Alaska Air fixes the award chart, eliminating Asian sweetspots

Just a few days ago, Alaska Airlines made it possible for customers to book Singapore Airlines redemption tickets using Alaska Airlines miles. At that point in time, they also revealed an award chart, which in some cases was too good to be true. For instance, here is the Award chart for India – Singapore flights.

Here is the intra-Asia award chart that was published. As per this chart, China was in South-east Asia, which meant you could fly Singapore Airlines Suites just for 35,000 Alaska Airlines miles when originating, let’s say, in Thailand or in Singapore itself.

While the award chart showed 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles for flying Business between India and Singapore and 35,000 miles for first-class, that is not how it was really working out. I was told by a source that this was being fixed. Little did I know that the award chart was going to be fixed, rather than the redemptions being made available at 65K.

Alaska Airlines has now updated the award chart. Here is how the India to Singapore and South East Asia part looks now, with Business Class at 65,000 one-way and First Class at 85,000 one-way.

But that is not the only change made overnight. Even China has been reclassified from Southeast Asia to North Asia. Here is how the new chart looks there, with China firmly moved up with Japan and Korea.


On another note, while Alaska Air was fixing things, they also fixed the most used loophole in the system. The routing rules within Asia used to allow passengers using Mileage Plan to redeem miles to route, let’s say, via Japan for an Asia – Asia ticket, and also get a free stopover in the process. For instance, you could fly Singapore – Bangkok via Tokyo, getting a couple of long flights in the process rather than a quick hop, but with the same price in terms of miles. Not just that, you could stay as many days as you wanted. The award chart update now states:

(10) Stopovers are not available on Intra- Asia award redemptions.


At the moment, on multi-region itineraries, such as Asia to the USA, you still can add a stopover.

 

It is still possible to add a stopover on multi-region itineraries though so in that respect Alaska remains a great choice to earn and redeem mileage for the time being (especially on Japan Airlines & Cathay Pacific).

Bottomline

Redemptions, while a way to get cheaper or free flights for us, are a cost to the programme. Usually, these costs net off amongst airlines, but some of these loopholes are quite expensive to the carriers. So, not surprising that it went away after a while. It would have nice if Alaska would have told us before, but the by-product would have been people would have piled on with more redemptions before it went away. Having said that, there still lies immense value in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan programme.

What do you make of these Alaska Airlines changes?

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Comments

  1. That’s disappointing, but not surprising. I guess my question is with this update, is India considered a separate region and a DEL-HKG (via Tokyo) still allow a stopover in Japan? Or is that option gone with this update?

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