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Credit AA Flights to Alaska Mileage Plan?
I would like to ask whether non-AA elites should always credit their AA flights to Alaska, given the AAdvantage recent changes. My situation (and I suspect there are others like me) is that I fly AA for work about 10-11 times per year on domestic round trips. It is not enough to qualify for AAdvantage Gold, but still enough to produce a decent amount of miles.
I want to redeem miles for international vacations (to Europe or Asia) on premium cabins, and occasionally for domestic flights.
I’m upset with the current AAdvantage earning rates, but, much worse, with the near impossibility of finding sAAver award tickets on AA. Therefore, I’m seriously considering just crediting all my future AA flights to Alaska. I do not have the time or energy to compute the best return for each trip I take, and therefore want to know if it’s a good idea to just credit everything to Alaska.
Well even crediting to AS won’t necessarily give you 100% of the miles flown. It all depends on your fare class. See this post Lucky wrote in June for the changes that went into effect August 1:
Where are you based?
Crediting AA flights to AS might not always be a good option. It really depends on your fare class and how much you paid for the ticket. Considering the new earn rates for AA flights credited to AS like [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] linked you to, crediting to AA might earn you more miles than crediting to AS. However, you also have to consider whether it’s easier for you to earn more miles on AS or AA. If you credit to both programs, you may not end up with enough miles for redemptions.
[QUOTE=”David W, post: 25418, member: 29″]Where are you based?
Crediting AA flights to AS might not always be a good option. It really depends on your fare class and how much you paid for the ticket. Considering the new earn rates for AA flights credited to AS like [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] linked you to, crediting to AA might earn you more miles than crediting to AS. However, you also have to consider whether it’s easier for you to earn more miles on AS or AA. If you credit to both programs, you may not end up with enough miles for redemptions.[/QUOTE]
I’m based in Miami. I recognize that there is not a single answer that applies to all flights but, like you said, it might not be best to split the miles between both programs. Also, I really don’t want to compute the best return on each trip, but rather want to know, if, over the long run, I’m better off crediting to Alaska.
To me, the main motivation behind this question is the terrible award availability on AA at sAAver level. So if I’m generally going to get a better return on Alaska, and better award availability with its partners, that’s enough for me. That’s really what I want to know.
hi [USER=2739]@Miguel[/USER], there is no way of determining that on the earning side without looking at the fare classes that you book to see what miles you would earn on both carriers at a given booking class. For redemptions they both have their pros and cons. Alaska has an eclectic mix of partners and very generous prices and routing rules. On the downside it doesn’t always have access to the full amount of saver inventory on partners. AA has crappy availability currently on its own fleet although it releases space in bursts occasionally and has some very good partner redemptions available through OW and individual partners. The other thing to consider is that AA devalued recently so we probably have a couple of years left at the current prices while AS is probably ripe for devaluation at some point.
Being based in Miami, AA is a natural choice. Even if you credit your AA flights to AS and earn status there, you’re still fighting with many AAdvantage elites out of Miami and even if you were a top tier AS member, it wont get you very far on AA in terms of benefits.
With the new earning rates and schemes for AA flights credited to AA and AS, there really isnt a definite answer as to which program is better for you in the long run. I think what you need to do is to figure out which routes you’ll be flying most on a regular basis, what the cost of paid tickets usually are on that route and then calculating your earn if you were to credit to either program. After that, the decision may be much clearer.
You also may want to consider using credit cards to earn more points that can be transferred to airline’s for awards. For example – you may decide to credit all your AA flights to AS and use their program for redeeming awards to Europe. However, if you get Chase, CitiBank and/or Amex’s premium credit cards, you can transfer points to programs like Singapore, United, Aeroplan, and Korean Air to get you those awards. Each of these programs have their unique traits and can be beneficial.
And keep in mind that with AS redemptions you’re limited to only one partner (or one partner + flights on AS metal). That means if you need positioning flights to connect to an international carrier that would be a separate redemption. So, for example, you couldn’t use AA to connect to a gateway to pick up a flight on Cathay.