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The question of which airline loyalty programme you should credit your flights to is complicated, but there are some excellent reasons to credit British Airways flights to Alaska Mileage Plan.
It’s a point we’ve made before here at InsideFlyer, but given the excellent BA fares currently available, it’s well worth going over again.
Why you should consider Alaska Mileage Plan
Let’s look at a practical example to show you what I mean: the sale fares I posted about yesterday, and in particular the BA Business Class flights from Luxembourg to San Francisco that cost ~£925 return.
If you credit those flights to British Airways Executive Club, you will end up with about 17,500 Avios and 360 Tier Points (assuming you don’t already have elite status). That’s fine – I value 17,500 Avios at ~£175 – so it’s a nice little kickback, but you can do better.
Alaska Mileage Plan’s earning chart for BA flights (and other partner airlines too!) is very generous, as you can see below:
The cheapest Business Class fares earn 250% of the flown distance in redeemable Miles and 150% Elite Qualifying Miles. J,C and D fare classes earn even more.
GCMapper calculates the total flight distance as being 11,375 miles, so you would end up with roughly 28,400 redeemable Miles.
Alaska Miles are significantly more valuable than Avios too – I value 28,400 as being worth ~£450! Remember, you only need 42,500 Alaska Miles to fly Business Class on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong (one-way) with no ‘surcharges’. There are lots of other amazing redemption options too, some of which I covered here.
MVP status earns an additional 50% of flown Miles. Gold earns 100%. MVP Gold 75K earns 125% bonus Miles (+ an additional 50,000 Miles bonus on qualification!).
If we take the most extreme example, a MVP Gold 75K member would earn 375% of flown miles on BA’s cheapest Business Class fares. That is a staggering 42,650 Miles in the example above! I value those Miles as being worth nearly £700, which is just over 75% the cost of the flight.
Arguably, you could add on another 10,000 Miles too, as the flight is 20% of the way to re-qualifying and you get the 50,000 bonus Miles if you do re-qualify.
By contrast, a BA member with Gold status would earn 35,000 Avios – worth about £350.
Earning elite status with Alaska Mileage Plan can be surprisingly easy too, because of its wide range of partners:
It’s also worth mentioning that Alaska MVP Gold and Gold 75 members can access the BA lounges at Heathrow (sadly not at other airports though, as far as I know)
By crediting British Airways flights to Alaska Mileage Plan, rather than BA Executive Club, you can get back more than twice as much ‘value’. There are elite status benefits to be considered too of course, but even taking that into account, Alaska can make a lot of sense…
The main caveat at the moment is that Alaska is due to join the oneworld alliance next year. That will likely mean some changes to Mileage Plan that could result in lower earning rates and/or devaluation of Alaska Miles. If you’re flexible though, I’m confident there will still be some good miles redemption opportunities.