Alaska Mileage Plan is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, and I appreciate all the unique partnerships they have. In late August it was announced that Alaska’s newest airline partner would be Singapore Airlines. The airlines said they’d offer reciprocal mileage earning as of September 27, 2017 (today), and reciprocal mileage redemptions as of a later date.
Singapore Airlines A350
For most people I’m sure the first thing that came to mind was the ability to redeem Alaska miles for Singapore Airlines premium cabin awards, though don’t get too excited in that regard. Singapore Airlines makes their premium cabin longhaul award space available exclusively to Singapore KrisFlyer members, and not to members of partner programs. The way I see it, there are potentially two great aspects to this partnership:
- Being able to earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Singapore Airlines
- Being able to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles for travel on Alaska Airlines
The latter is potentially especially useful, since Singapore KrisFlyer is transfer partners with all four major transferable points currencies — Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest. This opens a lot more options for efficiently redeeming transferable points on Alaska, since their own program is only transfer partners with SPG.
While Alaska Mileage Plan hasn’t yet published redemption rates on Singapore, Singapore KrisFlyer has now published award redemption rates on Alaska.
Singapore KrisFlyer has a zone based chart for redemptions on Alaska, with one-way costs as follows:
Zones are broken down by state, as follows:
These are really attractive redemption rates. Just to give a few examples:
- You can fly between the midwest and Hawaii for 12,500 miles
- You can fly between the west coast and Hawaii for 12,000 miles
- You can fly between the west coast and east coast for 12,000 miles
- You can fly between the west coast and midwest for 9,500 miles
- You can fly around the west coast for 7,500 miles
Partner award bookings aren’t possible through Singapore Airlines’ website, meaning that you have to call to book these awards.
Otherwise one of the best ways to redeem miles for travel on Alaska is through British Airways Executive Club. They have a distance based award chart rather than a zone based award chart, with the cost based on one-way, nonstop travel, as follows:
- Segments of 1-1,150 miles cost 7,500 Avios in economy, 30,000 Avios in first class
- Segments of 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios in economy, 40,000 Avios in first class
- Segments of 2,000-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios in economy, 50,000 Avios in first class
As you can see, redemption rates between the two programs are roughly comparable in economy, though there are some cases where Singapore KrisFlyer can be a much better value:
- If you want to redeem for Alaska first class (which typically won’t be worth it), booking through KrisFlyer is a better value
- If you want to redeem for an Alaska flight that involves a connection, booking through KrisFlyer is a better value (for example, Spokane to Seattle to Honolulu would cost you 12,000 KrisFlyer miles or 20,000 Avios, since with British Airways you’d have to pay for the segments individually)
Alaska’s first class, which typically isn’t worth paying a huge premium for
Otherwise the pricing is roughly comparable, and the best option depends on what programs you have points with. Singapore KrisFlyer has the advantage of being transfer partners with all four major transferable points currencies, though I’ve never seen a transfer bonus to KrisFlyer. Meanwhile we sometimes see transfer bonuses to British Airways, as we recently saw a 40% bonus from Amex to Avios, which could make redeeming Avios a better value.
Could you see yourself redeeming Singapore KrisFlyer miles on Alaska?
(Tip of the hat to Travel Codex)