Alaska Airline Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer Program Review

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Earning Miles - The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan allow members to earn miles on Alaska Airline flights. You can earn the greater of either 500 miles or the actual number of miles flown. You earn 50% bonus miles when travelling on first class.

Airline Partners - You can also earn miles on partner airlines. They include Air France, American Airlines, Big Sky AIrlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Era Aviation, Hawaiiian Airlines, Horizon Air, KLM, LAN, Northwest Airlines PenAir, Qantas.

Car Partners - Members can also earn miles with the following car partners : Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar Rent a Car, Hert, National and Thrifty Car Rental. You can earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals.

Dining Partners - Partner restaurants that are part of the idine.com network allow Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members to earn up to 10 miles for every dollar that is spent at these places. Members can logon to mileageplan.idine.com to find participating restaurants.

Financial Partners - Members of Mileage Plan can also earn extra miles when using partner financial services firm. For example, if you work directly with your choice of one of the nation's four leading mortgage lenders, including Chase Home Finance, CitiMortgage, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual Home Loans, you can potentially earn up to 225,000 miles. Eg, you can earn 3,000 miles for each $10,000 of the home purchase and/or sale price when using an approved participating real estate agent. You can also earn 5,000 miles when you finance your vehicle with Capital One finance, earn miles when you buy, sell or finance your home through Lending Tree, earn 500 miles for getting a free auto insurance quote from Progressive, or simply earn 2,500 miles for opening an account with sharebuilder.

Hotel Partners - Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan hotel partners include Gold Crown Club, Choice Hotels International, Coast Hotels and Resorts, Delta Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Fiestaamericana, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt, Kimpton, Marriott, Mileage Plan Dining and Hotels, Preferred Hotels and Resorts, Princess Lodges, Priority Club, Red Lion Hotels, West Coast Hotels, Shilo Suites Hotels, Silver Legacy, Starwood Preferred Guest, Westmark Hotels and Wynham Hotels and Resorts. You can earn Alaska miles when you stay at these hotels.

Credit Card - Alaska Airlines has a credit card issued by Bank of America. The Alaska AirlinesTM Visa® Signature allows cardholders to earn double miles for every dollar spent on Alaska Airlines and Horizons ticket purchases. Every year, cardholder get one companion for just $50 if they purchase a ticket for themselves. You also get 2,000 miles every year the card is renewed. New cardholders get 5,000 bonus miles and the annual fee is $75.00.

Other Partners - Mileage Plan members can also earn points with Teleflora's Flower Club, FTD, Cruises on Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, The Yachts of Seabourn or Windstar Cruises, Masterpark Airport Valet, points.com, safeway.com, Vinesse and MileagePlanshopping.com. Mileageplanshopping.com has links to various merchants like GAP, Circuit City and you can earn miles, as much as 8 miles per dollar spent with these merchants. There is many more partners that simply cannot be mentioned here.

Redeem Miles - Like most carriers, Alaska splits it flight awards into two categories : The Peak Award (for travel during peak seasons) and the Saver Awards. If you look at the awards table, Alasks's saver awards has less miles requirements than most airlines. For example, while the big six major carriers require 25,000 miles for a roundtrip, economy restricted ticket within the Continental US, Alaska only requires 20,000 miles, a good 5,000 less miles.

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan also has a unique program that allows members to use 15,000 miles to get a $250 discount off ticket prices. Upgrades to first class requires 10,000 miles.

Elite Levels - The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has 2 elite levels, the MVP and the MVP Gold.

MVP - To qualify for the MVP status requires 20,000 miles flown solely on Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air during the year or 25,000 miles flown on a combination of Alaska and partner airlines or 30 segments. MVP members get 50% mieage bonus, unlimited first class upgrades at anytime on Y or YAS fares; 48 hours prior to departure on other fares, 2 roundtrips per year complimentary first class upgrade certificates on Northwest Airlines, a dedicated phone lines, priority waitlist, preferred seating, check-in at first class counters, priority boarding and 50% off initiation fees for Alaska Airlines boardroom.

MVP Gold - Qualifications for the MVP Gold Status requires 40,000 miles flown on Alaska or Horizon Air, or 50,000 miles flown on Alaska plus partner airlines or 60 segment flights.

Aside from all the perks that MVP members get, Gold members get 100% bonus mileage, 50,000 bonus miles when you fly 75,000 actual flight miles in a calendar year on Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, LAN, or Northwest Airlines, unlimited first class upgrades anytime on qualifying fares (booked in Y, S, B, M, H, or Q); 72 hours prior to departure on other fares, unlimited ability to upgrade one person into First Class if traveling with you, 4 roundtrips per year complimentary first class upgrade certificates on Northwest Airlines, and express security lines at selected airports.

Verdict - The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is a favourite among members and has been voted top position in the best airline reward program category in the Freddie Awards many times. Part of the appeal is that you require less miles on the saver award than other programs. It also has a unique feature that allows members to use 15,000 miles to save $250. The upgrade policy for elite members is also generous. The website is easy to use and information is easily found. Perhaps the only drawback is that Alaska Airlines is not part of any global alliances. But it has enough partners that you would not really notice.