Alaska Airlines and Emirates have reached frequent flyer agreement. Members of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan can start earning on March 1st both redeemable and elite qualifying miles on all Emirates operated miles. At this point, it is still unclear if the Members of Emirates’ Skywards members can start earning miles on Alaska operated flights on that date as well.
This is good news as Emirates is starting the service to Seattle, the main hub of Alaska Airlines, on March 1st. It is quite likely that Emirates would have preferred to start serving Vancouver, but UAE carriers have only right for six frequencies per week to Canada and those are used to serve Toronto. There has been quite a bit ill will between the governments of Canada and the United Arab Emirates regarding this issue. Emirates would prefer more frequencies, but essentially the government of Canada is protecting Air Canada from more competition.
Alaska is also running a promotion for double redeemable miles on Emirates flights from March 1st to May 31st. You need to register for this promotion before taking the Emirates flights.
I have quite a few Emirates flights coming in first class starting from beginning of March. These flights would requalify me for Skywards Gold status, and with the mileage accelerator would earn me close to 100K redeemable miles. If I would credit them for Alaska’s Mileage Plan, the earned miles would be about the same during the double miles promotion period. As the miles from Emirates would be elite qualifying miles, these would earn me almost a Gold status with Alaska.
The beauty of Alaska’s Mileage Plan is the number of partner airlines from Oneworld and SkyTeam alliances. You can earn for example earn elite qualifying miles and redeem on Air France, American Airlines, Delta, Emirates, KLM and LAN. There are more partners that you can earn and burn but not earn EQM’s. You can redeem on most partners as well, but redeeming on Emirates operated flights will come later