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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – View the current offers here – Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card
After Alaska Airlines and Finnair announced their partnership in May 2017, members of the two programs could earn reciprocal miles when flying either of the two carriers, but only Finnair members could redeem their miles for Alaska flights, not vice versa.
As of Tuesday, you can redeem your Alaska Mileage Plan miles for Finnair flights. As One Mile at a Time points out, there’s still no award chart for Finnair flights listed on Alaska’s site, but once you search for awards, they’ll populate.
Based on searches and without the published award chart, the following appear to be the redemption rates for Finnair flights:
- 30,000 Mileage Plan miles — Economy class one-way between the US and Europe
- 32,500 Mileage Plan miles — Economy class one-way between Europe and Asia
- 60,000 Mileage Plan miles — Business class one-way between Europe and Asia
- 70,000 Mileage Plan miles — Business class one-way between the US and Europe
In addition to these long-haul transatlantic and transpacific options, you can also use Alaska Mileage Plan miles to fly on Finnair’s European route network. That redemption breakdown comes out to 12,500 Mileage Plan miles one-way in economy within Europe, or 20,000 Mileage Plan miles one-way in business class.
Of course, you’ll also have to pay taxes and fees on these redemptions, which appear to range from $19 to the low $60s.
Finnair operates flights from Helsinki (HEL) to New York (JFK) year-round. In addition, the carrier offers seasonal service between HEL and Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA) and San Francisco (SFO). If you’re flying long-haul with the carrier, expect either an A330 (for US flights) or an A350 — the latter of which TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig reviewed in business class and found to be comfortable but not luxurious, and contributor Michael Spelfogel reviewed in economy comfort and found to be great.
While the addition of Finnair for Mileage Plan redemptions is an overall positive, as it gives you another option for your miles, the redemption rates aren’t the best. Alaska Mileage Plan is known as one of the best programs for travelers looking to redeem for premium cabin awards. And, with these redemption rates — 70,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe — you could potentially be getting better value from your Alaska miles elsewhere.
For example, you can redeem 50,000 Mileage Plan miles for a one-way ticket in Cathay Pacific business class to Asia. Alternatively, you can fly in Cathay’s first-class cabin for 70,000 Mileage Plan miles one-way to Asia. One-way to Asia in Japan Airlines first class, one-way to Australia or Zealand in Qantas first class will also cost you 70,000 miles. So, for the same price of that one-way business class jaunt from the US to Europe in Finnair business, you could be getting some arguably superior awards, and get to farther-flung destinations.
Alaska miles are some of the highest-valued airline rewards in TPG’s valuations. The trouble is, there aren’t many great ways of racking up Alaska miles. You can score a 30,000-mile bonus after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days — plus a companion fare (from $121) — by signing up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card.
Featured photo by Zach Honig.
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