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Why you should credit your Delta flights to Alaska Air
Well, because Alaska Air Mileage Plan miles are sooooooooo much more valuable than Delta SkyMiles. Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about.
- Delta was a founding member of SkyTeam in 2000
- Members of Sky Team
- Code Share Partners
- Alaska Airlines
- Gol Tranportes Aereos
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Olympic Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- West Jet
Alaska Airlines MileagePlan
Alaska isn’t a part of any Alliance, but has great partners across multiple Alliance
At face value, Delta certainly has Alaska topped when it comes to partners. I would argue that Alaska actually has a better variety of partners than does Delta. You can fly on 2 alliances with their miles ( One World: AA, BA, Cathay, Lan, Qantas…SkyTeam:KLM, Delta, Korean, Air France, Aeromexico and 3 non-alliance airlines: Fiji, Emirates, Hainan.) Also you can use their miles to fly such aspirational products as Emirates First class with an on board Shower. But we don’t care so much about how many distinct partners an airline and their reward program have, but rather how many points you can EARN so that you can consistently REDEEM them for the LOWEST amount. Phew, that was a long sentence.
Ok, so it’s about the WAY you earn and WAY you redeem, not who you theoretically can redeem with.
YESSSSS! So how do you earn with Delta and Alaska? Well Delta is based on a Revenue model. Meaning…you earn based on what you spend, not what you fly. Whereas Alaska is still based on mileage flown, not dollars spent. This makes a huge difference.
Let’s take Kevin. Kevin wants to fly from LAX-JFK on Delta. He took advantage of a sale and bought a ticket for $250. The roundtrip mileage is 4950.
Delta has instituted a new policy for earning SkyMiles. And it sucks for pretty much everyone across the board. Whether you a lowly non-elite or a diamond, you now earn fewer miles than you did before.
So in Kevin’s situation:
- Non-status: 4,950
- Silver: 4950 + 25% bonus = 6,288
- Gold: 4950 + 100% bonus = 9,900
- Platinum: 4950 + 100% bonus = 9,900
- Diamond: 4950 + 125% bonus = 11,138
- Non-status: 5 x 250 = 1250
- Silver: 7 x 250 = 1750
- Gold: 8 x 250 = 2000
- Platinum: 9 x 250 = 2250
- Diamond: 11 x 250 = 2750
These are HUGE disparities within Delta from last year to this year. So now let’s take a look at what you’d earn on Alaska Air Mileage Plan.
- Most of us would be earning Miles as Non-Elites and in Discount Economy, like Kevin: S,H,Q, or K
Taking Kevin’s Scenario again: let’s take a look at the Mileage Plan Mile per Mile flown.
Alaska Mileage Plan Earning:
|Non-Elite||4950 x .75 = 3713||4950 x .75 = 3713||4950 x .75 = 3713||4950|
|MVP||3713 x 1.25 = 4642||3713 x 1.25 = 4642||3713 x 1.25 = 4642||4950 x 1.25 = 6188|
|MVP GOLD||3713 x 2 = 7426||3713 x 2 = 7426||3713 x 2 = 7426||4950 x 2 = 9900|
|MVP 75||3713 x 2.25 = 8354||3713 x 2.25 = 8354||3713 x 2.25 = 8354||4950 x 11,138|
Even in discount economy H, Q, or K – Kevin is earning more miles as a Non-Elite in Alaska Mileage Plan than he would as a Delta Diamond Elite. How ridiculous is that?!?!
Given Kevin’s situation. If he were to credit his miles to Alaska Air instead of Delta, not only would he be crediting miles on an airline reward program that offers a much better way of accumulating miles than does Delta, but he is also earning miles in an award program that is FAR FAR FAR better to redeem with.
Redeeming for LAX – Hong Kong on Delta SkyMiles and Alaska MileAge Plan
Let’s look in September for availability to fly to Hong Kong.
Here is Alaska’s redemption table for Cathay Pacific
We then use the Qantas site ( best to find Cathay awards) to find availability on Cathay Pacific business class award at the Lowest Level.
And Delta over the same time period.
So, September 6th has availability with both Airlines.
The difference is Delta is requiring 70,000 Skymiles vs Alaska MileAge Plan only requires 50,000.
To make this work: As a Delta Diamond Elite it would take you over 25 round trip flights to earn enough miles to redeem. Whereas with Alaska MileAge Plan, an MVP75 would require less than 5 roundtrips. ARE YOU KIDDING!!! That’s nuts.
A non-elite would need 13.5 flights crediting to Alaska MileAge Plan. With Delta…A non-elite would need 56 Flights. FIIIIFFFFFFTTTTYYYYYYY SSSSIIIIIXXXXXXX. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.
ZIP.BAM.BOOM! Go credit your Delta flights to Alaska Airlines.
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