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With Alaska now a full-fledged member of Oneworld, there are all kinds of new possibilities to explore. Among these is the new ability to book Alaska award flights with British Airways Avios without making a phone call. Now, Avios collectors can search and book Alaska flights online!
Book Alaska Flights with British Airways Avios
British Airways and Alaska have been partners since well before Alaska joined Oneworld. So, Avios collectors could book Alaska flights for several years now. The catch? They needed to call British Airways to do it.
Now that Alaska Airlines is part of Oneworld, British Airways has added Alaska awards to its online award search function. Take a one-way award from Los Angeles to Liberia, for example:
Before this update, finding Alaska award availability involved doing one of two things:
- Search on AA.com (as Alaska flights available through AA usually match those available for British Airways).
- Call British Airways to search manually over the phone.
Whether you found availability with a British Airways phone agent or elsewhere, you needed to price out and book the award flight over the phone with British Airways. Overall, this tedious process meant that most people simply didn't bother.
Now, finding Alaska award availability is as simple as any other British Airways award search. Simply log into your Executive Club account and select ‘Book a flight with Avios‘ to start an award search. If Alaska has award availability for your desired itinerary, it'll appear just like any other Oneworld partner.
When you've found the flight you like, simply click through to confirm and book it using your Avios.
Avios Sweet Spots for Alaska Flights
British Airways no longer publishes an award chart for Avios redemptions. However, the program still behaves similarly to the way it did when they previously published one. In a nutshell, the airline utilizes an unexciting distance-based award chart that prices every segment individually.
As a result, long-haul and multi-segment trips typically present poor value. Conversely, short-haul single-segment trips provide notably better value. We've previously covered several British Airways sweet spots resulting from this redemption model. But when it comes to Alaska Airlines, one route specifically stands out: flights to Hawaii.
As a Seattle-based airline, Alaska operates dozens of flights per day from the west coast to the Hawaiian islands. Coincidentally (and fortuitously), these routes fall into British Airways' redemption category for flights 2,001–3,000 miles long. As a result, economy award redemptions cost just 13,000 Avios per way. (Business-class awards are a slightly less-lucrative 38,750 miles per way.)
Given Hawaii's overwhelming popularity, this makes it by far my favorite sweet spot for British Airways Avios. Not to mention one of the better ways to book award travel to Hawaii in general. This is made all the better when you consider that British Airways is a 1:1 transfer partner with both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards and a 3:1 transfer partner with Marriott Bonvoy.
With Alaska's Oneworld membership now official, British Airways has introduced the new ability to search and book Alaska award flights on its website. Now you no longer need to call a British Airways phone agent to confirm availability or book with Avios.
While the ability to book Alaska flights with Avios isn't new, I think the new ability to book online will make a big difference. Most people outside of the award travel community don't go through the trouble of calling to search or book award flights. But now that you're able to do it all yourself, booking Alaska flights this way is far more realistic for everyone.
Have you booked an Alaska flight with British Airways Avios before?
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