Travel to Europe with Alaska Airlines Miles
I am a fan of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program. It helps that I live in Seattle (Alaska’s base). 95% of my domestic flights are on Alaska. Many other miles folks agree that Alaska is one of (if not the) best airline loyalty program. With that said, redeeming miles for flights to Europe can be a bit tricky. Here are your options for getting to Europe with Alaska Airlines miles.
A few things you should know:
- Alaska award tickets allow you to book your trip on a combination of Alaska flights plus one additional airline. For example, you could fly SEA-LAX on Alaska, and then LAX-LHR-MAD on British.
- Alaska award tickets allow you to book stopovers. On the example above you could do a stopover in London for a few days for no additional miles.
- Alaska award tickets can be booked one-way. There is no benefit to booking a round trip flight. This means you can book an open jaw — in other words you can fly in to Madrid and then fly out of Copenhagen for no additional cost.
- There is a $12.50 non-refundable fee that is paid at time of booking. While award tickets are refundable for MVP Gold members, this fee is non-refundable.
Additional fees are typically dependent on airport of departure. For the examples below I am basing the flight as a one-way out of Seattle.
Pros: Low mile cost
Good availability for Economy
Cons: American has very hit or miss service
No free stopover outside of the US
Poor availability for Business/First
Pros: Free stop over in Iceland
Low mile cost
Cons: High fees
Low cost carrier means you will pay for food and drinks in Economy
Pros: True First Class
Cons: Most routes go through London Heathrow
VERY high fees
Pros: Free stopover in Amsterdam or Paris (this may be hypothetical, I could not actually find availability)
Relatively good service
Cons: VERY limited availability
Pros: Fantastic service
Free stopover in Dubai
Cons: VERY high mile cost
Economy: 25,000/30,000/40,000 depending on season
Premium Economy: 45,000
Additional Taxes/Fees – $19+
Pros: Low mile cost
Free stopover in Frankfurt* (this should be possible, but online it doesn’t look like it is set up for stop overs yet)
Cons: No First Class
Condor is Alaska’s newest partner airline. I have now flown them but overall it looks to be a great additional option for flying to Europe.
As of May 1 it is no longer possible to book award flights on Delta with Alaska miles. But don’t worry, it was outrageously expensive (60,000 Economy and 125,000 Business) to book.
Conclusion on Flying to Europe with Alaska Airlines Miles
I am hoping the introduction of Condor will be a game changer, because right now the options aren’t great for getting to Europe with Alaska Airlines miles.
Sadly, I would say the best bet is American Airlines as they have the lowest costs and good availability in Economy. Icelandair is a close second; it would be a fantastic option if their fees were lower.
If you can find availability, KLM/Air France in Business would be a good option.
I would avoid British due to their enormous fees. Emirates doesn’t make sense as it requires a huge amount of miles and you are going to have some seriously long flights.