Alaska Devalues Award Redemptions for Japan Airlines

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Alaska Devalues Award Redemptions for Japan Airlines

Alaska Airlines miles are quite valuable compared to other carriers, and one of the best uses for those miles is through Japan Airlines. But this week, with no prior notice, Alaska Airlines increased award rates to fly Japan Airlines to Tokyo and Southwest Asia by much as 42%.

We saw a similar move by Virgin Atlantic last week. But this Alaska Mileage Plan devaluation is even worse as it affects mot fare classes.

Japan Airlines first class product saw the biggest jump in award pricing, especially from the Midwest and East Coast. West Coast travelers will also have to pay more, but the increases are a bit more palatable.

Here are the rates that have changed:

  • Midwest and East Coast to Japan
    • Economy Class : from 35k to 45k
    • Business Class: from 60k to 80k
    • First Class: from 70k to 100k
  • West Coast to Japan
    • First Class: from 70k to 85k
  • Most of USA to Southeast Asia
    • Economy Class : from 37.5k to 57.5k
    • Business Class: from 65k to 100k
    • First Class: from 75k to 100k


These are big increases for award redemption on Japan Airlines and a big hit for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members.

We suspected a devaluation was due when Alaska Airlines first revealed a new simplified award chart late last year. While Alaska touted the simplicity, the new chart replaced individual partner charts and listed minimum prices for travel between regions. That left the door open for devaluations, which we are witnessing now.

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