Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Announces Devaluation of Rewards on American Airlines

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Alaska Airlines have announced some changes to their relationship with American Airlines. To their credit, however, these changes will be implemented on 1 January, 2018 – lots of lead time for making reward bookings…

The majority of InsideFlyer UK readers are likely to be interested in the changes on the reward side. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has published this useful chart:

Rewards will cost more between Europe and North America. However, the truly reward-chart-obsessed will note that these changes merely mimic AA’s existing (devalued) reward chart, which looks like this:

Although less likely to impact readers, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will no longer be able to earn miles on American Airlines domestic flights starting on 1 January, 2018. (unless booked as a codeshare under an Alaska Airlines flight number) International flights are not affected, so if you occasionally fly American Airlines to/from the U.S., you will still be able to earn those highly-valuable Alaska Airlines miles.

You can read about these changes on the Alaska Airlines website by clicking here.

Kudos to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for providing substantial advance notice. However, I suspect that these changes were driven by American Airlines, who would undoubtedly have noticed that AAdvantage members could earn more miles by crediting to Alaska Airlines, and spend fewer miles on rewards. I certainly will be looking to spend some of my Alaska miles before these changes come into effect. And stay tuned for an upcoming “travel hacking in action” post where I used 50,000 Alaska miles to visit 3 North American cities and take 5 AA flights, mostly in Business / First Class…


  1. Ian Macky says

    Actually, for us in the UK it doesn’t look too bad, as US to US/Hawaii/carribean/Mexico have all dropped. Given that not many will have ooddles of AS miles, these reductions makes doing these redemptions more attainable.

    My problem is that AAsaver awards (i.e. the cheaper AA awards that AS etc has access to), have gotten to the point that I’d be extremely worried about gathering points in any schemes on the basis of redeeming for an AAsaver award.
    They are very hard to find, and the ones that do pop up tend to take indirect routes.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Well, those soon-to-be-lower-priced options don’t usually make much sense to me, because once over in N.A. you can use Avios without any surcharges to be added – and of course Avios rewards on AA are now priced as Business instead of First…

      I do find that Alaska MP tends to offer more AA flight options, although indirect, than AAdvantage as they seem to be less fussed about overnight layovers. (which I rather like, even though many people think they are a massive waste of time, money and effort)

      Alaska also have the free stopover, which means that instead of needing to find all award availability for the same day, you can stop somewhere for a couple of days, before continuing.

      Of course, if you don’t mind using your AS miles to fly CX Business / First Class, then AA award availability is irrelevant! 😀

  2. Ian Macky says

    As usual it depends on routes etc. If you can find milesavver awards, then LAX to JFK, is 37.5K avios in Biz, but after 1-1-2018, it’ll be 25K AS.
    Similarly, DFW-HON is 60K avios but 40K AS.

    Given it’s hard to collect AS, being able to use up relatively small amounts of AS and still get decent value compared to Avios on some routes, looks like an offset for the otherwise broad devaluation.

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