Top 5 Alaska Mileage Plan Sweet Spot Redemptions

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We’ve been meaning to put together a list of our favourite Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spot redemptions for a while, but have finally been prompted into action by a reader request (always feel free to ask in the comments if you want to see us cover something!). So, without further ado – in no particular order – here are our top 5 Alaska redemptions:

1) Cathay Pacific Business Class Europe-Hong Kong for 42,500 Miles

You only need 42,500 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles to fly (one-way) in Business Class on any direct Cathay Pacific route between Europe and Hong Kong.

There are no additional ‘surcharges’ to worry about when redeeming Alaska Miles for flights on Cathay Pacific. If you can connect from a cheap low cost carrier flight to start your long haul somewhere outside of the UK (like Dublin, Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, etc) you can avoid a big chunk of Air Passenger Duty too.

42,500 Miles is literally less than half the 90,000 Avios that British Airways Executive Club would charge for the exact same Cathay Pacific redemption!

2) Awesome ‘Backtrack’ Stopovers on trips to the US

Alaska Mileage Plan offers pretty attractive rates from Europe to the US on American  – 22,500 in Economy (off-peak, peak is 30,000) and 57,500 in Business Class each way. The real magic though comes from Alaska’s generous stopover and routing rules.

Not only does Alaska allow a stopover (for as long as you want, within a year) on one way flights (so, for example, spend a week in New York or LA on the way to Hawaii), it also allows you to ‘backtrack’, which can lead to massive savings.

Let’s say you want to visit the US and see both the East Coast and the West Coast; rather than just stopping over on the East before heading to the West, you can actually fly to the West Coast first, have your free ‘stopover’ there, then fly to the East Coast, all on the same award ticket.

For example, Dublin – Seattle (stopover for a week, or however long you want) – New York, all for 22,500 in Economy or 57,500 in Business Class.

Note the dates at the top – the flight from Seattle to New York was  a week after the flights from Dublin to Seattle.

To complete your journey, you can then just hop on a cheap Norwegian flight from the East Coast back to the UK, often for under £100, or use your recent Iberia Avios haul for Business Class!

3) Delhi – Tokyo (stopover) – North America 70k Miles in JAL First Class

Alaska Mileage Plan places India and Japan in the same region on its JAL award chart. This means that you can fly between North America and India one-way for 35,000/60,000/70,000 Miles respectively for Economy/Business Class/First Class.

JAL First Class

You can therefore fly from Delhi to Tokyo, stopover as long as you like, and then fly all the way to the East Coast of the USA (or vice versa) for the number of Miles listed above.

That’s nearly 10,500 Miles of flying and some incredible destinations!

alaska

I should point out that if you choose to splash out on First Class, you’ll actually have to ‘slum’ it in Business Class on the Delhi – Tokyo leg, because there isn’t a First Class cabin. Tokyo-New York is still ~13 hours in First Class though and therefore well worth the extra 10,000 Miles in my view!

jal-business-class
JAL Business Class – I think you’d manage to bear it for part of your trip!

4) Cathay Pacific First Class North America to South Africa via Hong Kong for 70k Miles

The process here is almost exactly the same as in the JAL example above – but the cities are different and you would be flying with Cathay Pacific.

70,000 Alaska Miles (one way) can get you from Johannesburg  to North America in Cathay Pacific First Class (mostly*), with a stopover for as long as you want in Hong Kong.

* Note that Cathay doesn’t actually offer a First Class cabin on the Hong Kong – Johannesburg leg, so that would be in Business Class. To fly Business Class the whole way costs 62,500 Miles, so I’d say the extra 7,500 to fly First Class between Hong Kong and North America is worth it!

5) 15 Hours of JAL Business Class for 25,000 Miles

A one way Business Class redemption on JAL for travel within Asia (including India!) requires just 25,000 Alaska Miles + ~£30 in tax

As an example, I’m using an old itinerary from Delhi to Singapore, with a stopover in Tokyo for a week:

Both flights are over 7 hours long so you’re looking at about 15 hours of JAL Business Class for 25,000 Miles + £30.

Obviously, not everyone is going to want to fly specifically between India and Singapore, but the exact same principle works for all sorts of other Asian origins and destinations. In fact, you can even do some pretty crazy backtracks, like Singapore – Tokyo (free stopover) – Kuala Lumpur:

Bottom line

There are plenty of other great Alaska redemptions (not least those involving Aus/NZ/South Pacific), but we had to draw a line somewhere!

Let us know your own favourites in the comments – if they’re good enough, we’ll publish a ‘Part 2’. 

Comments

  1. vmanznsb says

    Aus/NZ/South Pacific would be fantastic! Looking to get there within the next year or so and seriously considering getting Alaska miles with the Marriott Travel Package before the end of July 🙂

  2. Nobil says

    Did Bangkok to Sydney on Thai Airways 747 First Class for 40k One Way United Miles StarAlliance Awesome Experience

  3. Andrew M says

    Cathay also fly from Cape Town to Hong Kong in a new A350. That may work better for some people considering the South Africa – Hong Kong-North America option on CX.

  4. Andrew M says

    What about Tel Aviv-Hong Kong-North America on CX. That should also be 70,000 points in J / F, assuming they consider TLV to be in the Middle East – which it surely is. TLV would be much easier to position to than JNB/CPT.

    I haven’t priced it with an Alaska agent but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible.

      • Andrew M says

        I saw some CX J availability for the TLV-HKG route on BAEC recently. Bare in mind that the route is seasonal and not daily so you need to check they there is actually a flight on the days that you are checking.

  5. Sharon says

    I didn’t think you could do CX from Europe….in fact I didn’t think that you could do anything from Europe because they’re North American based? When did this change?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Sharon,

      Good news – you’ve been able to redeem Alaska Miles to fly on Cathay from Europe to Hong Kong for years! I’m not sure how long exactly, as I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t possible. It is more restrictive than flying from the US though, as you can only fly to/from Hong Kong, not connect to elsewhere in Asia on the same redemption. If you’re having trouble seeing award space on the alaska site, it’s because it doesn’t show ANY Cathay space – you have to call. 🙂

    • Andrew M says

      Alaska’s award chart will tell you where you can fly to from Europe and on which partners.

      https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/use-miles/award-charts

      It’s mostly North America but including Hawaii, Mexico, The Caribbean as well as Hong Kong.

      There’s nothing to stop you getting an award flight to the US, even in Economy if you’re short of miles, and adding on further flights from there to some interesting destinations. You could even make it a Round the World Trip

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