Alaska Airlines Loses Emirates Redemptions. Temporary or Not?

In what I can hope is only an error in their IT systems, the ability to redeem Alaska Airlines miles for Emirates flights, arguably one of the more valuable uses of Alaska Airlines miles, has disappeared overnight.

The question now becomes whether this is a temporary or permanent change, an IT glitch or something larger because of Alaska Airlines new Oneworld partnership.

Emirates Redemption

Alaska Airlines allows you to take your Mileage Plan miles and fly on what is, in many people’s opinion, the world’s best first class product. From champagne and caviar to on-board showers, most other first class products pale in comparison.

Redemption rates are not cheap at 150,000 miles each way, but for those with the access to the miles, the availability is usually quite good.

Just last week we booked a flight for ourselves for next year in Emirates First class from Dubai back to San Francisco. The availability for 2021 was wide open across multiple destinations. Today, only British Airways flights are showing up when you make a search online.

Did Emirates do this? Or did Alaska?

We reached out to Alaska this morning but the standard reply of “the partners only give us what they want and if it doesn’t show up we can’t do anything about it” was the only information they felt like sharing.

In other words… yea we don’t know either… or we don’t want to tell you.

Looking at Emirates Skywards

Steve wrote a great post outlining why Alaska might not be the way to go, and you should instead steer your gaze over towards Emirates’ own program for redemptions. The rates aren’t half bad, and the fuel surcharges have been reduced dramatically.

For now, Emirates still shows as a partner on the Mileage Plan page… so stay tuned. Here’s to hoping this is only a glitch and space will return momentarily.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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3 Comments

  1. I saw this a few weeks ago, trying to book the same thing, a DXB-SEA/SFO round trip.

    I generally don’t worry about it, as I’m sure award availability on partners is one of the last things most airlines are worrying about right now.
    Alaska is a classy enough airline, where I think they would announce losing a partner before just turning off redemptions.
    (they have done this, historically for partners that have done away the last few years)

    I’m not worried (he says, sitting on 1M+ AS points, and earning more each week flying)

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  2. 🙁 temporary would be good

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  3. I’m seeing Emirates flights again as of this morning! Phew.

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