Alaska Mileage Plan rolling out new award pricing

From now till 31 March 2024, Alaska Mileage Plan will be rolling out its new, simplified (read: devalued) award pricing, though there's some silver linings too.

Back in November 2023, Alaska Airlines announced a huge shakeup of its Mileage Plan loyalty programme that was set to come into effect in March 2024. No exact dates were provided at the time, but we now know that the new award pricing is rolling out between now and the end of March 2024. 

Alaska Mileage Plan’s new award pricing is going live

Not everything will change at once. Those travelling from the United States will be affected first, while changes to other zones (including intra-Asia travel) will take place last.

While there are a few things to cheer about the revamped Mileage Plan, such as global award redemptions, multi-airline awards and partner award sales, these changes will ultimately eliminate a large number of sweet spots. Sometimes, simpler is not always better!

Timeline: Alaska Mileage Plan new pricing

Alaska Mileage Plan’s new award pricing will be implemented from 11-31 March 2024, per the following timeline:

  • From today: Travel from the United States to Europe, Middle East, Africa, and travel within Middle East and Africa
  • By the end of March 2024: All remaining regions

This means that if you’re looking to redeem Japan Airlines Business Class awards between Singapore and Japan, for example, you can still book them at the old price of 50,000 miles- for now.

That said, given how poorly-defined “end of March 2024” is, I wouldn’t wait too long. 

New award charts

Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for STARLUX travel

Alaska Mileage Plan’s award pricing was previously all over the place, with the price you paid dependent on partner and route. For example, a Business Class award flight from Singapore to Japan would cost 50,000 miles on Japan Airlines, 60,000 miles on STARLUX, and 90,000 miles on Malaysia Airlines.

While complicated, it did create opportunities for outsized value. Sadly, Alaska Mileage Plan will be harmonising its pricing across all partners according to three distance-based award charts:

  • The Americas (covers travel from the USA to the Americas, and within the Americas)

  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (includes travel from the USA to EMEA and within EMEA)

  • Asia Pacific (includes travel from the USA to Asia Pacific, within Asia Pacific, and between Asia Pacific and EMEA)

Alaska claims that with these new award charts, 60% of partner nonstop routes in Economy Class and 64% of routes in Business Class will start at a lower price point. 

Even so, it will have a dramatic effect on some of the key sweet spots for Singapore-based readers- though it should be noted that many of these were theoretical anyway (have you tried finding Cathay Pacific award space lately?).

  Old Price New Price
STARLUX: Taipei to North Asia (Business) 15,000 miles 15,000 miles
Japan Airlines: Singapore to Japan
50,000 miles 60,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to Japan
22,500 miles 50,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to USA
50,000 miles 85,000-130,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to USA
70,000 miles 130,000-195,000 miles
Korean Air: Singapore to USA (Business RT) 120,000 miles 170,000-260,000 miles
Finnair: Singapore to Europe (Business) 60,000 miles 75,000 miles
All award pricing is one-way unless otherwise stated

Even though there is a significant jump in the cost of long-haul awards, there is some potential good value for sub-1,500 mile routings within Asia and Europe, assuming you can find an itinerary towards the upper end of the band. 

For instance, when Cathay Pacific restarts its daily fifth freedom flight between Singapore and Bangkok, a one-way Economy award will price at 7,500 miles, and Business at 15,000 miles. Likewise, Domestic flights within Japan on JAL (and international flights between Tokyo and Seoul) will decrease from the current 12,500 miles in Economy and 30,000 miles in Business to 7,500 miles and 15,000 miles respectively. 

While prices are quoted as “starting at”, these are the actual prices you’ll pay if there is saver level award availability. Moreover, all partners, whether oneworld or otherwise, will have the same pricing assuming saver award availability. 

Alaska will also open up global partner redemptions, versus the previous system where Mileage Plan awards could only be issued for travel within and between select regions. 

Multi-airline awards

Alaska Mileage Plan will soon support up to two partners on a single award booking

Alaska Mileage Plan currently does not permit the mixing of partners on a single one-way award ticket. 

From late 2024, that will change, and members will be able to book up to two partners on a single one-way ticket. For example, you could book a single SIN-HND-JFK award, with SIN-HND on Japan Airlines and HND-JFK on American Airlines. 

Partner award sales

Alaska Mileage Plan has teased the prospect of quarterly promotions offering up to 50% off awards for specific partners, routes or destinations. We don’t have any details on this yet though, so we’ll have to wait and see.

No changes to stopovers

Alaska Mileage Plan will maintain its current stopover policy, which allows a free stopover of up to 14 days on a one-way award. 

While this is considerably less useful to us in Singapore now that the JAL trick has been nerfed, it’s still a nice feature to have for those who want to explore two cities on one vacation. 

New redemption options

American Airlines Premium Economy awards will soon be bookable on Alaska Mileage Plan | Photo: The Points Guy

Alaska Mileage Plan members will soon be able to book additional types of rewards, such as Premium Economy redemptions on American Airlines and Japan Airlines, as well as non-saver award options on more partners.

I’m relatively indifferent about these though, since I generally redeem miles for either Economy or Business Class- Premium Economy is neither here nor there in comfort and pricing. Moreover, the non-saver awards may have better availability, but this will surely come at an elevated price. And with most Singapore-based readers paying out of pocket for Alaska Mileage Plan miles, every additional mile represents pure incremental cost. 

Alaska Mileage Plan offering up to 70% bonus on miles purchases

Check your Mileage Plan offer

I’m sure this is no coincidence, but Alaska Mileage Plan has recently launched its largest-ever miles sale, with up to a 70% bonus (for perspective, most sales usually max out at 40-50%). 

If you were targeted for a 70% bonus, you should see whether the routes you’ve been eyeing are still available at the old pricing. If so, my advice would be to get the miles quickly and lock in your award. Do not buy miles just because you were offered a 70% bonus, with the intention to use them down the road.


Alaska Mileage Plan is now starting to roll out the changes it announced back in November 2023. Award prices will change between now and the end of March, to follow the three new simplified charts. Simplified pricing is good for the average user, but those who knew where the pockets of value were will ultimately get less value out of the programme.

Still, it’s not all bad. You might be able to find value within Asia and Europe in the sub-1,500 miles band, other improvements like multi-carrier awards and partner award sales will come online later this year, and you’ll no longer be limited by geographical restrictions when booking awards.

The unknown variable here is how award availability will be affected. It’s become increasingly difficult to find premium cabin long-haul awards via Mileage Plan, though it’s impossible to say whether that’s the fault of the programme, or partners just not releasing award space (Cathay Pacific, I’m looking at you).

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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