Alaska Airlines-Icelandair Partnership Ending June 1

Via Wandering Aramean, the partnership between Icelandair and Alaska Airlines will terminate June 1.

Which is surprising, since Icelandair just re-instated the ability to use their miles for Alaska Airlines travel last month.

Back in August lots of folks were hitting Icelandair pretty hard with their partner redemptions on Alaska Airlines.

Over the summer you could straight up buy miles and redeem them on Alaska for first class to Hawaii for about $350.

So this was certainly a useful partnership. And it continued to be worthwhile, albeit not as lucrative, once Icelandair increased the mileage cost of award travel on Alaska… both because Icelandair still sells miles at a little over a penny apiece and because it was a good use for miles earned from actually flying Icelandair (redemption options in their program are otherwise fairly limited)

Sad to see this one go. Seth speculates that it’s likely because Icelandair is starting Achorage-Reykjavik service and that seems plausible explanation. If it were somehow related to all of the cheap purchases of miles and redemption of those miles for Alaska flights last summer it seems unlikely that they would have moved to bring back the redemption opportunity only to then kill it.

Tickets purchased through May 31 will continue to earn miles, as long as travel occurs by February 28, 2014.

Award tickets can be booked by May 31 as well, for travel through February 28, although no changes will be possible to those tickets starting June 1.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. This sucks, I bought them as well, thinking I’d use them on Alaska Air. I have 60K iceland air saga miles, Gary what do you suggest I do with them? Help.

  2. Wouldn’t Icelandair starting service to one of Alaska’s hubs strengthen and not weaken the partnership, though? I don’t get why it would cause them to cut ties.

  3. “Back in August lots of folks were hitting Icelandair pretty hard with their partner redemptions on Alaska Airlines.”

    Hmmm…how did that goldrush stampede get started?

  4. @Neet top off to 80k and redeem for Alaska first class before the partnership disolves!

    @lucky I think the argument – and I’m not saying this is correct, just that it’s plausible — is that they’ll be bypassing the Seattle hub where they fly to now.

    If Alaska was getting value from the partnership in bringing Icelandair’s Seattle passengers to Alaska, and Icelandair is going to fly there on their own, the revenue to Alaska would dissipate.

    The fact that Icelandair is starting service there suggests they believe there’s a significant Alaska-Iceland market. And if that’s true, they were probably giving Alaska a good bit of service before.

    As I say, plausible, or at least more so than other theories I’ve heard.

  5. I was completely bummed out when I just saw this on Alaska’s website…my wife and I use my Alaska miles to fly from Seattle to Europe on Icelandair, and it’s great, and very reasonable as far as the cost of miles go.

    Hate to see this go as flying to Europe from Seattle, nothing beats Icelandair…

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