Alaska Mileage Plan and Singapore Airlines have been partners for a while, but it’s never been possible to redeem Alaska miles for Singapore Airlines flights. This all changed last week when Singapore Airlines became bookable online via Alaska Mileage Plan.
This is excellent news for those “in the know” and it opens up chances to fly Singapore Business/First and even Suites at a fraction of the retail price (if you buy Alaska Miles when they’re on sale).
While we already have great access to Singapore Airlines redemptions through their own program (in most cases it's superior value). It’s nice to have an alternative option; especially since most people gain Alaska Miles during promo sales or you can credit your Singapore Airlines flights to the program which gives you more miles compared to crediting to KrisFlyer.
If you’re new to Alaska Mileage Plan, you should go read my full guide on the Alaska MileagePlan program (at least if you want to fly business and first-class cheaply!).
Alaska & Singapore Airlines Basics
There are a few things to keep in mind when doing your research. Alaska Mileage Plan uses “zones” to calculate the price of a redemption, but right now, they don’t always match up with reality. Expect this to be corrected over time and just make a “dummy” booking to work out pricing. You can do this online!
- Singapore Airlines Business Class is available to Alaska Mileage Plan members
- Singapore Airlines First Class is available to Alaska Mileage Plan members
- Singapore Airlines Premium Economy is not available to Alaska Mileage Plan members
- Singapore Airlines Economy Class is available to Alaska Mileage Plan members
- Fifth freedom routes are excluded (Frankfurt to New York, Moscow to Stockholm, Manchester to Houston)
- Change and cancellation fee: $125 per ticket
- Award space appears to be similar to what’s available on KrisFlyer
While I was writing this post, Mark from TSW pointed out that multi-city bookings on Alaska with partners such as JAL and had disappeared … especially the ones where you are backtracking.
Right now, the SIN-NRT-KUL flight isn’t showing any availability even when individual sectors are available. I called up the Alaska MileagePlan booking number and tried to price it up over the phone with no success. The agent informed me that his system was giving an error and wasn’t allowing the booking as a one-way flight. He noted that no rules had changed on their side but that it’s up to each individual airline partner to set the rules for redemptions as well.
I’m hoping this is a glitch, but I have a feeling partner airlines will block backtracking from now on (because the value is crazy good).
Update: Fast forward a week and multi-city bookings that benefit from the backtracking hack is still not showing any availability. I booked a flight from Sydney to Perth in business (20k points, what a bargain!) the other day and questioned the rep again about any changes.
She said that no changes had been made to the program but that airlines control redemptions of this kind, so I’m pretty sure both Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines are actively blocking multi-city bookings where you’re tracking back.
Intra Asia flight prices in first class also appear to have been "corrected" where it was possible to fly Singapore to Beijing for 35,000 miles in first class, this has now been increased to a whopping 75,000 points and business class has gone from 25,000 to 60,000!
Up until now, here’s what was possible:
PS. I wrote this before the devaluation so here's what was on offer for a few days…
Alaska Mileage Plan Singapore Airlines Sweet Spots
Asia based frequent flyers are the biggest winners in the Award chart, with Australia and New Zealand a close second. While not all routes are fantastic value, there are a few that stand out! This especially true since Alaska Mileage Plan allows “back-tracking”. My favourite redemption is the 25k Japan Airlines business class flight which you can do from Singapore to Tokyo and back to Kuala Lumpur (this is priced as a one-way award!).
The same possibility has now opened up with Singapore Airlines, which is great news!
Singapore to Beijing/Shang Hai First Class
Alaska Mileage Cost: 35,000 Business Class (Price increased)
Singapore Airlines first class is now available to Alaska MileagePlan members and the pricing is pretty good for first-class from Singapore to China or Hong Kong. 35,000 miles will get you a seat at the front of the plane in either the old A380 suites or on the B777-300ER in first.
Australia / New Zealand to South East Asia/China
Alaska Mileage Cost: 65,000 Business Class (Price remains)
In most cases, you would still be better off to use 30,000 Alaska Miles to book Cathay Pacific business class, but it’s great to have Singapore Airlines as a second option. Where the real value comes in is on the longest sectors such as Auckland to Shanghai or Beijing, for example.
You can also do the same for Australian cities to and from Asia. For example, Sydney to Hong Kong via Singapore would also cost 65,000 miles + taxes. In business class.
Hong Kong To Shanghai Via Singapore
Alaska Mileage Cost: 35,000 Business Class (Blocked)
The same trick we use to booked Singapore to Tokyo and Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur now also works for Singapore Airlines flights on different routes. This means you can build a multi-city itinerary from Hong Kong to Shanghai or the other way around for just 35,000 Alaska Miles in first class. The cool thing is that you can split up the flights at no additional cost, so you don’t have to take them in one go.
Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo
Alaska Mileage Cost: 80,000 Business Class (Blocked)
While a direct flight from Singapore to Los Angeles will set you back 100,000 Alaska Miles, you can save yourself 20k by booking it via Tokyo. How does that work you may ask? Since Alaska MileagePlan doesn’t care about backtracking, you can fly NRT-SIN-LAX for only 80k. Of course, since this is a multi-city itinerary, you can split up the flights, so you don’t have to fly them back to back.
This flight is also possible in reverse way, in which case you could opt no to fly the last sector to Japan or Seoul (that’s an option too) while still saving 20k compared to a direct Singapore to LAX booking.
South-East Asia to South East Asia via Singapore
Alaska Mileage Cost: 25,000 Business Class (Blocked)
Just like the amazing Japan Airlines SIN-NRT-KUL flight, it’s possible to book Singapore Airlines on intra-aria flights for only 25k points in business class. You could simply depart from city A to Singapore and “return” to city B (close to city A) on a different date. The result would be a semi-return flight for the price of a one-way ticket!
Even Better Deals?
Now you know the possibilities of the “stopover hack” you can apply this to a lot of different routes. Some of the routes uncovered are too good to share in a public place so I won’t share them here to protect the people who booked these flights or are looking to book them.
It looks like the fun was short-lived anyway, but until we know for sure, you will have to uncover it yourself 😉