Alaska Airlines Partners – which partners provide the best value when redeeming miles?

Posted on September 22, 2014 by in Best use of Alaska Mileage Plan miles

Alaska Airlines stands between Oneworld and SkyTeam and is not associated with one or another. However, the Alaska Airlines frequent flyer program Mileage Plan has relations with airlines from both alliances and a number of other non-aligned airlines incl. Emirates.

These Alaska Airlines partners allow for some great deals when redeeming Mileage Plan miles. We show you how to get the best rewards for Alaska Airlines partners.

General rules for Alaska Airlines redemptions:

– you can't mix and match partners for ONE ticket, but you can mix them with Alaska Airlines

– you can book one-way tickets for half the mileage of a round-trip

– all awards can be modified or cancelled without a fee up to 60 days before departure

– you get one free stop-over for each international one-way

– there are NO fuel surcharges

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Africa, India & Middle East

This is usually the most expensive area of any award chart since it the farthest away from the US.

A couple of 'deals' stand out – Cathay Pacific to Africa, which is two 12 hour+ flights in first class for just 70,000 miles, looks like a fantastic deal. However, Cathay just changed the only flight to Africa (JNB) to a 3-class aircraft without a first class. So you will only be able to enjoy first class on your flight to the US.

Cathay Pacific to the Middle East is also a good deal. American AAdvantage wants 90,000 miles to travel to the Middle East in first class. However, again, Cathay Pacific has no first class to the Middle East – so only (very good) business class is available.

Also, the Emirates First Class flights to Dubai and Africa are great deals. While it's not easy to find availability for Emirates, I just booked Dubai – Los Angeles in Emirates First Class and Emirates First Class availability to San Francisco is wide open in 2015 on the A380 as well.

Emirates Business Class to Africa is downright cheap. Emirates has a wide network in Africa and flies all the way to Mauritius, Cape Town and many other places.

Neither the award chart for Korean Air nor Delta Airlines is particularly attractive. Why fly them if you can be on Emirates 🙂

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Asia

Using Alaska Airlines miles on you can fly Emirates to Asia. You can route from Los Angeles to Dubai and on to Japan, Indonesia – wherever Emirates flies. This is an awesome deal.

You can also use Cathay Pacific to fly to Asia and pay the same rate you'd be paying for the double distance to Africa. I'm not sure this is a good deal unless you are sitting on a pile of Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

In comparison, AAdvantage charges 67,500 miles for anywhere in Asia with Cathay Pacific in first class. Right now AAdvantage miles are easier to gather than Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, so I would not use them for such a trip.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific

No deals really stand out. You can fly Qantas in first class from the United States for 70,000 miles. This isn't a bad deal but Qantas First Class seats are very hard to score. So this is more a theoretical value.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Central and South America

LAN for 45,000 one-way anywhere in South America sounds like a good deal to me. LAN has an excellent lie-flat business class hard product. 45,000 miles will get you anywhere in South America where LAN flies. The way I see it, that includes Easter Island.

So you could do:

LAX – LIM (STOP) -SCL – IPC and another one-way IPC – SCL (STOP) – LIM – LAX. This will give you 3 cool places in South America for just 90,000 miles.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Caribbean

I can't see any great deals, but British Airways Avios is what you want to use here.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Europe

The best value redemption I can see is to fly between Europe and Asia for 42,500 on Cathay Pacific one-way in business class. That's quite a bit less compared to other mileage programs.

Emirates' redemption rates to Europe (they have a direct JFK-MXP now) are way too high.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award to Mexico

There are no deals to be found here. For Mexico, it's often better to use BA Avios, cash or Aegean Airlines miles (which can only be accrued by flying).


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan offers a number of great deals with Alaska Airlines partners in premium cabins. It is the best way to get an Emirates First Class award ticket and the redemptions on Cathay Pacific can be great too – though they lack a first class product on flights beyond Hong Kong. Redeeming on Alaska Airlines partners is fun!

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