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Earlier today Alaska notified members that starting April 1st, 2021 you will no longer be able to utilize Alaska miles for Emirates First Class redemptions. While this is a bummer to some, you can still redeem Economy and Business class awards, just not First Class.
At one time, a few years ago, Alaska miles were a fantastic method to access one of the world’s best first class aspirational experiences. Then, in the calm of night, Alaska jacked up prices without warning. Case in point: I used Alaska miles, 150k of them, to book Emirates first class last year. That is a ridiculous amount of miles, but at the time, I was sitting on a heap of Alaska miles and didn’t want to pay the ridiculous taxes and fees assessed by using Emirates own currency. This has changed. Emirates removed the majority of all the fees associated with award bookings, and since EK miles are so easy to accrue, the Alaska argument isn’t as compelling.
Emirates is a transfer parter of all major flexible currencies
Don’t get me wrong, this is a devaluation of Alaska miles, and perhaps it’s a sign that Emirates will restrict First Class awards to those using Emirates Skymiles, but so far, I haven’t seen other airlines notify their members of similar restrictions.
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