Alaska Airlines Keeping Separate Award Charts For Each Partner, Introduce New Multi-Partner Awards

In covering Alaska Airlines introducing award redemptions on oneworld partner Qatar Airways, I learned a few interesting things about the program’s plan for bringing on additional redemption.

  • Previously we expected to see redemption on new oneworld airline partners ‘late in 2021.’ They do not expect to complete this process until next year.

  • Each partner does seem to be getting its own award chart, as Mileage Plan has had with each of their pre-existing partners. That means the transition to oneworld doesn’t mean having to revisit all of their current award pricing. (It doesn’t effectively force a devaluation of great value awards on partners like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.)

  • There will also be the “ability to mix and match multiple partners on a single award.” However that separate award chart and functionality doesn’t have a “confirmed timeline” yet.

The takeaway here is that the IT work is running a bit slower, perhaps, than some expected. But most importantly current award charts aren’t being replaced by a brand new pan-oneworld partner chart. Instead the current Mileage Plan structure seems to remain in place, with the future addition of a multi-partner award.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Multi-year Alaska elite here (75K for many years running).

    I’ve also worked with Alaska’s IT people and seen behind the curtain at their HQ south of SEA.

    Alaska IT is broken. It’s not just a running joke on flyer talk, it’s a real thing.

    The upgrade processor has been broken for years. Partner awards always come later than expected. Look at when Alaska announced Aer Lingus and Iceland Air and when awards became bookable.

    Alaska does some things well and really screws the pooch on others (they suck at IRROPs, they suck at IT).

  2. Please don’t use the term “IT work”. It’s backwards as is “stewardess” for flight attendant. The people who work on this matter are software engineers. The work is software engineering. Every SWE project has its challenges. Alaska is no outlier.

  3. As a 75K too, I think Alaska does a very good job with their IT which includes the upgrade processor.

    Delay in new award partner inventory being available does not effect me as much as if there was poor IT during my travel through the year with Alaska (upgrade processing, choosing instant upgrade seats, companion fare use, pre-ordering a meail etc). All this is done very well by Alaska IT.

  4. @JP whatever whatever
    toughen up barbie, software engineering is still IT work….

  5. I view this as a highly positive development. It makes me feel much more comfortable accumulating AS miles rather than AA miles. At least for now, a devaluation is much more likely on the AA side with the new ability to transfer ThankYou points to AA (even if it’s temporary).

  6. “Alaska IT is broken…” What?? It works ok for me but, what do I know?
    Soft Engineer sounds like IT work to me but again, what do I know?
    I’m just a peasant who likes to fly on planes.
    I’ll be studying for new and better ways to use my Alaska Miles due to the changes described.

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