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If you’ve been racking up Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, you’ve probably asked the question “How many Alaska Airlines miles do you need for a free flight?” With airlines utilizing dynamic award pricing (no more set award redemption rates), the world of airline award travel can be tricky. Understanding the mileage requirements for an award redemption is crucial for getting the most out of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program.

So, whether you’re a frequent flyer or just getting started with the Mileage Plan program, knowing how many miles you need for an award flight is essential. In this post, we’ll dive into how many miles you need for an Alaska Airlines award ticket and take a look at some of the best ways to use Mileage Plan miles.

A photo of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER in-flight.

Just how many miles do you need for a free flight award redemption on Alaska Airlines? (Image Credit: Alaska Airlines / Brad Slattery)

How Many Alaska Airlines Miles Do You Need for an Award Flight?

The answer to this question depends on where and when you want to fly. There is a short answer to the minimum number of miles you need to book an award flight on Alaska Airlines. To book an award flight using Mileage Plan miles on Alaska Airlines, you will need a minimum of 4,500 miles. However, as you will soon find out, 4,500 miles won’t get you that far.

4,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles will usually score a seat on a relatively short domestic flight in economy. That’s great if you’re hoping to get from Seattle (SEA) to Spokane (EGE) but less so if you’re hoping to get from the United States to Europe.

Here’s how many miles you will need to book different award flights with Alaska Airlines.

a poster of a canyon with a man standing on a stick

Does Alaska Airlines Have an Award Chart?

Miraculously, Alaska Airlines still published award charts. The airline publishes award charts for flights operated entirely by Alaska Airlines and for partner flights. It has become increasingly rare for US airlines to publish award charts so, this is great news for Mileage Plan members.

Having access to regularly updated award charts makes planning award redemptions quite easy. It also allows you to determine whether or not a redemption is a good value. Let’s take a closer look at the Alaska Airlines award charts.

Related: How Many American Airlines AAdvantage Miles Do You Need for a Free Flight?

How Does Alaska Airlines Price Award Flights?

Alaska Airlines prices award charts based on distance flown. Both Alaska Airlines and partner award charts are broken down by distance. There are 6 distance-based zones for flights operated by Alaska Airlines and 6 zones for flights operated by partner airlines. Partner award flights are also broken down by region.

You will also want to factor in the cabin in which you want to travel. First class awards are, unsurprisingly, priced significantly higher than economy class awards.

The first class section aboard Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines mileage redemptions vary depending on the time of year and of course, the cabin in which you wish to fly. (Image Credit: Alaska Airlines)

Mileage Plan Award Chart for Flights on Alaska Airlines

As previously mentioned, the least expensive award redemption for travel on Alaska Airlines is 4,500 miles one-way in economy. Alaska Airlines awards can run significantly higher than this, especially during peak travel periods like the summer months.

One example of the wide range in award pricing on Alaska Airlines can be seen in flights from Seattle (SEA) to Spokane (GEG). At just 223 miles, the flight is well within the first zone on Alaska’s award chart. This means that these flights should start at 4,500 miles one-way in economy. This is the case but you’ll have a rather tough time finding a 4,500 mile award flight during the peak summer travel months.

A quick search shows plenty of 4,5k award flights in October but not a single flight priced below 5k miles in July with many flights priced at 12.5k one-way.

Nevertheless, the award chart for flights operated entirely by Alaska Airlines is super simple if you accept the fact that pricing varies depending on the time of year.

Contiguous US (including Alaska) and Canada to:Economy (starting at)First Class (starting at)
Distances less than 700 miles4,500 miles12,500 miles
701-1,400 miles7,500 miles25,000 miles
1,401-2,100 miles10,000 miles25,000 miles
2,101 miles and above12,500 miles30,000 miles
Hawaii (all distances)15,000 miles40,000 miles
Mexico, Central America and Caribbean (all distances)10,000 miles30,000 miles

Related: Alaska Airlines Embraer 175 First Class Review

Mileage Plan Award Chart for Partner Flights

Alaska Airlines award flights on partner airlines start at just 4,500 miles. This is for partner flights in North America under 1,500 miles. In this zone, you’ll be able to use Alaska Airlines miles to book flights on American Airlines and Ravn Alaska. The most expensive zone for partner flights is flights over 10,000 miles to or from Asia Pacific in first class with these awards starting at 195,00 miles one-way. That being said, the range of the number of Mileage Plan miles you will need for partner award flights is pretty significant.

But, with Alaska Airlines’ partner airlines, there are far more sweet spots allowing you to maximize the value of your miles.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award Chart for The Americas

Travel to/within the AmericasEconomy (starting at)Premium Economy (starting at)Business Class (starting at)First Class (starting at)
Less than 700 miles4,5006,0009,00013,500
701–1,4007,50010,00015,00025,000
1,401–2,10012,50017,50025,00040,000
2,101–4,00017,50022,50035,00052,500
4,001–6,00025,00032,50050,00075,000
6,001 and above30,00040,00060,00090,000

Europe, Middle East, and Africa Alaska Airlines Partner Award Chart

Travel to/within EMEAEconomy (starting at)Premium Economy (starting at)Business Class (starting at)First Class (starting at)
Less than 1,500 miles7,50010,00015,00022,500
1,501–3,50022,50030,00045,00067,500
3,501–5,00027,50035,00055,00082,500
5,001–7,00035,00045,00070,000105,000
7,001–10,00042,50055,00085,000130,000
10,000 and above55,00072,500110,000165,000

Asia Pacific Alaska Airlines Partner Award Chart

Travel to/within APACEconomy (starting at)Premium Economy (starting at)Business Class (starting at)First Class (starting at)
Less than 1,500 miles7,50010,00015,00022,500
1,501–3,00025,00032,50050,00075,000
3,001–5,00030,00040,00060,00090,000
5,001–7,00037,50050,00075,000110,000
7,001–10,00042,50055,00085,000130,000
10,000 and above65,00085,000130,000195,000

Alaska Airlines Partner Award Sweet Spots

Use Alaska Airlines Miles on Short-Haul Flights in the US, The Caribbean

With mileage redemptions starting at just 4,500 miles one-way in the Americas, there are plenty of sweet spots throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and The Caribbean.

