Alaska Milage Plan is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, thanks to their unique array of partners, the ability to do a stopover even on a one-way award, and much more.
One of the other things that sets Alaska Mileage Plan apart from many other U.S. frequent flyer programs is that they allow award redemptions in premium economy on many of their partner airlines. Historically American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, and United MileagePlus haven’t allow premium economy redemptions.
Presumably this is because in the past they didn’t offer a premium economy product themselves, and the concept of premium economy has been growing a lot the past several years. Now American and Delta are both introducing premium economy, so it’ll be interesting to see if they allow premium economy redemptions on partner airlines (Delta has already introduced premium economy redemptions on Virgin Atlantic, and perhaps that will be extended to other partners in the future).
Anyway, as of last December it’s possible to redeem Alaska miles on Japan Airlines, which I’m very excited about. They have one of the world’s best first class products, and being able to do a stopover in Japan enroute to Southeast Asia is awesome.
When Alaska first introduced mileage redemptions on Japan Airlines, you could redeem for premium economy. The cost was 40,000-45,000 miles one-way between the U.S. and Asia, depending on what part of Asia you were traveling to.
However, it looks like Alaska Mileage Plan has recently cut Japan Airlines premium economy awards. Alaska’s award chart for travel on Japan Airlines now looks as follows:
This is something that has been going on for a while now. Originally Alaska started showing Japan Airlines premium economy award space at the business class price, and now they seem to have cut it altogether, best I can tell. I’m not sure what exactly happened, though, and haven’t been able to get a clear answer.
Fortunately it looks like Alaska hasn’t cut premium economy redemptions on any other airlines.
(Tip of the hat to Andrew B)