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Today is 31 March, and that means that after a slightly longer process than was first anticipated, today is the day that will finally see Alaska Airlines join the oneworld alliance as a full member. We’ve already seen Alaska Airlines make changes to its award chart as it prepared to join the alliance, and now British Airways has updated its systems to reflect Alaska Airlines’ new status as a member of the oneworld alliance.
British Airways and Alaska Airlines have been partners for years so it has long been possible to earn Avios for trips taken on Alaska Airlines (although, historically, it hasn’t been possible to book Alaska Airlines flights via the British Airways website). What British Airways Executive Club members haven’t been able to do for all the years the two airlines have had a partnership, is earn valuable Tier Points when flying with Alaska Airlines. With the airline’s entry into the oneworld alliance, that has now changed.
Earn Tier Points On Alaska Airlines Flights
British Airways has now published its new earnings structure for flights taken with Alaska Airlines and three key changes have been made:
- Alaska Airlines flights now earn Executive Club Tier Points
- British Airways has mapped its earnings rates to Alaska’s new Fare Codes
- Alaska’s Premium Cabin is now classified as ‘Business Class’ and flights taken in the cabin will earn 25% fewer Avios than they did when the cabin was classified as ‘First Class’.
If you use the British Airways Avios calculator to see how many Avios and Tier Points a particular Alaska Airlines route will generate, a familiar set of earnings is shown.
Transcontinental routes will earn 140 Tier Points when flown in ‘Business Class’:
Alaska Airlines flights between the West Coast and Hawaii will also earn Business Class flyers 140 Tier Points:
And the shorter routes that Alaska Airlines operates will earn between 5 and 40 Tier Points depending on the cabin booked.
Good News For Award Bookings
For most people, Fare Codes aren’t particularly important and most people probably don’t even know what they are or what they represent, but in this case they represent very good news for anyone who collects Avios.
When Alaska Airlines’ premium cabin was recognized as ‘First Class’ it had fare codes associated with true (long-haul) First Class fares. As such, all Avios award bookings for Alaska Airlines’ premium cabin came at a very high cost despite the fact that the cabin being booked was far from a real First Class cabin.
Now that Alaska’s premium cabin is being recognized as a ‘Business Class’ cabin, Avios award bookings for that cabin are considerably cheaper.
- A Seattle – Honolulu premium cabin award redemption goes from costing 51,500 Avios to 38,750 Avios
- Los Angeles – San Francisco premium cabin award redemption goes from costing 30,000 Avios to 15,000 Avios
- San Diego – Austin premium cabin award redemption goes from costing 44,000 Avios to 22,000 Avios
Those are some pretty big drops and will probably make Avios an even more useful currency for US-based flyers to collect.
Alaska Airlines is joining the oneworld alliance today and British Airways has updated its earnings charts to reflect this fact. Alaska Airlines flights will now earn Tier Points when credited to the British Airways Executive Club, premium cabin award bookings will be charged at Business Class rates rather than at First Class rates, and premium cabin bookings will now earn 25% fewer Avios than they did before.
[HT: Loyalty Lobby]