Alaska Airlines & Hainan Airlines launched their frequent flier partnership last week and members from each airline can earn miles starting July 23, 2015 (redeeming come November 2015).
Both airliners are offering double award miles for each others flights until October 31, 2015. Airlines are also going to later introduce some reciprocal elite level benefits (likely lounge access and check in).
Hainan currently flies to five destinations in North America (Toronto, Boston, Seattle, San Jose and Chicago) and this opens up more redemption options for Mileage Plan members traveling to Asia. Hainan’s main priority must have been to use Alaska Airlines domestic US flights to feed its San Jose and Seattle flights.
Hainan flights are elite qualifying for Alaska’s Mileage Plan members and MVP/MVP Gold/MVP Gold 75K will also receive their elite bonuses.
Here’s Alaska’s press release about this partnership launch:
laska Airlines is enhancing its unique partner portfolio in Mileage Plan by adding China-based carrier Hainan Airlines. Hainan operates a modern fleet to over 90 destinations throughout the world. From Seattle, Hainan flies nonstop to Beijing and Shanghai, and offers an extensive network throughout China, including several top destinations for Pacific Northwest business travelers. Hainan also flies from San Jose, Calif. to Beijing.
Members of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan can begin earning miles on Hainan starting July 23, and through Oct. 31, 2015 the airline is offering double miles.* Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club members also will be able to earn double miles on Alaska flights, starting July 23, through Oct. 31, 2015.
“Alaska is expanding its international partner portfolio with the addition of Hainan, giving our Mileage Plan members more ways to earn miles for their travel from the West Coast to Shanghai and Beijing and on connecting flights within China,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “Hainan offers business and main cabin service with distinctly Chinese touches such as traditional tea service, which will appeal to our culture-savvy Northwest customers. And with double miles, our customers can reach their next adventures faster.”
Hainan offers business class passengers 180-degree flat seats with turndown service, gourmet cuisine created with unique Chinese culinary skills and award-winning wines on trans-Pacific flights. Business class passengers also receive complimentary private limo service both at U.S. and China gateway cities.
Harrison added that Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will be able to redeem miles on Hainan later in 2015, and that Alaska and Hainan will continue to enhance their partnership by recognizing and extending elite reciprocal benefits to members of Mileage Plan and Fortune Wings Club by fall. Earned flight miles on Hainan currently qualify toward elite status in Mileage Plan.
“Seattle was Hainan’s first North American gateway, opened in 2008, and since then we have carried hundreds of thousands of people between the U.S. and China,” said Hou Wei, Hainan Airlines vice president. “We have long connected passengers to and from Alaska Airlines and are excited to be able to offer members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan the ability to earn miles on Hainan. Hainan’s Fortune Wings Club members will also be able to earn miles on Alaska Airlines flights.”
Hainan is another example of how Alaska is raising the bar to allow its members to travel and earn miles to all corners of the globe through a unique network of international partners. Over the last two years, Alaska Airlines has made enhancements to its best-in-class Mileage Plan program, adding ways to earn miles faster, get elite status sooner and redeem miles for award travel hassle free. Mileage Plan ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs, Two Years in a Row” in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report.
This is welcomed news for Alaska’s Mileage Plan members that have another foreign airline to earn and burn their miles. Alaska Airlines members don’t usually receive elite level benefits when flying on foreign airlines, so this would be something beneficial for those flying in on economy.
These partnerships really allow foreign airlines to use Alaska as their domestic feeder airline in the United States and seems that this is beneficial for Alaska as well.