Earning Alaska Airlines Elite Status on Partners and Emirates

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Last week I wrote about the promotion that Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan was having for their newest partner Emirates starting March 1stdouble redeemable miles, and then there was the big news of ditching the prayer cards from first class (finally).

Alaska Airline is alliance independent, which is rather rare these days. The airline has an agreement with number of airlines i.e. American, Delta, British, KLM, LAN, Air France, and Emirates where crediting Alaska’s Mileage Plan will not only earn you redeemable miles but also elite qualifying miles as well. You can redeem miles on these partners as well (Emirates starting later point this year), but the only drawback is that you cannot mix and match carriers to have multi carrier itineraries. You can have Alaska feeder flights for partner awards though. There are airline partners that only earn redeemable miles as well

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Alaska Airlines was thought of changing the accrual elite qualifying miles so that the class of service bonus for business and first class wouldn’t count. This, however, turned out to be just a glitch on their website over the weekend that has now been corrected.

Why would I care? I have 32707 miles coming in Emirates paid first class travel starting in the beginning of March (Emirates had a great business and first class sale back in January). I haven’t made up my mind where I should credit these flights. Had a few EK F flights the other year that made me Gold in their program, then I was demoted silver, and finally I will be base level member before these flights will take place. Quite frankly the EK Gold status is fairly useless if you are flying in paid business or first class. It does have some benefits especially for those flights in economy like business class check in, lounge access, extra luggage allowance, more miles etc.

These Emirates flights alone would give me 49K elite qualifying miles on Alaska’s Mileage Plan. Due to the double miles promotion and Mileage Plan Gold status (I could get status match based on my United status) redeemable miles bonus, which also applies to partners, the number of miles earned from these two tickets would be around 115K. It would be a nice enough number for partner redemption in business class

There are some nice status benefits for Alaska’s elites on Delta and American:

Priority Boarding on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines

Checked Baggage Fee Waiver for first two bags on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, and for the first checked bag on Delta Air Lines for MVP® member and persons traveling in the same reservation. Companion waiver does not apply to group bookings

Priority AAccess™ Check-In and Security Lines at select airports when traveling on American Airlines

Preferred Seating on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines

If I would credit another 41K on Alaska’s plan, it would not only make me Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K but also give a bonus of 50K redeemable miles. The benefits on AA wouldn’t matter for me personally as I made the lifetime Platinum status with that program the other year.

Not sure where I should credit these Emirates flights? The Emirate’s Skyward miles are not that useful for anything else than upgrades from economy to business, or from business to first. The proposition of crediting to Alaska’s Mileage Plan is tempting because I value their miles more, and I would be close to making the Gold status on these couple of tickets. But, I might have Emirates flights coming later this year in economy, so the Emirates Gold status might come handy as well. Luckily, I have another month time to contemplate on this issue as my flights are not before beginning of March.

Hilton HHonors Airline Promotions for Air Canada Aeroplan, US Airways Dividend Miles, Lufthansa Miles & More and American Airlines AAdvantage

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Hilton HHonors severed the relationship they had had with the Southwest and discontinued the ability to earn Rapid Rewards points from Hilton stays at the end of last year. To counter this change Hilton is having several promotions going on for double or triple miles with five airline partners. I have already written about the promotion with Delta for 2012 bonus SkyMiles for stays or two days or longer. The beauty of this promotion with Delta is that all the Hilton family of hotels are participating.

There are three other ongoing promotions that you can combine with these. The other promotions are Resort Escapes for free night certificates, More Points for extra points, and Visa Infinite promotion for instant Gold status and 40K HH after four stays.

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You can earn triple miles with US Airways Dividend miles, and double miles with Air Canada’s Aeroplan and American’s AAdvantage.  You need to designate the airline as the double dip partner and choose the variable or fixed miles.  With these airlines you really need to check the participating properties. The list is rather short.

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Earn 2012 Bonus Delta SkyMiles per Two Night Hilton Stay (Combine with Other Promotions).

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Last quarter Delta and Hilton run a promotion for Medallion Qualifying miles. This time they have teamed up to offer 2012 bonus Delta SkyMiles per two night or longer Hilton stay. These points are addition to the variable miles or fixed miles that you can earn if you choose the double dip option.

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This promotion is valid from January 2nd to March 31st, 2012. You need to register for this promotion before check out at www.HHonors.com/delta2012. The terms and conditions indicate that this offer is not combinable with other offers.

Another 100% Bonus Transfer Offer from Delta Air Lines for Transferring Miles Between SkyMiles Accounts.

