaska Airlines announced the following changes to its partner Mileage Plan award chart:

Starting late December, the way you view award charts online is changing. We’ll have a simplified award chart to show you where award levels start based on which regions you’re traveling from and to. With this change, similar to awards on Alaska, partner award levels may vary depending on multiple factors including route, distance, or demand. You’ll continue to be able to enjoy great value for your miles.

Obviously this caused quite a bit of concern among members, since the fear was that Alaska would publish a new award chart with much higher pricing. Well, Alaska Mileage Plan has now published its new partner award chart, and it is indeed simplified.

Below is the Alaska Mileage Plan award chart for North American awards.

Alaska Mileage Plan partner award chart for North America

Below is the Alaska Mileage Plan award chart for awards that include travel to the rest of the globe.

Alaska Mileage Plan partner award chart for international destinations

Essentially Alaska Airlines no longer has the individual award charts for each airline partner, but rather simply lists the “starting from” prices between each of the regions. In other words, the pricing above reflects the lowest cost potentially available on any partner airline, rather than pricing on a particular airline.

As of now, it doesn’t look like Alaska Mileage Plan has actually changed any award pricing, but rather the airline has just removed individual partner award charts, and introduced this “simplified” chart.

Alaska no longer has individual airline award charts

My take on this simplified Alaska award chart

The good news is that there are no immediate award pricing changes, which will no doubt be a relief to many. Of course changes could happen at any point, but there’s nothing changing immediately, it would appear.

The bad news is that I can’t help but wonder what Alaska Mileage Plan’s motive is here. Under the award chart, it states that you should “search for your desired destination and dates to view pricing.” A few thoughts:

  • While the new award chart is no doubt simpler, it’s significantly less comprehensive and transparent
  • I can’t help but feel like this is the first step toward a devaluation, or increasingly dynamic pricing; after all, when people no longer have a point of reference of how much an award should cost, it’s much easier to change pricing
  • Not having individual award charts for each airline really complicates things, since Alaska only allows redemptions on partner airlines in select regions; it’s now hard to know in which regions redemptions are allowed on a particular airline
  • Alaska has been on this trend of having “starting from” pricing for quite some time now, so it’s nothing new as a concept
  • We know that Alaska Mileage Plan was eventually planning on introducing award options that include travel on multiple airlines, so I imagine this simplified award chart is being introduced ahead of that being rolled out

So yeah, I’m not sure what exactly to think here. I’m relieved there doesn’t appear to be an immediate devaluation, though I also feel like this change to a less transparent award chart lays the groundwork for an upcoming devaluation.

Alaska, please don’t devalue Cathay Pacific awards!

Bottom line

As promised, Alaska Mileage Plan has introduced a simplified award chart for travel on partner airlines. While nothing has changed to award options or pricing as of now, Mileage Plan now has a single award chart that lists “starting from” prices.

This is definitely a negative development in terms of transparency. The big question is what the motive is here, and what happens next…

What do you make of these changes to the Alaska Mileage Plan partner award chart?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Mark Guest

    And incremental changes begin. In the last couple of days BA J to Europe up to 65k; Middle East now 80k.

  2. ecco Member

    Did a few rest searches. Nothing seems to have changed. Still got those ridiculous Malaysian airlines awards akl-sin for 120k - yeah right. No SQ J awards.

    Limited use this program at the moment. As someone else said the US-EUR awards are a waste of time with BA and those surcharges.

    I’d definitely think twice before buying any of their points. With CX out really not a lot of options for me being based out of AKL.

  3. Bob Guest

    US to India was 60k business on JL. Now it is starting from 65k. Thats a devaluation right there?

  4. Bobo Guest

    Poof! Two little words ... "starting from" ... and just like that, what used to be a real award chart is GONE.

  5. Wolfgang Guest

    I have a question for redemptions on SQ with Alaska MP - can one book a stopover on a one-way when redeeming miles with MP for SQ?
    For example, flying DPS-SIN (stop in SQ hub)-BKK/KUL/MNL etc.?

    Trying to book on Alaska website doesn't yield any results, so not sure if this stopover feature is available.
    Thanks for your help upfront!

  6. Stuart Guest

    Alaska used to be great. Not so much anymore. Europe searches offer pull up BA with high fees and little business class availability. This week all I could find to Europe was a routing on Aer Lingus from Seattle to Dublin for 280k one way. That’s insane. Business on Qatar is routinely 280k one way. Maybe I’d be better off crediting Alaska flights to American

  7. Sonny Guest

    Alaska turned into dynamic pricing.
    For January 2023 MIA-EZE cost 30K on Coach
    For April 2023 MIA-EZE cost on Coach

    I can't immagine what a disaster they will run for business and first class bookings. Thanks God I didn't buy miles during the last promo becuase I knew bad news were comming

  8. Erock Guest

    I got a good laugh out TPG article on this change. They pulled up examples of how low mile international biz class awards were readily available not noticing that every example was a mixed class award where the long haul was in economy.

    1. Akkiwi Guest

      Not sure what you mean… Actually the JFK-HKG direct showed as business available and the way AS awards work is if you pay the business class fare on a multi-segment trip and one segment is in economy if a business class seat comes available at any point, you can request to switch into it at no additional mileage cost as you’ve already paid for the highest class flown For the whole direction… so those rates...

