Alaska Airlines Finally Offers One-Way Partner Awards (and Mix and Match Roundtrip)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is an incredibly useful program. They partner across much of both Skyteam (eg Air France, KLM, Delta, Korean) and also oneworld (eg American, Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific). And they have partners that aren’t alliance members (like Emirates).

For the infrequent flyer I often recommend Alaska as a way of earning miles from flights, they may not fly either American or Delta enough to have enough miles for an award ticket but crediting miles flown on either airline to Alaska allows those miles to build up much more quickly.

The biggest drawbacks to Alaska have been the inability to use miles for one-way awards on partner airlines (those were limited to flights on Alaska Airlines only) and the inability to mix and match partners on a one-way award.

This last is a frustration because if you want to fly Air France one direction you have to fly it the other way as well.

And you can’t combine an American domestic flight with a British Airways or Cathay Pacific international flight. You could use Alaska Airlines to the international gateway city only.

That’s made redemption much harder, despite the variety of partners Alaska works with.

But they’ve finally begun allowing both one-way awards on partners for half the cost of roundtrip (sometimes) and also the ability to combine partners on a roundtrip award.

Here’s an example of what’s going on from their website — Alaska Airlines allows you to search Alaska, Delta, and American flights online.

Take a look at a one-way award search between Detroit and Chicago, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shows options to fly both American and Delta. The American flight shows at 12,500 miles — half the cost of roundtrip. The Delta flight shows at the 25,000 mile roundtrip price, however!

When you search roundtrip you can mix and match American and Delta, and Delta shows up at 12,500 one-way based on roundtrip (in other words, 12,500 for the one-way segment as long as you’re making a 25,000 mile roundtrip booking).

Partner award charts show roundtrip pricing only still.

Matthew points out that mixed cabin availability can show up in an unclear fashion until late in the booking process. He searched for a US-Europe first class award and American showed up for 50,000 miles one-way… instead of 62,500. It wasn’t immediately obvious that he was being offered premium cabin domestic and coach international. So pay close attention when booking online.

My guess — and since Alaska doesn’t have 24 hour call centers I can’t verify this yet — is that one-way and mixed partner award booking is available for other partners as well. I look forward to verifying that in the coming hours once Alaska’s call centers have opened (unfortunately I’ll be on a long haul flight so it will be several hours before I can update things).

And I also look forward to figuring out what’s going on with Delta one-way awards for full round trip price, if that’s a glitch or by design (perhaps since Delta doesn’t allow its own members to book one-way awards at half the price of round trip, though you can book one way Delta awards at half roundtrip via Delta’s non-US partners like Air France’s Flying Blue).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I think you switched airlines a few times. There are few references to American where I think you meant to say Alaska. Ie “The biggest drawbacks to American have been the inability to use miles for one-way awards on partner airlines (those were limited to flights on Alaska Airlines only) and the inability to mix and match partners on a one-way award.”

    I thought American has had one way awards for a while now :-).

    You have a great blog. It’s one of my frequent destinations.

  2. It will be interesting to see whether Alaska allows one-way awards on partners like Delta. FlyingBlue, while allowing one-way awards on many partner airlines, actually do not allow one-way awards if you use Alaska Airlines.

    Lots of rules to keep in mind 🙂

  3. The other great thing about Alaska is the churnability of the BOA card. I put in an app every 6 months and cancel w/o paying the annual fee.

  4. The DL 25k level may be that when you search DL itself, it displays 25k for one way (and round trip)
    So Alaska may be charging you what the DL engine is charging Alaska itself.
    I want Cathay and Emirates one way!
    So this may be finally the best non-Star program
    complete Skyteam and OneWorld coverage with one ways

  5. If you attain 25K status with Alaska due to flights on AA and Delta, will you be eligible for all of the benefits on AA/Delta that their 25K miles fliers receive?

    For example, if one accumulates the 25K miles credited to Alaska (even without flying their metal), and then flies Delta, do they have the same upgrade priority as a Delta Silver Medallion?

  6. So you can book a one way on DL with AS miles but you cant book that same trip on DL with DL miles??

  7. Ford is incorrect on one point. BOA card is churnable but the annual fee is not waived the first year. You still have to pay the fee as it is charged the first month of new card.

  8. I tried to book an Emirates award this week, to no aval, but the Alaska rep told me one-ways are only good on US partners currently, not yet for AF, Emirates, etc yet. She said that won’t happen until around May. Also Alaska’s website is supposed to add partner search in the near future.

  9. Do you know if they allow mixed carriers on a one-way now? For example, can I go JFK-HKG on CX and then HKG-MEL on Qantas?

  10. “And I also look forward to figuring out what’s going on with Delta one-way awards for full round trip price, if that’s a glitch or by design”

    @Gary, Now that DL allows one-ways, it would seem this is a glitch. Any intel on this? Would prefer to book EU-US on Alaska without that pesky YQ.

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