I recently wrote about the incredible value of using Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book Emirates First Class awards. Sadly, overnight Alaska devalued their loyalty program by increasing the amount of points required to book an Emirates award. Due to the devaluation, it now takes 67-100% more miles to book the same trip. At least American gave us four months notice before devaluing their award charts. Not notifying your loyalty plan customers of an upcoming devaluation is just bad business.
It is still possible to book Emirates flights with Alaska miles, but it will take more points to book. A great alternative is to book Emirates flights with Japanese Airline (JAL) miles, which can be transferred from the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. The cheapest redemption would be 100k miles to fly the Emirates A380 in First Class round-trip from New York to Milan. For a few more points you can book an Emirates First Class award for 135k from NYC to Milan to Dubai to NYC. I’d say the 135k redemption is a sweet spot. I’ll be writing up some more options in April so don’t give up hope!
The points and miles community is going crazy this morning with the devaluation. The Alaska MileagePlan redemptions were one of the best uses of points and miles. I mean who doesn’t like bottomless champagne and showering at 40k feet? Luckily, Mrs. TT and I booked an Emirates trip to Dubai and Spain just last week with our Alaska miles. If I had waited to book, I’m pretty sure Mrs. TT would have been very grumpy with me this morning!