Alaska Airlines Adds Japan Airlines as Awesome New Partner

Alaska Airlines partners with many of the airlines both in oneworld (like American, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, LAN) and Skyteam (like Delta, Air France, Korean) and also non-alliance airlines like Emirates. You cannot book first class awards on either Air France or Korean (business is the highest cabin offered).

I really like Alaska Airlines miles because they offer one-way awards on nearly all of their partners and most booking functionality is available on their website. One way awards allow an enroute stopover. So booking roundtrip allows two stopovers in addition to your destination.

Of course they also have unique partnerships like Hainan Airlines whose award availability tends to be quite good and also Icelandair.

My only real knock on them is the trust they burned through six weeks ago.

Alaska Airlines is now adding Japan Airlines as a partner which is great news for the Mileage Plan program.

Codesharing is expected to begin June 29 across these routes:

The focus on Alaska’s codesharing with JAL on California routes clearly anticipates Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America.

Mileage Plan earning on JAL will begin “early this summer” while redemptions will being “later in 2016.”

Japan Airlines is really good about opening first class award space within 6 weeks of travel and even more so at the very last minute.

In a pinch business class availability Los Angeles – Osaka tends to be quite good.

Alaska Airlines is selling miles for less than 2 cents apiece through June 13.

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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  1. Gary, for me availability is always the big question — more than pricing , award charts, etc. Just trying to get from A (home) to B (children) or more frequently happy with anywhere near A to anywhere near B . Very willing to fly economy — good to know about first and business , but please do not ignore economy.

    A is Vancouver (without transiting the us) , B is south east Asia. Booking any class of service when are my best chances to find economy (using aa miles) or economy plus (using Alaska miles). Manage to find 330 days out on Japan, and about 300 to 330 days oor on Cathay the occasional seat — when else do I have a chance for a seat (or if very lucky several seats for the whole family). Prefer not to transit China as well (visa reasons for not transiting China and us)

    Thank you

  2. @ABC anything that isn’t on their first-generation 787 will have the lie-flat Sky Suite seats. Excellent F product and one of the best J products out there.

  3. Gary, I noticed one glaring hole, namely that there’s no mention of non-West Coast flights. Any idea if this means that we can only redeem awards for JL flights out of California?

  4. @Christian I expect that the partnership will apply across the JL network, the codesharing is simply on these specific routes for now

  5. @blacksheep – It wasn’t really JL’s fault that Boeing sat on their order so long that angled lie-flat went out of vogue. When the planes were spec’d, it was the standard in int’l biz. By the time they delivered, it wasn’t.

    That said, BOS is getting the new SS9 product on June 11, so you only have one more month to get your fill of whining.

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