Alaska Mileage Plan Earnings Rates On British Airways Adjusted

As most of you probably remember, in January British Airways announced some changes to their Executive Club, which kicked in for bookings made as of April 28, 2015. This impacted both their mileage earnings and redemption rates.

British-Airways-First-Class

On the earnings side, we saw some changes which reflect the direction the industry is headed in general — British Airways greatly increased the number of miles you earn on premium cabin tickets, while they greatly reduced the number of miles you earn on discounted tickets.

Avios-Earning

When airlines have partners, this sometimes presents an “arbitrage” opportunity, whereby you can earn more miles by crediting to a partner airline instead. For example, here’s the American AAdvantage earnings chart for travel on British Airways:

AAdvantage-10

As you can see, American AAdvantage is much more rewarding for travel on discounted fares, while it’s much less rewarding for travel on premium fares. Over time chances are that the earnings chart will be “aligned” more for travel on British Airways, though I’m not surprised they’re keeping it as is for now, given that American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture.

Another one of British Airways’ airline partners is Alaska Mileage Plan, which has been a great program to credit British Airways flights to. However, it looks like Alaska Mileage Plan has updated their earnings chart for travel on British Airways. Here’s the new earnings chart:

Mileage-Plan-BA-2

While here’s the old earnings chart:

Mileage-Plan-BA-1

Here are the changes in Alaska Mileage Plan earnings rates for travel on British Airways:

  • The cheapest economy fares (Q, O, G) go from earning 100% to 25% miles
  • Discounted economy fares (K, L, M, N, S, V) go from earning 100% to 50% miles
  • Full fare economy fares (Y, B, H) continue to earn 100% miles
  • Discounted premium economy fares (E, T) go from earning 110% to 100% miles
  • Full fare premium economy fares (W) go from earning 110% to 150% miles
  • Discounted business class fares (R, I) go from earning 125% to 150% miles
  • Full fare business class fares (J, C, D) go from earning 125% to 250% miles
  • Discounted first class fares (A) go from earning 150% to 250% miles
  • Full fare first class fares (F) go from earning 150% to 300% miles

Bottom line

For the average consumer these are probably negative changes, given that more people are paying for economy than premium cabins. That being said, for those flying in premium cabins, the number of miles you earn has gone way up, and in some cases even doubled.

British-Airways-A380-Business-Class

If you managed to get in on the British Airways ex-Dubai first class mistake fare from last month, Alaska Mileage Plan is now a great program for crediting your miles.

I am a bit peeved that Alaska Mileage Plan made these changes without notice, though my guess is that this is simply because British Airways only told them last minute and strong-armed them into the changes.

How do you feel about the change in Mileage Plan earnings rates for travel on British Airways?

(Tip of the hat to @JamesScott2)

Comments

  1. This is great for those who are paying more to travel in the forward cabin, but like you said, for the average consumer this is a huge blow to the MileagePlan program!

  2. dang, and I just booked two mileage runs to JNB on BA to be credited to AS last week. Hopefully AA’s rates remain intact and I will go to ExPlt.

  3. I’m a bit worried as I have 64,000 miles already booked on BA still to come with crediting to AA, so hoping I don’t have to run to the DOT and see if they’ll force earnings based on time of purchase or allow refunds… Ugh just ridiculous that they can sell tickets 330 days out and change earning with next to no notice.

  4. Sorry I don’t know where to find these things…but what did the 1000-1200 JFK-ORY biz class fares book into? I bought four tickets. Thinking of crediting some to BA and some to AA.

  5. @Lucky – have you heard from Alaska if they will honor the prior booking code mileage rates with proof of ticket purchase prior to the devaluation? I’ve reached out to them as I have two trips to Cape Town planned on BA, but haven’t heard anything.

  6. Ben–Like others, I’m curious what earning schedule applies to travel? What is in place when travel is booked or flown?

  7. @ architrekt — Nope, mileage accrual with Mileage Plan will be based on travel date and not booking date.

  8. If you’re buying premium fares on BA then AA’s 2x EQP promotion still seems like the best to earn status, combined with the 100% bonus in RDM if you are plat, achievable with a single status challenge and likely any premium cabin trip, no?

  9. @ AJ — I believe the AA bonus promotion only applies to travel on American metal, no?

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