Can you book Alaska Airlines with Avios?
Whilst not a member of the Oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines is one of three additional partners of British Airways allowing BA Executive Club account holders to book Alaska Airlines with Avios. The other two partners are Aer Lingus (an excellent option as they do not charge fuel surcharges) and Meridiana. You cannot however convert or transfer Avios points to Alaska Airlines directly.
Despite the name, Alaska Airlines is actually based in Seattle and whilst it flies more passengers to Alaska than any other US airline it also serves over 100 destinations, including 4 Hawaiian Islands, Canada and Mexico. I’ve included the Alaska Airlines route map below.
Why Book Alaska Airlines with Avios?
What’s the main reason for using Avios on Alaska Airline? …Completely and utterly no taxes are applicable if you book Alaska Airlines with Avios. You will need to pay US security fees, however for a flight from say New York to Seattle these are only $6. That’s an incredible bargain especially if you’ve decided to take some time out and visit numerous US cities using your Avios points.
There are a couple of other reasons you may want to consider using Avios to book Alaska Airlines which I’ll cover later on in this guide on how to use Avios on Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines Avios – what you shouldn’t do!
Don’t get confused by the classification of First Class. Alaska offer a two-class plane with economy and first (essentially Business Class). A frustrating quirk with the BA booking system means that rather than the premium product being three times the normal Avios redemption rate (which would be standard when you’re flying with BA), you’ll end up paying four times which is the same as First Class with BA.
Four times for the ‘first class’ Alaska seat below wouldn’t be best use of Avios points in my opinion…
How to Book Alaska Flights with Avios
Whilst you do not need to transfer Avios to Alaska Airlines to redeem a flight, unfortunately you are unable to book Alaska flights online and as such the only way of booking Alaska flights with Avios is to call British Airways Executive Club.
There are a couple of things you could do online before you call…
Alaska flights will be priced the same way as any other British Airways Avios redemption, so you can use the handy, online BA Avios redemption calculator to see how many Avios you would need for flights between two cities. Use the First Class option in the calculator if you plan on flying in a premium (ish) seat.
Next you can use either the Alaska Airlines or American Airlines websites to find reward availability. Fortunately, unlike BA, you don’t need to log in to be able to search for redemption flights with either the Alaska or American websites. I’d recommend using the American Airlines website to search as Alaska sometimes make additional (higher miles priced) reward flights available which aren’t bookable through either BA or American. As such if it’s showing on the American Airlines website you should most definitely be able to book Alaska airlines with Avios.
Best Avios Alaska Airlines Deals
Short Haul – Due to BA reward redemption charts, booking short-haul flights with Avios can be a bargain when travelling in the US. Domestic direct flights under 1,150 miles on Alaska Airlines cost only 7,500 Avios with $6 in fees added to the flight! This compares to 12,500 Alaska Airlines miles so you’d be saving 5,000 miles by booking through BA. With 1,150 miles it’s possible to fly from say New York to say Chicago… that’s almost halfway across the country!
US West Coast to Hawaii – Alaska Airlines offers excellent availability for flights to Hawaii. In fact they offer over 175 flights a week from ten US West Coast cities to four Hawaiian Islands.
Gain Alaska status by crediting BA flights to their Programme
Should you already hold Alaska Airlines miles, did you know that you can credit the miles you earn by flying with BA to Alaska? One particular reason this may be interesting is that you can use the miles to redeem both the usual Oneworld partners but also Air France, Delta, Emirates, KLM, Era, Aeromexico, Fiji Airways, Korean and PenAir. This may be handy if you fly with numerous airlines (Emirates/KLM, etc.) and not just Oneworld and would like to accumulate a significant number of miles for doing so. You can also achieve MVP status once you’ve credited 25,000 flying miles to Alaska – see a list of benefits here.
Summary – Booking Alaska with Avios
With fees of only $6, using Avios on Alaska Airlines can provide a significant saving if you’re wishing to travel around the US. As discussed, we wouldn’t recommend flying ‘first class’ which would require 4 times the amount of Avios and provides a relatively inferior business class product to others currently on the market.
To use British Airways Avios on Alaska Airlines you’ll need to give the BA Executive club a call. However you can check availability using the American Airlines website, although the miles stated won’t be the same as the number of Avios you’ll be required to use. You can check the required Avios by using the BA redemption calculator tool – flights under 1,150 miles are a great deal!
Interested in maximising your Avios collecting rates? Why not read our review on the American Express Gold Card which provides 22,000 Avios when you use our special link…