Alaska & Singapore Airlines Announce New Frequent Flyer Partnership

Alaska Airlines & Singapore Airlines have just announced a new frequent flyer partnership and codeshare agreement.

Alaska Mileage Plan and Singapore KrisFlyer will offer reciprocal mileage earning as of September 27, 2017. Furthermore, the two airlines will offer reciprocal mileage redemptions as of a later date.


Alaska Airlines 737 at LAX

The ability to earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Singapore is a fantastic development. Not only are Alaska miles among the most valuable miles out there, but Alaska also has among the best mileage accrual rates of any airline. On top of that, you earn your elite bonus miles on all partner airlines, meaning that MVP Gold 75K members can earn as many 125% bonus miles for travel on partners. Here are the Mileage Plan earning rates for travel on Singapore, which look fair/generous:

However, I wouldn’t get too excited about mileage redemptions. While Mileage Plan has lucrative redemption rates and they allow stopovers even on one-way awards (which is awesome for Singapore Airlines, since they offer all kinds of one-stop flights from the US to Singapore), unfortunately Singapore restricts their longhaul premium cabin awards to members of their own program. So don’t expect to be able to redeem Alaska miles for Singapore’s longhaul first and business class, unfortunately.


Singapore Airlines’ 777 business class

The two airlines also plan to introduce a codeshare partnership, pending government approval. This will allow passengers booking through either airline to check-in for their entire itinerary with one airline, and check their bags through to their final destination.

What’s interesting about this partnership is that Singapore Airlines has been a Virgin America Elevate partner since 2013. For all practical purposes it’s “business as usual” at Alaska Mileage Plan, and Virgin America Elevate is simply being discontinued at the end of the year and will be rolled over into Mileage Plan. Virgin America’s partnership with Singapore Airlines was supposed to end on September 30, 2017, So it’s great to see that one great Virgin America partner will survive.

Even though Singapore Airlines is in Star Alliance, keep in mind that they’ve never had an especially close relationship with United. Quite to the contrary, the airlines have been more frenemies than anything else. For example, last June United launched a flight from San Francisco to Singapore, and rather than codesharing on it, Singapore quickly matched to offer the same. Then United announced a new route from Los Angeles to Singapore, which kicks off in October 2017.

The real proof that they’re not friends is the flight numbers that United chose. They gave both flights the same flight numbers that Singapore had when they operated the flight. That’s no coincidence.

As a reminder, here are all of Alaska Mileage Plan’s airline partners at this point:

Lastly, here’s what executives from both airlines had to say about the new partnership:

“We’re very proud to add an airline of the caliber of Singapore Airlines to our portfolio of Global Partners,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer for Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will enjoy truly distinctive inflight service when traveling with Singapore Airlines, while also taking full advantage of their Alaska Mileage Plan benefits when traveling from the West Coast to Asia.”

“Our new partnership with Alaska Airlines enables us to improve connectivity between Singapore and the important North American market, providing customers with more codeshare destinations and enhanced KrisFlyer benefits. It also reflects our commitment to continuously expand our network reach and offer our customers greater flexibility when planning their travel itineraries,” said Tan Kai Ping, Singapore Airlines senior vice president marketing planning.

Bottom line

Kudos to Alaska Mileage Plan for continuing to increase their global network of airline partners. Being able to earn Mileage Plan miles for Singapore Airlines flights is awesome, though don’t expect to be able to redeem for longhaul premium cabin awards on Singapore.

While other airlines are cutting their frequent flyer programs, Alaska Mileage Plan keeps making their program better. In the past year they’ve added Condor, Finnair, and Icelandair as partners, which is great for Mileage Plan members.

Comments

  1. So it’s not possible to redeem Elevate points for travel on SQ premium class? If not, their award chart is very misleading (I see RT first class from LAX to NRT for 130,000 points and $38 tax). If it is possible, maybe there’s a chance that Alaska would inherit this benefit.

  2. Thats actually something carried over from previous partnership of Virgin America and Singapore.
    Ive also wonder that Alaska and Cathay Pacific’s partnership will terminate?

  3. With all of these partnerships, it makes one wonder how Alaska would do if they had a midwest or eastern hub. They could do a lot of feed for various airlines (although I am not sure if that would be particularly high yield for them).

  4. I thought Star Alliance takes a dim view of frequent flyer partnerships with airlines outside the alliance?

  5. @Kalboz – Mileage Plan redemptions for longhaul premium cabin awards on SQ won’t be very easy.

