About a month ago, Alaska Airlines released a new partner award table for Mileage Plan partner redemptions. As part of the new award table, Alaska only includes initial award fares for flights originating in the US or Canada. For destinations outside of the US or Canada, Mileage Plan advises its members to “search for desired destination and dates for pricing.”
This gives Alaska Mileage Plan the ability to charge any price it chooses, which is the essence of dynamic pricing.
Many expected the “simplified” award tables to be the start of a major devaluation of the Alaska Mileage Plan. So it’s not all that surprising that Alaska has apparently devalued British Airways’ awards, as first reported by View from the Wing.
A price increase for some awards operated by British Airways
Alaska previously charged the following prices on British Airways nonstop departures from the United States:
- Economy class: 32,500 miles.
- Premium economy: 42,500 miles.
- Business class: 57,500 miles.
While these award prices currently appear unchanged on East Coast departures from airports such as New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Miami International Airport ( MIA), Alaska Mileage Plan is charging more for at least some departures off the East Coast. These are the new prize prices we are seeing:
- Economy class: 35,000 miles.
- Premium economy: 45,000 miles.
- Business class: 65,000 miles.
In our tests, Alaska charges the highest award prices on at least some nonstop flights west of and including Nashville International Airport (BNA). That means you’ll likely need to redeem more Alaska miles to fly British Airways on non-stop departures from airports such as Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), George Bush Airport (IAH ) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Remember, Alaska has full control over its award rates. Therefore, you may find different prices when you search.
Related: 5 Ways TPG Staff Would Redeem 70,000 Alaska Miles
More miles for some connecting flights
Also, Alaska now charges more miles for some connecting flights. If you add a stopover to your award, you may need to redeem at least 5,000 more miles. Here is an example from Chicago to Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO).
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In this case, Alaska Mileage Plan charges a whopping 92,500 one-way miles for a business class award. On a subsequent departure, you will need to redeem 65,000 miles for a one-way business class award. This example highlights the extreme volatility of partner Mileage Plan awards.
The price of taxes and fees also appears to have changed on some awards operated by British Airways. For example, taxes and fees on some London departures are around $250 for nearby award tickets. But this summer, we’ll see taxes and fees increase to almost $900 per one-way trip. Alaska may be adjusting its taxes and fees seasonally.
Here’s an example of this:
Again, due to dynamic pricing, you may find different prices when you search.
Related: How to Book Free Stopovers with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Other associated flights are also more expensive
You may also find other partner flights that now cost more Alaska miles than before. Here is an example from Los Angeles to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).
In this case, you can see how each itinerary has a different price. This example highlights that Alaska Airlines still appears to use different award tables for each partner even though it no longer shares these award tables with its members.
View from the Wing reported that Alaska awards from the US to India on Japan Airlines have increased by 5,000 miles and 10,000 miles in business class and first class, respectively. In addition, you may find higher award fares on certain connecting routes operated by Cathay Pacific.
Related: Your Complete Guide to Earning and Redeeming with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
You may need to redeem more Alaska miles on flights operated by Mileage Plan members to destinations like Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, this has a negative effect on the value of Alaskan miles, which have historically been some of the most valuable airline miles. We recommend checking award rates at other Oneworld partners (such as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and American Airlines AAdvantage) before redeeming Alaska miles.