Changes to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will make it easier to earn miles

 

Today Alaska Airlines announced new enhancements to its award-winning Mileage Plan program. These changes will increase the number of miles earned by its highest-tier elite members and those customers who buy higher-priced tickets. Other changes are necessary so that Mileage Plan can continue to award miles based on the distance flown while some carriers transition to revenue-based models that consider the price of the ticket.

Sometimes you book a ticket at the last minute or decide to fly first class for a special occasion. When you do this on Alaska Airlines, the hard-earned money you spend will be rewarded. And if you’re the planner, someone who books travel far in advance and would never consider flying first class, Alaska is keeping you whole – a mile flown is a mile earned. It’s that simple.

New Tier Bonus for MVP Gold 75K Members

Alaska Airlines already offers some of the most generous tier bonuses to provide its customers with more miles each time they fly. MVP members who fly 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines earn 50 percent more miles every time they fly. MVP Gold members who fly just 40,000 miles on Alaska Airlines a year, earn twice as many miles.

Beginning January 1, 2015, Mileage Plan will offer its top-tier MVP Gold 75K members a 125 percent bonus on flight miles for travel on Alaska and all its partners, up from the current 100 percent bonus.

MVP Gold 75K members will continue to earn an additional 50,000 miles each year they requalify. Taking both bonuses into account, an MVP Gold 75K member who flies 75,000 miles on Alaska Airlines will earn at least 218,750 award miles – enough miles for five round-trip tickets to Hawaii.

New Fare Class Bonuses

Travelers who purchase more expensive fares often earn more miles and elite qualifying miles through fare class bonuses. These are in addition to any tier bonuses that come with elite status.

Currently, Mileage Plan members can earn 50 percent more miles and elite qualifying miles when they book full-fare or discounted first class tickets in the F and P fare classes. They can also earn 25 percent more miles when they book full-fare economy class tickets in the Y fare class.

Beginning January 1, 2015, these fare class bonuses will be increased and additional fare class bonuses will be added, helping Alaska’s members earn elite status — and a reward trip — faster than ever before.

Fare class bonuses will increase for full-fare tickets in first class and economy. New bonuses of 25 percent to 50 percent will be added for discounted S, B, and M fare classes in economy.

Mileage Plan miles earned on Alaska flights

Class Current Bonus Beginning Jan. 1, 2015
F (first class) 50 percent 75 percent
P (non-refundable first class) 50 percent 75 percent
Y (refundable coach) 25 percent 50 percent
S 50 percent
B 25 percent
M 25 percent
Elite Member – MVP Gold 75K 100 percent 125 percent

Don’t forget! While extra miles are always great, Mileage Plan members with elite status can also request an immediate upgrade — when available — to the first class cabin after booking a Y, S, or B fare (some members may also upgrade M and H fares). This benefit is in addition to complimentary upgrades elite fliers can enjoy near departure.

New Rules for Earning Miles with Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is one of Alaska’s many elite-qualifying partner airlines, meaning you can credit flights on Delta-operated and –marketed flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and continue to earn elite-qualifying miles and award miles. The new Delta SkyMiles program for 2015 is changing the way it awards miles for travel on Delta Air Lines, determining the number of award miles based on the price of a ticket.

Mileage Plan members will continue to earn miles based on the distance flown when they credit Delta-operated and –marketed flights to Alaska’s Mileage Plan. However, to accommodate the coming changes to SkyMiles, some fares will earn more or fewer miles than before. Beginning on January 1, 2015, the following miles accrual tables will apply:

Mileage Plan miles earned on Delta Air Lines flights

Cabin Class of service Current earning Earning effective Jan. 1, 2015
First F, P 150 percent of miles flown 200 percent of miles flown
First A 150 percent of miles flown 175 percent of miles flown
First G 150 percent of miles flown 125 percent of miles flown
Business J, C 125 percent of miles flown 175 percent of miles flown
Business D, I 125 percent of miles flown 150 percent of miles flown
Business Z 125 percent of miles flown 125 percent of miles flown
Economy Y 100 percent of miles flown 125 percent of miles flown
Economy B, M, S 100 percent of miles flown 100 percent of miles flown
Economy H, Q, K 100 percent of miles flown 75 percent of miles flown
Economy L, U, T, X, V 100 percent of miles flown 50 percent of miles flown
Economy E 100 percent of miles flown 25 percent of miles flown

The Bottom Line

While other airlines move to revenue-based programs that have the potential of diluting the rewards earned for the average passenger, Alaska continues to offer the same great mileage-based plan. Alaska’s also recognizing the customers who spend a little extra by providing a little something extra in return. With more miles you’ll be that much closer to your next vacation or a more comfortable seat up front.

There’s never been a better time to be an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member.

More from Travel Codex:

Secrets to finding great value in award miles

Alaska will begin offering a more seamless travel experience on American Airlines

122 Comments on “Changes to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will make it easier to earn miles

  1. After 15 years of Platinum at NWA and later Delta I was all set to switch to Alaska Air but with the latest changes I prefer to stay with Delta. It’s more important for me to earn full Elite qualifying miles and reach Platinum. As much as I dislike Delta, Alaska’s changes are aligning with American Airlines’ mileage program and that doesn’t work for me.

    If Alaska would fly to Europe and Asia I would love to be part of Alaska’s program. How about Alaska team up with Hawaiian Airlines for Intl. to Asia/Australia and with Iceland Air for Europe. …just thinking…

  2. This year will make nearly a decade of being a Gold on AK and I have enjoyed the last two as a 75K. That said for those of us flying out of PDX, this is going to hurt. The “on again, off again” service to Denver and then the recent end of the leg to Atlanta, only make it more difficult to fly AK without having to use Delta. These changes will definitely shift my spend toward AA where I can and it would be nice to see some reinvestment in the PDX market, as well.

  3. I have been a Gold Alaska Member for over 10 years now, and switched from being platinum with AA because I love Alaska’s service. Unfortunately, with the changes from Delta, I am going to have to switch to Delta because Alaska doesn’t offer enough East Coast legs without having to use Delta (Florida and Philadelphia)

  4. Delta announced their Mileage awards for 2015 for partners. What is interesting is that if I fly the cheapest fare on Alaska Airlines and opt to collect Delta Skymiles I will receive 100% MQMs and 50% useable miles, that is in many cases more miles then I would get if I fly Delta and get miles based on price. If they would just reinstate each others 1st free bag for frequent flyers of the AS & DL.

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