My roughly six-week-long trip to Thailand ended this past Saturday, and I am briefly back in Europe.
I purchased a premium Singapore Airlines ex-Paris fare to Phuket (read more here) that Freddo earlier had covered (read more here). I planned to credit SQ flights to Alaska’s Mileage Plan and the lonely Swiss flight to Aegean.
You have to be often careful when crediting flights to partner programs, especially if they don’t belong to the same alliance. For example, Singapore Airlines is a long-standing Star Alliance member, while Alaska joined the competing Oneworld alliance earlier this year.
It is not as uncommon nowadays, as previously, for airlines to have frequent flier and other partnerships with non-alliance carriers.
Alaska used to have a wide variety of partners belonging to SkyTeam (Delta, Air France, AeroMexico & KLM), and partnership with Emirates just dissolved,
The beauty of the Mileage Plan was and still is that all partner flights are elite and bonus miles qualifying. As a result, you can often earn many more Mileage Plan miles than if crediting these flights elsewhere.
So, I was surprised when my Paris – Singapore flight was posted to Alaska about a week after the flight, but the flight from Singapore to Phuket did not.
I then had a look at the flight numbers. The Singapore – Phuket flight number was SQ726 that is not within the eligible flights’ range.
The Bangkok – Singapore flights were previously in the 900-range, but the flight number on Saturday was SQ711.
You should not try this with most airlines, but I asked the SQ agent in Bangkok to credit the first flight to Aegean (already posted) and the second one to Alaska. I then switched the last segment also to Aegean in the Swiss lounge in Zurich and got an updated boarding pass at the gate with the A3*G printed.
This Singapore Airlines flight exclusion when crediting to Alaska came as a surprise. Theoretically, I could perhaps get that one segment credited to A3 that had the AS number on, but it would take too much time for an insignificant number of miles. Just not worth the effort.
At least the Bangkok flights were previously certainly included, so I am not sure if this is merely an oversight by Mileage Plan or a thoroughly planned exercise of not being able to credit some intra-Asia flights to the US-based program.
There are some sweet spots on Alaska’s Mileage Plan, but a lack of a comprehensive award chart that would allow mixing and maxing of partners is an annoyance to the extend that I am not sure if I should credit any flights there. Also, there are restrictions on what regions are available on which airlines, and the number of miles required between carriers fluctuates wildly.