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Alaska Airlines isn’t in a global airline alliance, but they’ve inked partnerships with a number of airlines that allow Mileage Plan members to earn and redeem on flights on multiple alliances and niche carriers including Aeromexico, American, British Airways, Cathay Pacifc, Delta, Emirates, Fiji, Korean, Lan, KLM, Qantas and Pen Air.
You can bank miles when flying these airlines to Mileage Plan, but you can also transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points at a ratio of 20,000 SPG to 25,000 Alaska miles. They’ve got some decent redemptions and generally low fees- their partner award charts are separated by region and can be found here.
A lot of awards are bookable online- including on their app, which is available for iPhone and Android. I just took the app for a spin and was able to price out awards on all partners expect Cathay Pacific, Korean and Lan. This could be a great tool if you’re looking to book a last minute award and don’t have access to a computer (or simply check availability so you can call in and book with your frequent flyer program) or simply to plan dream trips while you sit in the airport!
Random interesting fact- Pen Air operates a lot of flights within Alaska, but also on the east coast as well from Boston to Plattsburgh, New York, Islip, NY, Presque Isle, Maine, and Bar Harbor, Maine. These flights can get pricy, so they could be valuable coach redemptions for those who fly these routes.
I’ve been meaning to beef up my Alaska mileage account so I can take advantage of some of the partners like Emirates, who aren’t bookable via many other programs or Amex/Chase transfer partners (at least not for one-way awards). I am going to focus on spending more on my SPG personal and business Amex, but also shop through Alaska’s shopping portal and link all of my cards to their dining program.