A screenshot showing available Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award flights on American Airlines from Dallas to Nashville

Use your Mileage Plan miles for short-haul redemptions on American Airlines.

A screenshot showing Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award redemptions on American Airlines from Miami to Cozumel.

Book nonstop flights from the US to Mexico starting at 4,500 miles one-way in economy.

A screenshot showing an Alaska Airlines award redemption from Burbank to Seattle

Fly a little further within North America for just 7,500 miles.

Fly from the US to Europe in Business Class from 45,000 Alaska Airlines Miles

Another great way to get maximum value from your Alaska Airlines miles is to book award flights from the Northeast US to Europe in business class. You can book award flights on Alaska Airlines partners including American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Icelandair, and other Oneworld carriers. Keep in mind though, that British Airways charges hefty carrier-imposed fuel surcharges.

A screenshot of the Alaska Airlines website showing an award flight from New York to London on American Airlines

Fly nonstop on American Airlines from New York to London in business class from 45,000 miles.

A screenshot showing available Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award flights from Boston to Frankfurt.

Fly in Condor business class from Boston to Frankfurt from 55,000 miles.

Screenshot of a website showing Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award flights from New York to Helsinki on Finnair.

Travel nonstop from New York to Helsinki in Finnair business class for 55,000 miles.

A business class seat aboard an American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

Redeem Alaska Airlines miles for business class flights between the United States and Europe including with American Airlines. (Image by The Flight Detective / TravelUpdate)

Related: Review of American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from London to Los Angeles

Travel from the US to South America from 7,500 Alaska Airlines Miles

A screenshot showing Alaska Airlines award flight availability from the US to South America

Travel with American Airlines from Miami to Barranquilla, Columbia from 7,500 Alaska Airlines miles.

A screenshot showing award availability from the US to Peru with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

Fly from the United States to Peru with LATAM or other Alaska Airlines partners from 17,500 miles.

Book Intra-Asia Business Class from 15,000 Alaska Airlines Miles

A screenshot showing an award flight bookable with Alaska Airlines miles from Tokyo to Seoul on Japan Airlines

Book intra-Asia business class from 15,000 miles.

For additional Alaska Airlines award chart sweet spots, check out this guide from AwardWallet.

Does Alaska Airlines Charge Fees on Award Flights?

Alaska Airlines itself does not charge any fees beyond any applicable taxes. On partner award flights (e.g., British Airways), you may have to cover carrier-imposed fees like fuel surcharges. If you stick to domestic award flights, you won’t have to pay more than $6 in taxes to redeem Alaska Airlines miles.

A screenshot from Alaska Airlines' website showing Mileage Plan award flights including taxes and fees.

When redeeming Alaska Airlines miles for domestic flights in the US, you will only need to cover the standard government-imposed taxes which is typically around $6.

Alaska Airlines Partner Award Fees

But, if you decide you want to fly in British Airways business class, or any cabin of service, you will need to cover significant carrier-imposed fees. These fees vary by route but are more heavily influenced by the cabin you book. Here are some examples of the fees imposed by British Airways on Alaska Airlines and other partner award flights:

A screenshot from Alaska Airlines' website showing British Airways fees on an award ticket.

If you redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles on British Airways, expect to pay hundreds in carrier-imposed fees and surcharges.

A screenshot from the Alaska Airlines website showing the differences in fees and surcharges between British Airways and American Airlines.

As a point of comparison, American Airlines only charges government-imposed taxes and fees on Alaska Airlines award bookings.

Other airlines may also have their own fees on award redemptions. However, none come close to British Airways. Icelandair also charges carrier-imposed fees on award bookings made with Alaska Airlines miles but these fees will only run you at most a few hundred dollars.

Screenshot from Alaska Airlines' website showing carrier-imposed surcharges on an award flight with Icelandair.

Icelandair also charges carrier-imposed fees on Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award flights.

A British Airways Club World business class seat.

Want to redeem Alaska Airlines miles for a flight to Europe on British Airways? That’ll cost you quite a bit in carrier-imposed surcharges. (Image by The Flight Detective / TravelUpdate)

a close-up of a sign

The Bottom Line

The answer to how many Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles you will need for an award flight is not straightforward. With dozens of partners across the globe, Alaska Airlines publishes a few different award charts. However, since members still have access to these award charts (unlike with some airlines) it’s pretty clear whether or not an award flight is a good deal.

While domestic award flights start at 4,500 miles, this only applies to flights covering 700 miles or less. Partner flights offer a greater variety of valuable sweet spots, such as short-haul flights in the US and business class to Europe. Just keep in mind that some partner airlines (British Airways) charge hefty carrier-imposed fees on long-haul award flights.

What is your favorite Alaska Airlines award redemption? Which routes do you get the most value from your Alaska Airlines miles?

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