HomeAirline LoyaltyAlaska Mileage PlanBig Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award chart changes now in progress

Big Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award chart changes now in progress

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Back in November last year, Alaska Airlines announced that it would be overhauling its partner award charts in 2024 and it even gave us a look at what those award charts would look like. At that point, we only knew that most of the changes would go live in March, so we didn’t have an exact date for their implementation. Now, we do.

OMAAT reports that Alaska Airlines is now in the process of updating its systems and that from today, we should start seeing the new award pricing appear in our online searches.

Note: The full set of changes may take a up to the end of the month to roll out.

The changes in brief

In summary (more detail is available below), these are the changes that Mileage Plan is introducing.

From March 2024 (rolling out from today):

  • Mileage Plan partner award charts will be reduced to just three award charts covering three regions (as defined by Mileage Plan).
  • The pricing in the new charts will be based on distance flown and the cabin in which travel is being taken.
  • Mileage Plan partner awards will no longer be restricted to select geographic areas.
  • More award types will be made available on partner airlines (more cabins and more non-saver awards).

Awards for travel on Alaska Airlines will not be changing with Mileage Plan continuing to use dynamic award pricing starting from 5,000 miles for one-way travel.

Coming later in 2024:

  • Promotions will be introduced in which partner awards will be discounted.
  • Award bookings that include a mix of airline partners will be possible.

A key aspect of Mileage Plan that will not be changing is the programs stopover policy which will continue to allow free stopovers at partner hubs.

Related ReadingThe changes that Alaska Airlines has made (and is still to make) to how Mileage Plan elite status is earned.

More detail

Here’s what you need to know about the changes to Mileage Plan partner awards that will start rolling out from today.

New award charts

Up until now, the Mileage Plan partner award charts have been a bit of a mess with the program publishing separate award charts each of its partner airlines.

Going forward, however, Mileage Plan will have just three partner award charts that will look like this:

The Americas

a table with numbers and text

As the caption below the chart indicates, this chart covers partner award travel within the United States, within the Caribbean, within Central America, within South American and award travel between the United States and those areas.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

a screenshot of a graph

Alaska Airlines has said that this award chart cover partner travel within Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as partner travel between the United States each of those areas.

What doesn’t appear to have been mentioned is if this chart will cover partner travel between these areas and the rest of the Americas (e.g. Iberia flights between Spain and South America). I suspect that this is simply an oversight as no other chart appears to address these routes.

Asia Pacific

a table with numbers and text

This award chart will cover partner travel between the US and the Asia Pacific region, partner travel between Europe, the Middle East & Africa region and the Asia Pacific region, and travel within the Asia Pacific region (which includes Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the South Pacific, Japan, and South Korea).

What doesn’t appear to have been mentioned is if this chart will cover partner travel between Asia Pacific and the rest of the Americas (e.g. Cathay Pacific/JAL routes between Asia and Canada and the Qantas route between Sydney and Santiago).

Key to note:

  • The distances shown in the charts and on which the partner award prices are based are for one-way travel.
  • The awards ‘start at’ the prices shown and these prices relate to ‘saver awards’. When saver awards are not available, the cost of partner award travel will be higher. Probably significantly higher.
  • There are no penalties for changing or cancelling a partner award.

Link to Mileage Plan award charts.

The end of geographic restrictions

Up until now, Mileage Plan partner awards have quite restrictive when it comes to the routes on which non-US routes members have been able to use their miles and with the airline now a member of the oneworld alliance, that’s a situation that had to be rectified … and it has been.

Going forward, Mileage Plan will no longer restrict partner awards to specific routes and regions, and that should mean that Mileage Plan miles should become useable on any route that a partner airline operates.

More partner award options

Alaska Airlines has said that it will start to offer more redemption opportunities on partner airlines by opening up access to Premium Economy awards on more airlines.

American Airlines and Japan Airlines Premium Economy awards are mentioned specifically in the press release, but as a member of Oneworld, I’d expect Alaska to start opening up Premium Economy awards on the likes of BA, Cathay and Finnair as well (although maybe not all at the same time).

Also, Mileage Plan will now offer more partner award options at prices above the saver level giving members with sizeable mileage balances more flexibility with dates on which they can use their miles for partner award travel.

Partner award sales

At some point in 2024, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will begin to offer ‘regular partner award sales’ with the plan being to run these promotions every quarter (for a limited time within that quarter) and to have these promotions offer up to 50% off the cost of an award with a specific partner, or on a specific route or on awards to a specific destination.

Multi-partner awards 

Alaska Airlines has said that by the time the new award charts go live (i.e from now), Mileage Plan will allow members to redeem miles with 24 global partners and with the promise of more on the way.

As things stand, Mileage Plan doesn’t allow for mixed partner awards, but from later this year, we’re told that members will be able to ‘mix and match which airlines they’re flying’ so that, for example, a booking that includes travel with British Airways on an outbound flight and Finnair on the return will be possible.


