Alaska Mileage Plan Reduces Mileage Earnings Rates On Air France/KLM

Last week we learned about Alaska’s Mileage Plan program adjusting mileage earnings rates for travel on British Airways.

The changes were drastic on both ends, and very much mirrored the trend we’re seeing in the industry — airlines are awarding more miles for people traveling on full fare/premium cabin tickets, and fewer miles for people traveling on discounted economy tickets. On the low end, we saw mileage for discounted economy tickets drop from 100% to 25%, while on the high end we saw mileage for first class tickets increase from 150% to 300%.

Air-France-Economy

Well, it seems like that’s not the only partner earnings rate adjustment we should expect from Mileage Plan.

As of a couple of days ago, Alaska’s Mileage Plan has adjusted mileage earnings rates for travel on Air France & KLM.

Here’s the new earnings chart for travel on Air France:

Air-France-Mileage-Plan

Meanwhile here’s the old earnings chart for travel on Air France:

Air-France-Mileage-Plan2

Here’s the new earnings chart for travel on KLM:

KLM-Mileage-Plan2

And here’s the old earnings chart for travel on KLM:

KLM-Mileage-Plan3

As you can see:

  • Mileage earnings for the cheapest economy fares (T, E, N, V, R, G) are dropping — from 100% to 25%
  • Mileage earnings for discounted economy fares (H, L, Q) are dropping — from 100% to 50%
  • Mileage earnings for slightly more expensive economy fares (U, K) are dropping — from 100% to 75%
  • Mileage earnings for full fare economy fares (Y, B, M) are staying the same — 100%
  • Mileage earnings for business class (J, C, D, I, Z) are staying the same — 125%
  • Mileage earnings for first class (P, F) are staying the same — 150%

These changes are really rough. While the British Airways earnings rate changes at least had some upside for premium cabin flyers, this is almost just a devaluation in earnings across the board. The one slight improvement is that some deeply discounted fares previously didn’t earn any miles, and now earn 25% miles.

It’s interesting that this comes so closely after the British Airways earnings rates changing, which I assume were tied to British Airways’ devaluation to their own Executive Club earnings rates.

Air-France-First-Class-1

To some degree I can’t help but wonder whether Delta played a part in this at all, given their joint venture with Air France/KLM and their rivalry with Alaska.

Bottom line

Alaska Mileage Plan has long been a great program for crediting miles from a variety of airlines across the alliances, and even some non-aligned airlines.

Alaska-Partners

Historically Mileage Plan has had especially lucrative earnings rates, though I guess we shouldn’t be surprised with this general trend. For the most part this probably isn’t even Alaska’s doing, but rather the request of the “native” airline.

Comments

  1. The generally cheap V class on KLM previously earned nothing, and now earns 25% so there’s a (marginal) benefit to some travelers. I remember this clearly because a cheap Norway flight last year on KLM in V class earned nothing, but hey I’d get something for them now with Alaska.

  2. Unless I’m missing something, isn’t this actually better earning (25 from previously 0) for some deeply discounted classes? N, V, R, G? Or are these brand new classes just introduced by AF/KLM?

  3. Do you have any actual information that “this probably isn’t even Alaska’s doing, but rather the request of the “native” airline.” Or is it just speculation?

  4. Yes, my guess is this was requested by AF/KLM. The Mileage Plan earning for economy now mostly mirrors what you could get by crediting to Flying Blue. They probably didn’t want their partner being so much more generous than they are for flights on their metal. It’s still somewhat of a bummer that they didn’t match the premium bonuses AF give (300% for Premiere!).

  5. @ Mark — Nope, just (educated) speculation based on information about changes in the past.

  6. In fact it seems that the discounted (read: regular) fares didn’t use to earn anything, now they do. It is not often that I fly AFKL in a higher fare than these discounted ones, so I would argue that for many this actually is an improvement to the program.

    The earning is now pretty much identical to AFKL’s own program, Flying Blue. Though they do offer Elite bonuses and qualification based on segments – which I doubt Alaska does.

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