Hi advice needed Pls-I see where if you purchase alaska air miles you can get cheap upgrades on partner airlines.

7 replies

darrenoz

Member since 11 Jun 2011

Total posts 10

Hi advice needed Pls-I see where if you purchase alaska air miles you can get cheap upgrades on partner airlines.2 questions from a novice- do u have to have a alaska airlines frequent flyer account and if say using the miles for upgrades on partner airlines like emirates,does the ticket need to be booked through alaska airlines?Many Thanks,im new to this-Daz.

Stuart Jackson

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Mar 2015

Total posts 84

carefully check the availability before you do this ! some routes have very little availability for J because they are available to airline FF before they are available to partner programs

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

darren,

1) Yes you will have to have an Alaska Airlines frequent flyer account. That is the only method by which you can purchase Alaska Airlines miles.

2) By upgrades you mean redemptions? At present I do not believe you can upgrade a booking using another airline's miles i.e. If you purchase an Emirates Economy Class ticket, you CANNOT upgrade to Emirates Business Class using Alaska Airlines miles. You can however redeem an award travel on Emirates using your Alaska Airlines miles. All awards (redemption) bookings made using Alaska Airlines miles will need to be made through Alaska Airlines. The tickets will be issues through Alaska Airline using Alaska Airline's ticket stock.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

Typo: At present I do not believe you CANNOT upgrade a booking using another airline's miles

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

Sorry...ignore my last comment...double negatives. Sorry I've not had my coffee....

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

Hello,

Yes you need an account and right now there is a promotion where you can get up to 40% bonus miles for purchases through 6 October, 2015. This promotion usually runs twice a year and I've seen it personally for the past 4 years. I have never seen any bonuses higher than this so its worth considering. I have purchased the max miles on 3 occasions only during these promotional periods and used them for flights on Emirates in First Class. Availability is not guaranteed but I have found that a few days before departure, seats have opened up. Ive used ExpertFlyer for notifications. My last trip cost roughly 2200 USD for a one way ticket from Los Angeles to Dubai with a few days stopover (1 stopover allowed) and then another flight to Hong Kong both on A380s in First for 100,000 miles. That same trip would have cost over 20K dollars if it was a revenue ticket. Then I booked a flight on Cathay Pacific in Business class using Alaska miles from Hong Kong to Brisbane. As you can see, there are many ways for miles redemption.

Its worth noting though that you can only redeem for flights between North America and as far as Asia. Australia is not an option as an entry or arrival point for Emirates redemptions via Alaska Airlines. You can choose Cathay Pacific via Alaska Airlines though as they allow for flights between North America and Australia. All of this info is located on charts on the Alaska website.

Please be aware that you may be UNABLE to purchase miles if you do not have a North American issued credit/debit card. I am from North America so I have not encountered this issue. Correct me if this has changed but I have had friends in Australia unsuccessfully purchase miles via Alaska's points.com mileage purchasing system. There is an article on here discussing this: 

http://www.ausbt.com.au/alaska-airlines-freezes-out-aussie-frequent-flyers-in-credit-card-fraud-crackdown

Best of luck!

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

Hi Sean

great insight. Do you know if your trip can begin in Asia and end in North America? Or does it have to originate in North America?

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

Hi Riley, You can begin your trip in Asia if you want and it can be booked as one way, so you can choose to mix and match first one way and business back etc. I just had a look and there's been quite great availablilty lately on Emirates and here is one example below. This sunday, you can fly from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in First for 100K miles plus $70. The reason I chose Hong Kong is because I personally like the A380s for First so why not get two A380 First experiences. You can also break up the two segments with a layover of some days and it will still be the same number of miles. Its 75K miles for Business. If you were to just go from Dubai, its 90K miles so for an extra 10K miles you can get the Hong Kong flight which is a 10+ hour flight! Definitely a deal!! You could fly from any Asian city  (Singapore, Bangkok) and to any city in North America for the same number of miles. All you need to do is get to North America or an Asian city from Australia with another carrier and off you go in Business or First on Emirates for a fraction of a revenue seat (given you dont mind not accruing miles/status). Id recommend Cathay to reach Hong Kong or Los Angeles using miles as I find availability quite high but you have to call Alaska to find out which flights are available on Cathay. I personally book revenue flights on Virgin Australia to Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles to maintain status, but mileage redemptions are great for travel on airlines I wouldn't fly enough anyway to get status.

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