Alaska Air offers a 10,000 Mile Guarantee on International Flights
Alaska Airlines has one of the most diverse partnerships in the industry today. Their international partners cover all the major alliances of SkyTeam, OneWorld, and the Star Alliance.
As one of the only airlines that still awards 1 mile for every mile flown on their own flights, one area where this wasn’t always the case was with their international partners.
Starting on March 1st, 2020, anytime you fly one of Alaska Air’s international partners between North America and a non-North American destination, you’ll earn at a minimum 10,000 miles on a round trip flight.
You’ll earn a minimum of 5,000 miles each way for a total of 10,000 miles at a minimum. This works if you’re flying in economy, even on a discounted ticket!
New York to London on British Airways? 10,000 miles
Miami to Lima on LATAM? 10,000 miles
Seattle to Frankfurt on Condor? 10,000 miles there too.
Considering the pricing that many of their international partners charge for discounted coach seats, this can be a fantastic way for you to enjoy a vacation and earn a big chunk of miles to take your next vacation.
According to Alison Carpentier, Alaska’s Director of Loyalty Marketing
We love making Mileage Plan even more rewarding for our members. Now that you’re guaranteed to earn at least 10,000 miles on a roundtrip international adventure with our Global Partners, we can’t wait to see where in the world you go next.
Alaska partners with Aer Lijngus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Condor, EL AL Israel Airlines, Emirates Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM Airlines, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines.
What this means for deeply discounted economy flights
Lets take a look at two examples, British Airways and Qantas. British offers sales on their US destinations quite frequently, sometimes as low as $300. The problem? They often book into a “discounted fare class” such as Q, O, or G, as seen below.
Now you as the general flier might not know what fare class you’re booking when you buy a ticket, so when you see that you earned almost no miles at all from your flight you’d be in for a nasty surprise.
Using a flight from Los Angeles to London as our baseline, you’d fly over 10,880 miles round trip. Sounds good, right? But, if you’re only booking into that Q, O, or G class, you could expect to see a 25% return. 2,720 miles in your account for that long of a flight commitment is a total bummer.
Now, expect to see 5k and 5k! That’s a 400% bump in mileage earning. It **almost** makes the flight in coach seem bearable. Almost…
Sticking with Los Angeles, if you’re flying to Sydney on Qantas in economy, you can also now expect to see a 25% return on your mileage. Clocking in just shy of 15,000 miles round trip (14,980), you’ll once again get a bump up to 10,000 miles instead of the 3,745 that you would have earned.
Qualifying Miles vs Redeemable Miles
It is important to note that these miles are redeemable miles, not qualifying miles towards your status. From the Terms and Conditions of the promotion:
*Earn a minimum of 5,000 total miles each way on partner flights between North America and a non-North America destination between March 1 and December 31, 2020. North America is defined as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Any bonus miles added to reach the 5,000 mile minimum do not count toward elite status qualification.
On those long discounted flights, you’ll still earn 2,720 and 3,745 qualifying miles towards your status, but the bump you’ll get won’t give you anything other than more miles to redeem on your next flight.
An important note to remember, especially if you were counting on those miles to hit your MVP, MVP Gold, or MVP Gold 75k status.