Alaska Airlines Simplifies their Mileage Earning Charts

Redeemable Miles. Elite Miles. Qualifying Distance. Bonus Miles. First Class Bonus. 500 mile minimum. It can be very confusing to try and track just how many miles you’re going to earn from taking a flight on an airline.

Delta has MQM and MQDs. United Airlines has PQP, PQM, PQC, PQS, fare based and non fare based miles. American Airlines uses EQM, EQD, Vouchers, Stickers, and more.

Seriously, even the most seasoned travelers can’t keep track of what the hell is going on most of the time.

Alaska Airlines has taken a step to try and simplify their earning charts so you can clearly see what you earn, how you earn it, and what it means.

Alaska’s Mileage Earning

Alaska Air has two types of miles, redeemable and elite qualifying miles. Redeemable miles are the miles that are in your account that you can redeem for flights on their aircraft or their over a dozen partner airlines.

Elite qualifying miles are the miles that you need in order to each their elite tiers of MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75k.

Sometimes you’ll earn bonus miles for flying in a premium cabin (such as business or first class) but it was sometimes unclear as to how many miles you would earn for a given flight.


Earned flight miles and premium cabin bonuses on Alaska Airlines count towards elite status, but partners do not.

Now you can clearly see what’s going to count and what won’t. Take a look at British Airways’ award chart:

The green column shows how many miles you’re going to earn to redeem on future flights. Flying in coach? With the exception of the new 10,000 mile minimum rule, you’ll earn 25, 50 or 100% of the mileage earned. Flying in a premium cabin? Business and First Class earn between 250-500% miles earned and between 150-300% elite miles towards qualification.

If you’re an elite member, your MVP Bonus miles are on top of these numbers, meaning that a first class ticket will earn up to 625%

Here’s the earning for some of their more popular partners.

Cathay Pacific





Transparency is key. As someone who tracks the miles we earn down to the inch, finding an easy way to calculate our miles to status and how many we’re getting in return makes life just that much easier.

Does this make calculating elite status easier for you?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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1 Comment

  1. Clarification please.

    You state above “ Earned flight miles and premium cabin bonuses on Alaska Airlines count towards elite status, but partners do not.” but that seems incorrect. In your BA example, if I fly on BA in F, I would earn 500% of the miles flown in miles AND according to the last line of the chart, 300% of those flight miles towards AS elite status. Correct? Same for all the other carriers e.g. Qantas in biz 125% of flight miles towards elite AS status. Right?

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