In its November press release, Alaska Airlines told us that the new partner awards structure will see 60% of partner nonstop routes in economy class and 64% of routes in business class starting at a lower price point than they do right now.

The airline also pointed out that short-haul awards will start from 4,500 miles each way (down from 7,500 each way and that ‘[m]any shorter-distance flights within continents will start at up to half the current price’.

That all appears to be true, but it’s really only half the story.

Yes, some awards that will now be bookable this month look very attractive – I plan to try to make the most of being able to book Miami – Aruba on American Airlines from just 7,500 miles, for example – but a number of the more aspirational awards will be going up in price … some by a frightening amount.

  • A one-way Cathay Pacific First Class award for travel between LA and Hong Kong (7,260 miles) will now cost 130,000 miles instead of 70,000 miles (an 86% increase).
  • A one-way Qantas First Class award for travel between LA and Sydney (7,488 miles) will now cost 130,000 miles instead of 70,000 miles (an 86% increase).
  • A one-way Cathay Pacific First Class award for travel between Tokyo and Hong Kong (1,808 miles) will now cost 75,000 miles instead of 27,500 miles (a 173% increase).
  • A one-way Cathay Pacific Business Class award for travel between LA and Hong Kong (7,260 miles) will now cost 80,000 miles instead of 50,000 miles (a 60% increase).
  • A one-way Qantas Business Class award for travel between LA and Sydney (7,488 miles) will now cost 80,000 miles instead of 50,000 miles (a 60% increase).
  • A one-way Cathay Pacific Business Class award for travel between London and Hong Kong (5,994 miles) will now cost 75,000 miles instead of 42,500 miles (a 76% increase).
  • A one-way Qatar Airways Business Class award for travel between the United States and Asia will now cost 130,000 miles instead of 85,000 miles (a 53% increase).

Sure, a lot of these awards have been very hard to find in recent years so for some, that will make these changes a little easier to swallow (why cry over the cost of an award you can never seem to be able to book anyway?).

For those of us who have very flexible schedules, however, and who have been able to make the most of some of these incredible awards, this doesn’t make for good reading.

In the interest of balance, I will point out that there are also some good aspects to these partner award changes.

  • Some short-haul Economy Class options look to be great value with Miami – Caribbean in Economy Class now starting from just 4,500 miles, for example.
  • The shorter Business Class routes between the US and Europe (e.g. Boston – London) will now cost 45,000 miles one-way (down from 57,500 miles).
  • The shorter Business Class routes within Asia will now cost from as little as 15,000 miles one-way instead of 35,000 miles (e.g. Tokyo – Beijing).

What this all means is that for those of us who play the miles & points game to book the more aspirational trips that we probably wouldn’t book if we had to pay with cash, the changes to Alaska’s partner awards isn’t good news. For this group, these changes are a big devaluation.

For a lot of other members of Mileage Plan, however, the story will probably be a different one.

For this group (the group who uses miles domestically more than internationally and for Economy Class rather than premium cabins), their miles are now more flexible, their miles are now easier to use, and a significant number of domestic routes are now cheaper to fly (assuming saver award are actually released). For this group these changes are probably a net positive.

How you view these partner award changes will very much depend on how you have used your Alaska Airlines miles in the past.

Bottom line

From today, Alaska Airlines is rolling out its new partner award charts with the cost of awards now based on distance flown and the region to which the travel relates. The days of individual award chart for each partner airline are numbered.

The changes to the cost of partner awards are both good and bad and will affect different people in different ways depending on their travel patterns and their preferred choice of cabin.

It will be interesting to see how the partner award sales are implemented (will they be any good or will they be nothing more than a gimmick?) and it will be interesting to see just how readily available various partner awards will be at the saver level.

If saver level awards are reasonably easy to find, the grumbling from those of us who view these changes as a devaluation will go away with time. If saver level awards prove to be troublesome to find, the grumbling will only get worse as more and more Mileage Plan members join in.

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  1. AS you pointed out award seats from the east coast say Boston look on the surface very attractive however Alaska is a “west coast airline” with the greater portion of FF’s based here in the west as such we get the other end of the stick. This chart is horrible for those of us that travel internationally I could have stayed with Delta and gotten this! AS has raised the bar on their new award chart to the point of absurdity but then which airlines hasn’t.

  2. Not good. Condor to FRA is currently priced at 55K J o/w from west coast. With the new mile chart it bumps to 70k as, e.g., SEA-FRA mile distance is just over 5,000. Overall a huge inflation of miles required for most long-haul. The short distance might offer bargains but those are just the peanuts throw in to mask the big hikes. Glad I took advantage years ago of flying F Qantas and Cathay TPAC and Condor J TATL. Good days are over. The only possible plus is west coast to Dublin on Aer Lingus, normally priced at 280k o/w, but it can be had for 60k o/w at times, and if the new chart is introduced it would drop to 55k; flew them R/T for 120k 2 years ago using bought Alaska miles.


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