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Good news AAdvantage elites! As of March 31, 2021, you'll now earn more AAdvantage miles on each Alaska flight you take. This is thanks to a small—but impactful—change that was made as Alaska joined the Oneworld alliance.
Let's show you how you earn AAdvantage miles on Alaska flights. Then we will show you what changed.
How AAdvantage Members Earn Miles on Alaska Flights
When flying on American Airlines, you earn AAdvantage miles based on the price you paid for the flight. However, when crediting any partner flights to AAdvantage, you'll earn AA miles based on the distance of the flight and the fare class you booked. And that the chart varies from partner to partner.
With Alaska joining Oneworld on March 31, 2021, AAdvantage made some tweaks to its Alaska earning chart. For flights going forward, here's how you'll earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points when crediting Alaska flights to AAdvantage:
You will notice the base miles are earned at different rates, depending on the cabin and fare class of your ticket. Additionally, there are cabin bonuses for J (75%) and C, D, I (50%) tickets. Lastly, all tickets qualify for Loyalty Points, regardless of fare class. The number of Loyalty Points you earn will match the base miles earning.
More Miles for AAdvantage Elites on Alaska Flights
AAdvantage elites will now get up to a 120% elite bonus on any base mileage earnings when flying Alaska. That's these flights qualify for the same bonus earnings on your miles as you get when flying on AA.
In an email to AAdvantage elites about Alaska joining Oneworld, American Airlines listed the new “elite mileage bonus” as one of the new benefits:
AAdvantage elite mileage bonuses
By now, American Airlines flyers are probably familiar with earning AAdvantage miles on AA flights. General members earn 5 AAdvantage miles per dollar of fare and carrier-imposed surcharges. AAdvantage elite members earn an elite bonus on top of that, up to a total of 11 miles per dollar spent.
On partner flights, the calculation is a bit more complicated. First, you need to calculate the base mileage earning based on the earning chart for the particular airline. Then, elite members apply an elite mileage bonus on the base miles:
- Gold: 40% bonus
- Platinum: 60% bonus
- Platinum Pro: 80% bonus
- Executive Platinum: 120% bonus
However, this elite mileage bonus is only available on certain airlines. Luckily, Alaska Airlines is among the qualifying airlines.
An example of this new elite bonus
Let's look at a sample flight for an Alaska Airlines first-class ticket from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Portland (PDX).
If you book “I” fare class (discounted first class), you will earn 100% base miles plus a 50% cabin bonus. So, for the 1,616-mile flight, you will earn 2,424 AAdvantage miles.
If you hold AAdvantage elite status, you will add your bonus earnings to the base miles (but not to the cabin bonus):
- Gold: 646 more miles
- Platinum: 970 more miles
- Platinum Pro: 1,293 more miles
- Executive Platinum: 1,939 more miles
If you have top-tier Executive Platinum status, you get almost 2,000 more AAdvantage miles for the exact same flight. Even if you value AAdvantage miles at a super-conservative rate of just 1¢ per mile, that's almost $20 more in value on this one flight. That bonus can really add up for frequent travelers.
There's a lot for American Airlines AAdvantage and Alaska Mileage Plan elites to be excited about with Alaska joining Oneworld. Elites now get guaranteed benefits flying on the other airline — such as free checked bags, lounge access, priority check-in, and priority boarding. In addition, Alaska and American have introduced reciprocal first-class upgrades and extra-legroom seats for certain elites.
With all of these changes, it was easy for flyers to miss a small change to how AAdvantage elite members earn miles on Alaska flights. But, as you can see, this small change can have a sizable impact. For AAdvantage elites, flying Alaskan just got a lot more rewarding
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