Alaska Airlines launched another sale for their Alaska MileagePlan rewards program, offering a 40% bonus when purchasing miles. This can be a great opportunity to fly Cathay Pacific Airlines in Business or First Class for a fraction of the cash price or on one of Alaska’s other partner airlines – but make sure you check availability first! Find out all the details and whether it’s worth it below!
This current sale ends on October 28th and you can earn a fixed bonus of 40% when purchasing at least 20,000 miles. You can purchase a maximum of 60,000 miles in one transaction, but there is no limit to the number of transactions you can have. The purchase does incur a “tax recovery fee” and your total price with the maximum bonus is 2.1 cents/mile.
That’s more than my 1.5 ct/m evaluation of Alaska Miles, so I don’t recommend purchasing miles speculatively. Make sure you have a high-value redemption in mind and you have checked availability!
So, what are possible high-value redemptions? Alaska Airline’s domestic flights might not qualify, but Alaska has a number of interesting partners you can redeem miles on, for example Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines! One of the best values in the mileage world are the options to fly Cathay Pacific from the US to South-East Asia for 50,000 miles in Business Class or 70,000 miles in First Class (both one-way). For comparison’s sake, United charges 90,000 for Business and 140,000 for First on partner awards! But based on the feedback of angry Alaska MileagePlan members, it can be excruciatingly difficult to find availability and book those coveted awards!
I’m a relatively “new” member of Alaska MileagePlan, exactly since they acquired Virgin America, and I have been curious about the program due to their partners. During their last “Mystery Bonus Promotion“, I found availability for a Cathay Pacific First Class flight from San Francisco to Manila for only 70,000 miles one-way and decided to purchase the missing miles. My heart almost stopped when the purchase encountered problems and the miles didn’t show up in my count. I had to follow up with customer service and after 48h finally got the miles in my account. Luckily, the First Class seat was still available and I was able to book it! I’m looking forward to flying Cathay Pacific First Class next year – and I will certainly write about it!
This shows the risks of purchasing miles, so make sure to check availability first. Establish the cash price of the desired cabin and itinerary to make sure buying miles will be significantly cheaper than buying the ticket outright. If it is a good deal, you can get approximate availability by checking on the British Airways website (they are also a partner of Cathay Pacific). Then, call Alaska Airlines and verify that they also have these seats available (they may or may not!). Once you have availability confirmed for your dates, go ahead and buy your missing miles ( or all of them) and immediately call Alaska again to book your award ticket!
Good luck planning your own luxury escape – you can purchase Alaska Miles here!
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