      Not sure what you mean… Actually the JFK-HKG direct showed as business available and the way AS awards work is if you pay the business class fare on a multi-segment trip and one segment is in economy if a business class seat comes available at any point, you can request to switch into it at no additional mileage cost as you’ve already paid for the highest class flown For the whole direction… so those rates do accurately reflect how much AS is charging in miles for each class unrelated to what class you’d actually be sitting in on any given segment.

    2. glenn t Diamond

      Alaska was a leader in the deceitful mixed cabin awards lark. Definitely a trap for beginners!
      It is apparent that MileagePlan has been taken over by beancounters with no people skills, intent on screwing their members, and destroying the program in the process.

  9. John Guest

    Is this new? "Stopovers are not available on award redemptions within international regions (e.g. intra-Asia or Intra-Europe)"

  10. alfred yao Guest

    to me,the miles needed for A business ticket is great on cathay,but alaska booking window loses almost 30 days compared to other partners,wonder whats the chance of grabing A reward ticket.

  11. JBM Guest

    More accurately, I’m not sure if this is not that bad or horrible. I don’t see anything good going on here.

  12. Tony Guest

    How could this be a good thing? Having an award chart that only lists the minimum redemption price doesn't make more awards available from a partner airlines. These are SAVER awards from partner airlines, made available to AS (and other partners) at pre-agreed (i.e. not dynamic) prices.

  13. Ian Guest

    Hmm, at least one error it on the new chart (or perhaps a sign of things to come). CX premium economy is supposed to cost 35k from North America to Asia and the new chart has it listed at 40k. I confirmed CX awards are still bookable at 35k for time being.

  14. DenB Diamond

    If Aeroplan can quintuple their Premium Cabin awards and get nothing but positive puff from bloggers, Alaska must be tempted, at least, to merely double them.

  15. DenB Diamond

    Simpler!
    More Choice!
    No Blackout dates!
    No More Complicated Award Charts!
    Every Seat Available on Points!
    Shiny Thing!
    We Listened!
    Shiny Thing!
    Shiny Thing!

  16. InfrequentFlyer Guest

    Idk if you guy have been trying to book with AS miles recently, but man was it weird. They were showing all kinds of weird phantom avail when they don’t actually exist. Not just one but at least a few partners, JAL CX for i.e. and even the partner award desk agents can’t figure out why.

    1. Alec New Member

      Been trying to book CX today and agents can't figure it out on their end either

    2. Ian Guest

      I ran into same issue. Recommend searching for true availability on CX via BA. If it shows as available on BA, it can be booked on AS.

    3. Super Gold

      Do you know if AA's search tool is reliable as well? You can now see monthly views by cabin with the latest update.

    4. Ian Guest

      AA used to be reliable to search CX award inventory but whatever is happening with AS searching is also happening with AA at the moment. There's a ton of ghost award availablity showing up on CX that isn't truly available.

  17. LEo Diamond

    Will AS soon charge the same for redeeming for JL and SQ? Been SIN based, this sounds great to me as SQ LH J are often hard to redeem otherwise.

  18. David Diamond

    I don't mind even if they devalue, that's part of the game (even cold hard cash devalue), as long as they don't pull an Emirates.

    Just be:
    1. Reasonable, don't inflate award costs by 100-200% (over Christmas no less)
    2. Transparent (Announce when there are devaluations instead of trying to hide it, brownie points if they give advance notice)

    Realistically, I think Alaska likes to sell their miles, and they're not going to...

    I don't mind even if they devalue, that's part of the game (even cold hard cash devalue), as long as they don't pull an Emirates.

    Just be:
    1. Reasonable, don't inflate award costs by 100-200% (over Christmas no less)
    2. Transparent (Announce when there are devaluations instead of trying to hide it, brownie points if they give advance notice)

    Realistically, I think Alaska likes to sell their miles, and they're not going to kill their golden goose by doing what Emirates does (I hope).

  19. beachfan Guest

    Thanks for the heads up.

    How can you tell there wasn't a change - did you check the redemptions on individual airlines?

  20. Kevin B Guest

    I will be curious to see if the prices change once this goes live. It seems like this change just gives them the flexibility to go Dynamic with partner awards or to make changes to current costs without notice. Not great, but not terrible until we see how it is used in practice.

  21. Luke Sneeringer New Member

    Worth mentioning: AS is also only allowing lounge access based on a full-fare first class ticket if the flight is >= 2,100 miles (as of mid-February). There's currently a sign at the check-in desk at their lounges.

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Tony Guest

How could this be a good thing? Having an award chart that only lists the minimum redemption price doesn't make more awards available from a partner airlines. These are SAVER awards from partner airlines, made available to AS (and other partners) at pre-agreed (i.e. not dynamic) prices.

2
Bobo Guest

Poof! Two little words ... "starting from" ... and just like that, what used to be a real award chart is GONE.

1
Stuart Guest

Alaska used to be great. Not so much anymore. Europe searches offer pull up BA with high fees and little business class availability. This week all I could find to Europe was a routing on Aer Lingus from Seattle to Dublin for 280k one way. That’s insane. Business on Qatar is routinely 280k one way. Maybe I’d be better off crediting Alaska flights to American

1
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