Three weeks ago I wrote about a similar transfer offer that appeared to be targeted. Now Delta has an offer that is available for everyone. Essentially you can “buy” miles for 1.1 cents per mile when you transfer them in the chunks of 30K at a time. The maximum number of miles one can transfer in a calendar year is 150K, and the number of miles that can received from any number of SkyMiles accounts is 300K. This offer is valid until December 16th, 2011.

Delta Air Lines Transfer Miles Promotion December 2011

Had United or American Airlines made an offer like this, I would say that anybody should buy/transfer the maximum number of miles allowed. In a case of Delta, however, it is not as clear cut. This can be a very good deal if used correctly.

Buy up to 10K Delta MQM’s (Medallion Qualifying Miles)- Good Way to Top Up Your Account if Short On Time.

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When I was looking for options getting few more Delta MQM’s for the year, I came across this brand new offer from Delta. They are now selling MQM’s in the chunks of 2500 for $$$’s. Overall it is good to have options for acquiring MQM’s.

Delta Airlines Buy MQM's

Last year I made a Diamond status with Delta due to numerous cross country trips. This year, however, zero chance as I moved out of the US this past spring. My current MQM is at 48K+. SkyTeam Elite + status might come handy at times and it would require at least Delta SkyMiles Gold status which requires 50K MQM’s.

Year End Holiday Bonuses Are Back For Buying Marriott Gift Cards.

Every year during the yearend holiday period Marriott has been running promotions for buying Marriott branded gift cards. Normally you have few choices like extra Marriott points for purchases, 10% discounts of the face value, or 10% more on the gift card that you can buy at original face value. This year is no different.

Marriott Gift Card Offer 10 Marriott Reward Points Per Dollar

All these Marriott gift card purchases earn 5 Marriott Rewards points per dollar charged when paid using Marriott Rewards Visa credit card. Also, you can earn cash back for purchasing these through online cash back websites. Currently Ebates is offering 1%, Fatwallet 2.5%, and BigCrumbs 4% for buying these by first linking to Marriott through their websites. Please refer each of the respective websites for more information about the cash back rates that may change.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Targeted Offer? Get a 100% Bonus When You Transfer Miles-November Edition.

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Delta Air Lines November Transfer BonusDelta Air Lines has always been very active selling and gifting SkyMiles in exchange for cash. They just sent an email blast and I was one of the recipients. According to the Terms and conditions the offer is targeted, but with Delta you can really never tell.

You can essentially buy SkyMiles for 1.1 cents per mile, when buying in the chunks of 30000 miles at a time. The fee per transaction is $30 and maximum number of miles transferred at a time 30000. Delta will give you back the number of miles you gift up to 150000 SkyMiles.  Whether buying miles makes sense, is entirely dependent how you are using them.The best use of miles is for international business class tickets. This transfer offer probably doesn’t really benefit you if you are using miles mainly for domestic flights.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Award Promotion – Get Up To 25% of the Used Miles Credited Back.

Delta Air Lines Award Redemption Promotion - Get Up To 25% Of The Miles Used Credited BackCouple of hours ago received an email from Delta offering discounts for award redemptions booked using SkyMiles on Delta metal. For economy redemptions the discount maxes at 15% while for business/first class tickets at 25%. For first redemption the discount is 5% less.

The thing to note here is the fact that the discount applies only for Delta and Delta Connection flights. It doesn’t apply for partner redemptions. The booking window is until the end of this month, and the travel must be completed by April 30th, 2012.

New Hilton HHonors and Delta SkyMiles Promotion. You Can Earn Double Miles + 250 Medallion Qualifying Miles per Two Nights Stay.

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Delta and Hilton HHonors have teamed again to offer MQM’s (Medallion Qualifying Miles) for Hilton stays. Last year one could have earned 500 MQM’s per stay. This year’s offer is 250 MQM’s per two nights stay + double miles.

Hilton HHonors Delta SkyMiles Promotion 250 Medallion Qualifying Miles per Two Nights Stay + Double MilesI would probably go for this ONLY if I was really close to qualifying for the next level and could do it without having to take any extra flights. If this bumps you to next level with Delta’s program, it is a great promo otherwise not so.

Use IATA’s Timatic to Check Entry Requirements for all Countries.

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When it comes to travel, it is sometimes confusing to find out what Visas or other travel documents, like health certificates, one might need to enter the country. Also how long one can stay often depends of the travel document used,and from which country it is from.

IATA Timatic For Checking entry Requirements For Various CountriesWhat I have found to be the most useful tool to check the entry requirements, the same tool that the airline personnel also use when checking you in, is the IATA’s Timatic. http://www.timaticweb.com/

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