Alaska Airlines’ Cheeky Mileage Plan Devaluation On Japan Airways Awards

Alaska Airlines’ Cheeky Mileage Plan Devaluation On Japan Airways Awards

Without any prior notice, Alaska’s Mileage Plan program devaluated the Japan Airlines award today. There is good and bad news about these changes.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Devaluates Japan Airlines Awards

This surely came as a surprise to everyone as the program did not have any forms of notice to members. A few days ago, when I was writing a post about the buy miles offer for Alaska Airlines, I did not see any changes to award pricing for Japan Airlines.

But now, there has been a drastic devaluation of Japan Airlines on some routes between the US.

The Mileage Plan program generally priced Japan Airlines award redemption as follows before the changes:

  • One-way business class flights between the US and Japan cost 60,000 miles
  • One-way first class flights between the US and Japan cost 70,000 miles

However, with the new changes, here are the pricings devaluated:

  • One-way business class flights between the US and Japan now increased to 80,000 miles (Except the west coast)
  • One-way first class flights between the US west coast and Japan increased to 85,000 miles
  • One-way first class flights between the rest of the US and Japan increased to 100,000 miles

Since there is no published award chart, you would need to check each city one by one to check the exact miles needed to book.

Interestingly, the one-way business class award between the west coast (eg. Los Angeles, San Francisco) did not change and remains 60,000 miles.

My Take On Alaska Mileage Plan Devaluating Japan Airlines Awards

Alaska Airlines, late last year, announced that there will publish a new award chart for partners. The new simplified award chart did create confusion as it did not specify the exact miles needed to book an award ticket rather it stated ‘starting from.’

During that period of time, there were also no signs of devaluations happening. Well, now it is happening and it has increased Japan Airlines awards to 50%.

Up until now, the Mileage Plan program was the best to redeem premium seats on Japan Airlines but not anymore. Comparing a few different partner programs, the British Airways Executive Club and American Airlines Advantage programs are now the best substitutes to book an award with Japan Airlines.


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program has devaluated Japan Airlines awards without any notice with an increase of up to 50%. This is a blow to members who redeem miles as the program no longer has the sweet spot for Japan Airlines.

There have been a lot of frequent flyers program devaluations these days and it is now much more harder to find a program offering a good award deal.

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