    From the post: “However, I wouldn’t get too excited about mileage redemptions. While Mileage Plan has lucrative redemption rates and they allow stopovers even on one-way awards (which is awesome for Singapore Airlines, since they offer all kinds of one-stop flights from the US to Singapore), unfortunately Singapore restricts their longhaul premium cabin awards to members of their own program. So don’t expect to be able to redeem Alaska miles for Singapore’s longhaul first and business class, unfortunately.”

  6. I am more interested in the last point you made. Why someone would like to fly United from US to Singapore? Sure, Singaporean might, but first there are only 5 Million of them, about a quarter of people in Shanghai. Also most of them probably has a preference to Singapore Airlines. I understand SA fly this route since a lot of people can make one stop transfer in Singapore to somewhere else in the region. However, how United arrange their transfer partnership if they have a bitter relationship with SA? Do they really think 2 direct flights from California alone should make them money?

  7. Question for anyone who might know; I have an upcoming itinerary on Singapore that includes several segments between Sept. 21st and Oct. 6th. Would it be possible to credit the segments pre-sept. 27th to my Krisflyer account and the segments post-Sept.27th to my Mileage plan account?

  8. @cedar swamp thing …that should be fine but you will need to make sure the FF number you wish to credit to appears on the boarding pass…may need to ask at check in to add the one you want to credit to.

  9. @Cedar Swamp-Thing

    Yes, that should be possible. You can ask the check in or gate agents to update your frequent flyer number to the program you’d want to credit the flight to.

  10. Wait a minute:

    Qualify for mileage accrual

    Flights must fall within the eligible flight number range below, and your flight must be marketed and operated by Singapore Airlines.

    Eligible flight numbers

    0100–0699
    0800–0999

    So…none of the flights to the US qualify?!

  11. ugh. i just flew SQ in July. Wish I could have credited this to AS….instead did the back-door version and credited to VX then transferred to AS….but no EQMs earned 🙁

  12. For years, I’ve been looking for a strong reason to move away from MileagePlus and this seals the deal. AS’s partner portfolio of international carriers finally is solid enough for me to abandon both UA and AA. Next year will almost certainly be my last as UA Gold and AA Platinum. Congrats to AS and SIA for maintaining their relationship. I can’t imagine the shock pax from SQ face when connecting to a domestic United flight.

  13. Very good, but somewhat expected news given the VX partnership. Still a bit disappointed that no bonus elite miles on lower fare business tickets. Very curious what the redemption chart will look like, as well as availability, especially for upper classes. Also PPS Club earning should also be available, but that is unlikely to benefit many people unless they spend S$25,000 per year. Would be great if SilkAir were added to the partnership.

  14. So whats the point of this partnership if I cant use my Alaska points to book SQ business and first??? LOL

    biggest joke ever

  15. I’m an Alaska flyer 75K etc who travels to Singapore every year. So I am thrilled that Alaska will codeshare with Singapore Air. The international partners were a weak spot. Though Norwegian Air was OK and they have an awesome lounge in Rekyavik if you travel business. By the way, Singapore Air owns Scoot which is absorbing Tiger Air and they are planning a Hawaii-Singapore route. … So if you fly AK to Hawaii then you can connect to the budget airline … will have to check if Scoot also comes under the codeshare

  16. Things must have changed recently as I have booked three business class awards from Australia to Asia using Avianca LifeMiles without issue. I am pretty sure this would be the same bucket that Alaska will dip into to get award seats.

  17. Y’all who are bitchin’ about not been able to redeem AS points for SQ business and first class, SQ restricts their longhaul awards to Krisflyer redemptions . I’ve used VX points for SQ intra-Asia redemptions in business class. You can also easily see available SQ intra-Asia business class availability on the Aeroplan website. SQ first class awards from SIN to CGK are also available to partners and that will also get you into the Private Room

  18. Speaking of Virgin and AS integration, what the likelihood that Alaska will be added a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards since Virgin had been a transfer partner? Or is this likely not going to happen since it cuts into the BoA AS card?

  19. @ Xtina — It’s highly unlikely, I’d say. For all practical purposes Elevate is being discontinued, and there’s a reason Alaska hasn’t added any transfer partners other than Marriott/SPG. I wouldn’t expect that to change.

  20. So could you theoretically earn SQ Star Alliance Gold Status just by flying AS?
    May be a good place to deposit miles after 75k status is secure for the year.

  21. Great info about SIA. I recently read an article related to this topic thta, To improve connectivity between Singapore and North American market, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has entered a codeshare agreement with US-based Alaska Airlines.The agreement includes existing codeshare flights operated by Alaska Airlines unit Virgin America on routes serving 19 destinations within the US.

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