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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Increases the Cost of Japan Airlines Awards

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James Larounis

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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If you’re planning on using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles anytime soon to book a Japan Airlines flight, you’re unfortunately in for a rude awakening. Flagged by One Mile at a Time, Alaska, unfortunately, has devalued the number of miles needed to book a Japan Airlines flight with no notice, and it will now cost more miles than before to book flights.

Latest Devaluation

To help explain this devaluation, here is a chart showing all of the changes:

Partner Business Class
Partner First Class
Central and Eastern U.S. to Japan60,00080,000 + $1970,000100,000 + $19
Haneda (HND) to Central and Eastern U.S.60,00080,000 + $6070,000100,000
Haneda (HND) to Los Angeles (LAX)60,00060,000 + $6070,00085,000
U.S. to Southeast Asia65,000100,000 + $3075,000125,000
West Coast U.S. to Japan60,00060,000 + $1970,00085,000 + $19

Every flight combination to Japan or Southeast Asia is going up in price when traveling on Japan Airlines, in many cases with a 50% mileage difference — an absolute gut blow for those that were saving their miles to travel on JAL.

Alaska prices out awards to Japan differently depending on if you’re departing from the West Coast or the rest of the U.S., but no matter your departure city, there’s an increase in store for you. You’ll find a much more reasonable redemption in coach, as only the business class and first class awards have gone up at this time.

More miles will now be needed to fly Japan Airlines in first class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

This likely won’t be the last devaluation we’ll see when using Alaska miles, as Alaska recently implemented a chart for all regions and airlines with “starting from” prices, allowing it to increase the prices on some carriers as it sees fit. Airlines have to reimburse other airlines when they consume award seats, so it’s likely Alaska’s reimbursement rate was too low and it must compensate by charging more mileage.

Hot Tip: Check out other ways to redeem your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for max value!

Final Thoughts

It’s sad to see Alaska devalue the number of miles it costs to travel to Japan and Southeast Asia. Customers need notice for these types of actions, but unfortunately, Alaska did not provide it and it will now be tougher to fly to these regions of the world.

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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