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.
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.