TPG Readers’ Best Alaska Airlines Partner Redemption Success Stories

Jul 7, 2019

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We recently asked our TPG Lounge audience to share their greatest success stories for partner award redemptions with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan loyalty program. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity). 

Taking Advantage of Stopovers

One of the biggest perks of flying with Alaska Airlines partners is the ability to tack on a free stopover in the hub city of that airline. In other words, if you were flying from the US to Bangkok (BKK) via Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific, you could enjoy a stay in Hong Kong before continuing onto your final destination. Here’s a look at how the savvy members of our TPG Lounge used this trick to spice up their trips.

“75,000 miles each way from Los Angeles (LAX) to the Maldives (MLE) with a stopover in Dubai (DXB) in Emirates business class. [Editor’s Note: This award is now 82,500 miles each way.] It was an epic start to our honeymoon!” — Blair M.

“My biggest success was when I redeemed 55,000 Alaska miles for Qantas business class. I flew from New York-JFK to LAX on the 787-9, then snagged one of only two business class award seats that popped up on the A380 to fly from LA to Melbourne (MEL). And since Alaska allows both stopovers and open-jaws on one-way tickets, I tacked on an 18-day stopover from Melbourne and an open-jaw gap to Brisbane (BNE) to explore the east coast of Australia. I’ll then fly on a six-hour domestic Qantas business-class segment from Brisbane to Perth on the A330-200 at no extra cost. The full cash fare was around $13,000 but I paid 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and $49 in taxes and fees.” — Matthew T.

“50,000 miles for business class from San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG), then on to Sydney (SYD) several days later. I love the free stopover benefit and essentially got two long-haul flights for one redemption.” — Phil S.

“70,000 miles each way: LAX to Hong Kong with a five-day stopover [and then] to Bali in Cathay Pacific first class. [It would have been] $32,000 if I booked it with cash!” — Mike F.

Cathay Pacific First Class was a major hit with our TPG Lounge members. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)
Cathay Pacific First Class was a major hit with our TPG Lounge members. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Emirates First Class from New York-JFK to Dubai with a stopover in Hong Kong (HKG) for 100,000 miles. Since then, twice in Cathay Pacific first class for 70,000 from Hong Kong to New York-JFK, once nonstop and once with a Vancouver stopover, and one more on Cathay Pacific in business class for 50,000 from Newark (EWR) to Shanghai (PVG) on the A350. All were booked via phone call to an Alaska agent.” — Michael T.C.

“70,000 for JAL First Class from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Ho Chi Mihn City (SGN) with a free stopover in Tokyo and 65,000 for the return flight from Singapore (SIN) to NRT and SEA in business class. Experienced JAL First class on the 777, a Sky Suite on the 787, a Sky Suite III on the 777 and the dreaded Shell Flat Neo on the 787 all in one trip. I am impressed with JAL’s service.” — Torn S.

“Just completed a trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Did a stopover in Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific — two F seats for 70,000 miles each — then flew nonstop back to Seattle in JAL 787 J for 65,000 miles each. Also found Qantas First space to Sydney in December for 70,000 miles each. For Cathay, you need to call Alaska for any reservations. The agents know you can do a stopover and you just need to tell them how long you want. Unfortunately, I had to book 330 days out (max time) as it’s pretty tough to snag Cathay seats after all the error fares they honored, but it’s possible!” — Eric N.

“It’s all about the free stopovers! Flew Seattle (SEA) to Hong Kong (HKG), did a one-week stopover, and HKG to Brisbane (BNE) for 60,000 in CX business class. Flew Auckland (AKL) to Nadi, Fiji (NAN) for a four-day stopover, then NAN to San Francisco (SFO) for 55,000 in Fiji business class. Flew from Honolulu (HNL) to Seattle (SEA) for a two-month stopover at home, then from SEA to Paris (CDG) for 22,500 miles in AS/AA economy. Flew from Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX) for a three-day stop, then LAX-SEA for 17,500 miles in AS economy over the holidays.” — Larry M.

“25,000 miles from Singapore to New Delhi with a five-day stopover in Tokyo. Flew in JAL business class and a combined duration of around 14 hours. Best redemption ever.” — Nitin M.

Epic Flights to Europe, Asia and Australia

From flights to Croatia on Condor to an inspiring adventure across the globe, here’s how our intrepid TPG Lounge readers have used Mileage Plan partners to see the world.

“Seattle (SEA) to Zagreb (ZAG) in May was only 25,000 miles on Alaska’s partner Condor.” — Vanja S.

“Just booked my first AS international redemption so we’ll see how it goes! Not first class by any means, just 25,000 miles and $68 for Seattle to Mykonos in late-August on Alaska and Condor.” — Anna G.

“Qantas 787 business, 55,000 miles from San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD). So hard to find Qantas award space but 55,000 miles can’t be beat.” — Scott K.

One TPG Lounge reader scored a great deal on Qantas business-class seats. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)
One TPG Lounge reader scored a great deal on Qantas business-class seats. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

“75,000 miles plus $80 for Manila to New York in JAL First at Christmas.” — Hillary T.

“70,000 miles to fly from India to Hong Kong in business class and Hong Kong to Chicago on Cathay First” — Avi M.

“A round-the-world trip all in business class via Alaska Mileage Plan miles. 50,000 miles for IcelandAir Saga class from Portland (PDX) to Reykjavik (KEF). 22,000 miles for British Airways Club Europe from Reykjavik (KEF) to London (LHR) to Frankfurt (FRA). 50,000 miles for Condor business class from Frankfurt (FRA) to the Maldives (MLE). 70,000 miles for Cathay Pacific business/first from the Maldives (MLE) to Hong Kong (HKG) to Vancouver (YVR). 20,000 miles from Vancouver (YVR) to Portland (PDX). 14 days and the retail price would have been approximately $12,000.” — Wade W.

“How many ways do I love Alaska miles? Flew from LA to Seoul (ICN) to Sapporo (CTS) three years ago in business on Korean Airlines for 105,000 miles round-trip plus $60 in taxes. Last year, we flew from Tokyo (NRT) to LAX on JAL in first for 70,000 miles each. Planning to fly from LAX to Melbourne (MEL) in first on Qantas in March — booked two seats for 70,000 each — then from Brisbane (BNE) back to LAX in premium economy on Qantas for 47,500 AS miles each. Such a fantastically flexible program and the agents always want to help. They’ll say, ‘I don’t see any seats on those flights today but call back in a few hours.'”— Paul L.

Featured photo of Cathay Pacific First Class by JT Genter / The Points Guy.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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