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Alaska Airlines Is Completely Overhauling Its Award Charts Starting … Now

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Michael Y. Park
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Michael Y. Park

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Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...
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The biggest award chart change of 2024 (so far) is upon us!

The highly anticipated revision to Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan charts is going into effect starting today and through March 24, 2024, according to One Mile at a Time. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing entirely unfamiliar miles redemption costs if you scan for flights via Alaska from now on.

And by “highly anticipated,” we don’t necessarily mean in a good way, because Alaska Airlines loyalists will have to say goodbye to some of their favorite sweet spots. The whole new system — ditching the old ways for distance-based awards and more consistency among partner airline redemptions — will eliminate many beloved deals but also potentially create opportunities.

So you don’t have to break out the “The End Is Nigh” sandwich boards, but there will be tears.

Let’s jump into the details and examine Alaska’s changes.

Alaska Mileage Plan Program Changes Are Here

Alaska is moving to a distance-based redemption system. The new system includes 3 regional award charts for travel to and from the U.S.: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Asia and the Pacific. The airline’s subregions, including Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Central America, are now be considered part of North America.

The new charts apparently mean the end of some of our longtime favorite Alaska Airlines redemptions, like Cathay Pacific.

Previously, you could fly in one of the industry’s best first-class products to Hong Kong for 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles. Under the new system, you can expect that same flight to cost nearly twice as much at 130,000 miles.

Other changes include:

  • Short-haul awards starting at 4,500 miles each way instead of 7,500
  • Premium economy awards starting at 6,000 miles instead of 12,500
  • Business class awards starting at 9,000 miles instead of 20,000
  • Premium economy redemptions with more airline partners
  • One-way redemption pricing for all partner airlines, making it easier to mix and match routes

What isn’t changing? Alaska Airlines isn’t getting rid of or altering its much-loved 14-day stopover policy on one-way international award flights.

Cathay Pacific First Class Seat
Flying Cathay Pacific 777 first class on Alaska Mileage Plan miles was an amazing deal. Was. Image Credit: Alex Miller

“With focus on simplicity, value, and availability, Mileage Plan members will have new options to choose from across our 24 partner airlines,” Alaska Airlines said in a press release announcing the changes last fall.

Alaska’s New Award Charts

While there is no doubt that some of these changes may be disappointing, Alaska Airlines says a significant number of partner nonstop routes in economy and business classes now cost less to start, thanks to the new distance-based structure.

Presented below are the award charts featuring the updated pricing, categorized by region:

From the U.S. to Within the Americas

SCROLL FOR MORE
DistanceEconomyPremium EconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
700 or fewer miles4,500 Mileage Plan miles or more6,0009,00013,500
701-1,4007,50010,00015,00025,000
1,401-2,00012,50017,50025,00040,000
2,001-4,00017,50022,50035,00052,500
4,001-6,00025,00032,50050,00075,000
6,001 or more30,00040,00060,00090,000

From the U.S. to Europe, the Middle East, or Africa

SCROLL FOR MORE
DistanceEconomyPremium EconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
1,500 or fewer miles7,500 Mileage Plan miles or more10,00015,00022,500
1,501-3,00022,50030,00045,00067,500
3,001-5,00027,50035,00055,00082,500
5,001-7,00035,00045,00070,000105,000
7,001-10,00042,50055,00085,000130,000
10,001 or more55,00072,500110,000165

From the U.S. to Asia or the Pacific

SCROLL FOR MORE
DistanceEconomyPremium EconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
1,500 or fewer miles7,500 Mileage Plan miles or more10,00015,00022,500
1,500-3,00025,00032,50050,00075,000
3,001-5,00030,00040,00060,00090,000
5,001-7,00037,50050,00075,000110,000
7,001-10,00042,50055,00085,000130,000
10,001 or more65,00085,000130,000195,000

Final Thoughts

The much-ballyhooed redemption changes to the Mileage Plan program are finally here. But it’s still early, so we can’t yet come to definitive conclusions about the impact on points-and-miles flyers.

For starters, it appears that you can no longer rely on the Alaska Airlines sweet spots that were the cornerstone of many Asia-bound redemption trips. The strategy of many point-and-miles enthusiasts looking to fly comfortably to Asia is going to have to shift, possibly dramatically.

On the plus side, the program is consolidating and simplifying its award charts, making it easier and more transparent to redeem Alaska miles. In addition, Alaska is addressing the many complaints flyers had about booking partner award flights and ensuring that redemption rates for similar routes are more consistent.

And even though we’re in the new era of Alaska awards, we’ll still always be on top of things to make sure you find the best value for your miles!

Michael Y. Park's image

About Michael Y. Park

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and queen of Malaysia, tramped around organic farms in Cuba, ridden the world’s longest train through the Sahara, and choked down gasoline clams in North Korea.

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