Back in 2019, Alaska Airlines and EL AL launched a partnership. We had been promised all along that we’d eventually get reciprocal mileage redemptions, and that feature is finally live.
In this post:
What are Mileage Plan redemption rates on EL AL?
Alaska Airlines hasn’t published an award chart for travel on EL AL, though has quietly made these redemptions bookable on alaskaair.com. The EL AL partner page on Alaska’s website simply indicates that awards are available to Europe and the Middle East.
Mileage Plan pricing on EL AL seems to vary based on when you’re looking to book. For travel between the United States and Israel way in the future, one-way pricing is 50,000 miles in economy, 80,000 miles in premium economy, and 100,000 miles in business class.
Meanwhile for travel in the near future, one-way pricing is 40,000 miles in economy, 65,000 miles in premium economy, and 80,000 miles in business class.
There don’t seem to be any carrier imposed surcharges on these redemptions, which is good news. Also keep in mind that when redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles you’re in theory allowed a free stopover, though I’m not seeing much availability beyond Israel at the moment, so the practical implications of that are a big question mark.
My take on EL AL redemptions through Mileage Plan
My initial reaction is that it’s great to finally see Alaska redemptions on EL AL go live, as we’ve been waiting years for this. Alaska Mileage Plan is no doubt at a crossroads when it comes to value — based on what we’ve historically been used to, 100K Alaska miles for a one-way business class flight of 10-12 hours is hard to get excited about.
At the same time, there are limited ways to redeem on EL AL, so something is better than nothing. EL AL’s Matmid frequent flyer program is currently undergoing a major overhaul, and the only other practical way to book EL AL awards is through Qantas Frequent Flyer.
I think the most interesting thing here is how Alaska hasn’t published an award chart for EL AL. We know that big changes are coming to Alaska Mileage Plan’s award charts later this month, so I’m curious how this new redemption option ties into that.
So yeah, this is better than nothing, but based on my valuation of 1.7 cents per Mileage Plan mile, paying the equivalent of ~$1,700 for a one-way EL AL business class award isn’t too exciting. Then again, I’ll probably have to adjust that valuation in the near future, based on the direction that redemption opportunities are headed.
While it took several years, it’s finally possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on EL AL. It’s no doubt good news that there’s another decent option for redeeming on EL AL, though I’m guessing the redemption rates won’t get most people very excited.
What do you make of the value of redeeming Alaska miles on EL AL?