A Clue That Alaska Mileage Plan Miles Might Not Suffer A Big Devaluation Despite Joining Oneworld…

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The partnership between Alaska Airlines and Emirates is ending on July 31st, 2021. Although sad, this partnership was clearly doomed once Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld alliance.

If you booked a paid ticket on Emirates before June 2nd, 2021, you can still earn redeemable and elite-qualifying miles with Alaska’s Mileage Plan – regardless of when you actually travel. If you booked a paid ticket after June 2nd, you will only be able to earn miles if your flight takes place before July 31st.

You can continue to book award travel on Emirates (using your Alaska miles) for flights up until July 31st, 2021.  If you’ve already made an award booking for a flight in August or later, your booking is safe. However, you can no longer make any changes, even simple date changes.

Although it was great to earn valuable Alaska miles on paid Emirates flights, the Emirates award chart had long since been devalued beyond nearly all usefulness. But I was very intrigued to see that Qatar Airways redemptions will be available from August.

Why Does This Matter?

Alaska’s Mileage Plan has a number of things going for it. One advantage is that it publishes individual award charts for each partner airline. Sometimes this results in unattractive award pricing – such as the aforementioned Emirates or Aer Lingus – but sometimes this results in amazing sweetspots – such as First/Business Class awards with Cathay Pacific or North America to Asia (and potentially beyond) with Japan Airlines.

So…  if Mileage Plan is planning to publish an award chart specifically for Qatar Airways, we can assume that nothing more drastic is imminent – i.e. trashing the individual award charts in favour of the sort of one-size fits all award chart strategy that most other frequent flyer programmes use. This is potentially great news.

And with luck, Alaska’s award chart for Qatar Airways will offer us its own sweetspot or two, especially for Europeans who might normally expect to be overlooked. Fingers crossed for August…

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