TPG readers reveal their best Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan redemptions

Mar 15, 2020

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On the heels of an increased offer for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card  — which comes with 40,000 bonus miles, a $100 statement credit and the airline’s famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you spend at least $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account — we asked our TPG Lounge members to share their best-ever award redemptions through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity). 

Epic trips to South America, Europe and Asia

From memorable redemptions between North and South America to flights in some of the best business- and first-class products in the skies, our TPG Lounge readers never fail to impress us when it comes to redeeming miles for incredible experiences.

“Fairbanks (FAI) to Anchorage (ANC) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Dubai (DXB) for a stopover to Hong Kong (HKG) for a stopover to Tokyo (NRT) for a stopover to San Diego (SAN) to Seattle (SEA) to FAI — all in first class on Alaska Airlines and Emirates and in business class on JAL for 250,000 Alaska miles. We live in Fairbanks and wanted to visit Dubai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. It was a great 2.5-week trip. I should mention I was also 26 weeks pregnant at the time.” — Lauren F.C.

“About to fly from Alaska (BRW) to Ushuaia, Chile, (USH) for 25,000 Alaska miles, with a few stops in between.” — David W.

“100,000 Alaska miles from Seattle (SEA) to Budapest (BUD) in American Airlines business class.” — Maria B.

“70,000 Alaska Airlines miles from Bali (DPS) to New York-JFK in Cathay Pacific first class. — Catherine S.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Have you flown in Cathay Pacific first class yet? (Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy)
Have you flown in Cathay Pacific first class yet? (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy.)

“200,000 Alaska Airlines miles for a round-trip flight from Seattle (SEA) to Bangkok (BKK) in first class on Emirates. I got that trip right before they raised the charge for miles and it was awesome.” — Kathy V.

“120,000 Alaska Airlines miles to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sapporo (CTS) on Korean Air when they were a partner, in business-class round-trip. And it was my first time on an A380!” — Paul L.

Cathay Pacific first class between Los Angeles (LAX) and Bangkok (BKK), many times.” — Craig H.

Related: The best sweet spots with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Memorable vacations to Oceania and beyond

Several TPG Lounge members wrote in about how they’d been able to redeem Alaska miles for trips to Australia, Africa, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

“It was a ridiculous number of miles, something like 200,000 per person one-way, but in first class on Emirates from Seattle (SEA) to Johannesburg (JNB) thru Dubai (DXB) and was totally worth it! Plus, we had the entire first-class cabin to ourselves on both legs. An incredible experience.” — Amy D.

“I stocked up on Alaska miles last year in order to book a trip to Fiji and New Zealand in business class. Just haven’t had time to go yet.” — David P.

“My two best-ever redemptions were from using Alaska miles. The first was flying in a Cathay Pacific A350 in business class from Dublin (DUB) to Hong Kong (HKG) — a route that has since been discontinued — for just 42,500 Alaska Airlines miles plus $42 in taxes and fees. The second was the “unicorn redemption,” also known as Qantas business class from New York-JFK to Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL), an 18-day stopover and open-jaw flight, then from Brisbane (BNE) to Perth (PER) in Qantas’ domestic business class. All that for 55,000 Alaska miles and just $49 in taxes and fees.” — Matthew T.

Related: How to earn miles with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

A peek at the Qantas 787-9 business-class cabin. (Photo by The Points Guy staff)
A peek at the Qantas 787-9 business-class cabin. (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.)

“70,000 Alaska miles from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) in Qantas first class.” — Paul L.

“80,000 Alaska miles to fly in first class round-trip to Australia with a stopover in Fiji on Fiji Airways, coming up in November. All of it is in first class except the Los Angeles (LAX) to Seattle (SEA) leg on my return trip home, but I’m counting on getting upgraded.” — Leandro V.

Readers helping readers

We love it when our TPG Lounge members get so involved in a topic they end up helping each other with advice based on their own experiences. That’s what happened when TPG Lounge reader Kabir G. responded to a post by David P. about a tricky redemption he made for the same itinerary he’s looking to do himself later this year.

“From Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo (NRT) — stopover — to Singapore (SIN) in JAL business class because first class wasn’t available. 65,000 Alaska miles one-way. I love JAL’s Sky Suite product, which is probably my favorite business-class hard product, although I’ve also been in Delta One, JetBlue Mint, Singapore Airlines’ A350 and 777, KLM 777, ANA 787, Lufthansa 747 and some others that aren’t worth mentioning.” — David P.

“I’m actually considering booking this exact itinerary for my girlfriend and me over Christmas and New Year’s. Found availability in business class for both flights. I’d been hoping to fly in first class since it’s only 10,000 more miles, but JAL’s business class looks amazing, too.” — Kabir G.

“JAL doesn’t fly first class out of Seattle, I think. You can always book business class and keep monitoring, and if first class opens up out of Los Angeles, just pay the $125 per person change fee to book first class.” — David P.

 “There’s actually zero award availability on the direct Seattle flights. San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND) is wide open in J, so I’ll probably be planning on that. Good idea about monitoring for first-class availability though, thank you!” — Kabir G.

“When I booked mine initially, there was only Seattle (SEA) to San Diego (SAN) to Tokyo (NRT) to Singapore (SIN). Seattle then opened up availability about two weeks in advance. I think LAX might have opened up a first-class ticket but I would have needed to change again and also fly to LAX, so I went with the more direct flight.” — David P.

“Good to know! Plus Alaska is giving a waiver for a free change on all flights booked during March for travel through Feb. 21, 2021, so I could always change it if something better becomes available.” — Kabir G.

Related: How points and miles got my 79-year-old mom home in first class before a coronavirus lockdown

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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