You can now redeem Alaska miles on Royal Air Maroc — but here’s why you shouldn’t
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It’s already been over nine months since Alaska Airlines joined Oneworld, and alliance-wide redemptions are still unavailable. These redemptions were supposed to go live last summer, but that’s since been delayed to early 2022.
Now, there’s another Oneworld partner you can redeem your Alaska miles on — Morocco’s flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc. However, the redemption rates are steep and suggest that a devaluation of the Mileage Plan program could be imminent.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Redeeming Alaska miles for Royal Air Maroc flights
Royal Air Maroc awards are bookable online through Alaska’s website. Each Alaska partner has its own award chart, and Royal Air Maroc is no different. Unfortunately, the award chart is much less valuable than most other partners.
You can find these award charts on Alaska’s website. To give you an idea, here are the one-way award rates for travel on Royal Air Maroc between eligible regions:
- North America to Africa: 50,000 miles in economy, 100,000 miles in business class
- North America to Europe: 60,000 miles in economy, 120,000 miles in business class
- North America to the Middle East: 65,000 miles in economy, 150,000 miles in business class
- Africa to Europe: 17,500 miles in economy, 35,000 miles in business class
- Africa to the Middle East: 32,500 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in business class
- Africa to Africa: 20,000 miles in economy, 45,000 miles in business class
Keep in mind, Alaska doesn’t allow you to mix airline partners, though you can add Alaska flights to a partner itinerary. Also, you can add a free stopover in Royal Air Maroc’s hub, Casablanca (CMN), on long-haul itineraries between regions.
Although the taxes and fees on these awards are low and a free stopover is nice, overall, these rates aren’t a good deal.
Take North America to Europe rates, for example. If you were to redeem your Alaska miles for an American Airlines award between these regions, you’d pay as little as 22,500 miles for economy and 57,500 miles for business class. Compare that to 60,000 miles for Royal Air Maroc in economy and 120,000 miles for business class.
For an even more extreme example, remember that you can book $10,000+ Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines first class flights between North America and Asia for just 70,000 miles — much less than what you’d pay for Royal Air Maroc in business class.
Even if you’re set on flying Royal Air Maroc, you can do much better by booking through other programs. For example, American Airlines AAdvantage charges 22,500 to 30,000 miles for economy awards between North America and Europe (including Morocco) and 57,500 miles for business class.
Meanwhile, Etihad Guest charges a flat 22,000 miles in economy class and just 44,000 miles in business class for all nonstop Royal Air Maroc flights over 2,000 miles in length. Etihad is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One and Citi ThankYou.
Is an Alaska devaluation coming?
Unfortunately, this news only strengthens my suspicions that a devaluation of the Mileage Plan program is coming.
Alaska’s newest redemption partners generally have poor redemption values compared to Alaska’s original partners. For instance, Iberia awards between the U.S. and Europe cost 35,000 miles in economy and 75,000 miles in business. While not as steep as Royal Air Maroc, these rates are still higher than flying American or British Airways. Similarly, the redemption rates for Qatar Airways awards are higher than through other programs, like AAdvantage.
Although Alaska has said that it would give at least 90 days’ notice if changes are coming to any current partner awards, it seems inevitable that it will want to closer align redemption rates. Offering first-class awards to Asia for less than a business class award to Europe won’t make sense in the long run once borders reopen.
Another issue is that many charts now only show starting award prices, meaning Alaska could devalue redemption rates without notice.
Alaska started offering mileage earning on Royal Air Maroc as soon as it joined the Oneworld alliance. Today’s news is that you can now also redeem on the airline. Unfortunately, the redemption rates are not attractive and could suggest a devaluation is coming to the program.
Right now, there’s no update on when exactly alliance-wide redemptions will become available other than “early 2022.” TPG will keep you updated on any developments.
Featured photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees