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No Business or First Class partner travel using miles in 2022?

No Business or First Class partner travel using miles in 2022?

Old Jan 17, 2022, 7:30 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 12
Question No Business or First Class partner travel using miles in 2022?

I used to be able to book business or first class awards on partner airlines *pre-covid* using Alaska miles. Iíve accumulated nearly a million miles and went back this week to plan some 2022 travel assuming I could get some good deals even if they cost 100k+ points per leg.

But I canít seem to find a single route with these fares when book with miles. Worse, fares marked Ďbusinessí on the web page are actually economy or premium economy on the partner, and first only on AS segments. I did find a few routes in Asia with three segments and the middle short segment in partner business.

So, as per various forums guidelines, I found some award routes on partner sites (in this case BA) and called in to book over the phone. However, the agent I spoke to told me they donít have anything more than I can see online, which seems to be a significant change.

I know CX have decimated their network and EK withdraw first class from the program in Sep 2020, but I canít even find non-economy fares on the likes of BA or FI.

Would love to hear from anyone who has been able to use their miles for non-economy overseas travel booked for 2022. I think it would be a big story if to use Alaska miles with partners one has to travel economy or premium economy only. But hey, now itís almost impossible to score an upgrade at booking except for short routes domestically, maybe Iíll end up using my miles for domestic travel instead? :-)

Hope I donít sound entitled, nice long trips with the family for free are one of the lovely perks I got used to flying a lot for work. Iím wishing someone will tell me the secret behind this so I can continue to take advantage.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 7:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Dates? Destinations? These vague posts are pretty useless. I just booked LAX-NRT-SIN on JL J. Also booked DFW-HEL in AY J for the summer.
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Last edited by AndyKehn; Jan 17, 2022 at 8:21 pm
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 7:57 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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There is no secret. Basically FI is not releasing their "Intl premium economy" aka saga class availability, there is no need to try, because there are NONE, even for their seasonal ANC-KEF route or new RDU-KEF route. ZERO availability.

For Oceania, FJ is not releasing any premium cabin availability for LAX-NAN and SFO-NAN, and ZERO availability on QF for all cabins, simply NONE.

For Asia, there are couple decent availability on SQ J LAX-NRT at 80k miles one-way in July and August, for other traditionally off-peak season, decent availability on JL in J or even F. KE J availability is almost non-existent. The only Asia route which has AA J availability is DFW-ICN.

For Europe, AA doesn't have any availability unless you book F at T-330 days you might be lucky to get some availability. BA actually has decent availability on LAX-LHR, SFO-LHR, LAS-LHR, MCO-LGW and JFK-LHR routes given frequency and route types (LAS and MCO leisure dominant), but good luck paying $738 surcharge each way. AY and IB has some availability as well even in summer, if you are okay with DE 2-2-2 767 products that's also a choice, but don't even think of EI J availability cuz there is NONE unless you want to pay 280k miles each way. Recently AS released award chart on AT, decent availability, but at what cost? AT only flies to east coast so while AT itself has decent availability, good luck finding availability on AS connecting flight to east coast.

Lastly, Qatar award to middle east, south asia, and Africa, good luck with that..
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 8:00 pm
  #4  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 12
Why does specific help? The website will show the same to me as to you. Am I missing something here? I spent a few hours looking and couldn't find any route with service outside econ/prem econ, next step phone Alaska, they say no dice, so I'm here.

For instance, PDX or SEA to LON last two weeks of May 2022 on any airline, got nothing on BA nor FI. I tried SEA, SFO, LAX to Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore for several months in the spring (Feb, Mar, Apr).
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 8:07 pm
  #5  
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Thanks, helpful. I looked at Asia only for spring, I didn't get into summer. I'll look at BA via California. Seems like just general unavailability. Hopefully that'll turn.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 8:44 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: ANC
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Originally Posted by mate
Why does specific help?
I feel like the folks here are resourceful and generally want to help. I posted about an AS flight cancellation last week and received both public suggestions and private messages with viable options.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 9:41 pm
  #7  
Moderator: Alaska Mileage Plan
 
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Originally Posted by mate
But I canít seem to find a single route with these fares when book with miles.
Just for grins, I randomly picked IAH-DOH and searched over a seven-day period from 9/13-19. I found 4 days with QR J awards for 85K. I bet if I used one of award search sites, I could find connecting awards to onward destinations.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 9:45 pm
  #8  
 
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I was just looking at possibly taking a trip to Patagonia this fall and found plenty of AA J availability to SCL for 57.5K miles each way.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 10:03 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: San Jose, California, USA
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During 2021, I have consistently been able to find business and first class tickets to from California to Asia on CX and JL. I booked four flights, then had to keep pushing them back further and further until I had to cancel all of them except one, which I moved to June. There were several earlier dates available, but I figured that Japan might finally be open by then.

I consider flights to Europe to be too cheap to use miles (my also-cancelled NYE trip to Lisbon cost me $378), so I have no idea about that.

The reality is that every time I book or change my flights to Asia, I have to spend an hour or two at the JL and AS Web sites to piece together flights that I can book. That does take time and effort, but if you are willing to do that, I'm sure that you will find something.
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 10:32 pm
  #10  
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You missed out. AY (Finnair) released 4J on SEA-HEL-SEA a few weeks ago, the new seasonal route they’re running over the summer. That got snapped up. There still may be some out of DFW. Problem will be getting AS to release any connections (they’re pretty stingy for summer 2022 flying).

In the broader scheme of things, BA is reducing their F cabins a lot (from 14 F to 8F), plus they’re often subbing in A350s and 788s with 0F. Generally they aren’t releasing F for award. Also keep in mind that the US has been cut off from leisure travel from Europeans up through November 2021. Guess what? They’ve all bum rushed the J award seats now that the US is open for tourism. BA did have J space for late spring/summer 2022 (I picked up a seat a LOOOONG time ago, way out at end of schedule) but it’s slim pickings now- though end of schedule (Fall 2022) does seem to have some BA premium cabins (even the occasional F seat).

AA this past fall and winter (and into early spring 2022) has been wide open on SEA-LHR-SEA (I picked up multiple short notice J redemptions last fall) but that’s over now. Maybe it will show up closer in.

Been plenty of chances to spend miles. I’ve knocked out a decent 6 digits between AS and CX on various OW airlines over the past 8-9 months or so, with a crooked number in the first place. You just had to be there.
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Last edited by eponymous_coward; Jan 17, 2022 at 10:39 pm
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 11:11 pm
  #11  
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I have Qatar flights booked to Zanzibar, returning with a layover in Doha. This is in business class. I was able to book in and out of LAX which is highly desirable to me.

I have Cathay booked from LAX-HKG, one in biz and one in F. My hope is to book onward flights to Asia but I expect I'll end up having to cancel.

I subscribe to Premium Alerts from Straight to the Points. I don't remember what I pay for an annual membership but it is worth to me. I found the awards noted above thanks to their alerts. He has sent out other alerts bookable with AS miles that i passed on; not of interest to me though I am sure there are to others. A recent one was about seats available on JAL.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Jan 17, 2022 at 11:16 pm
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Old Jan 17, 2022, 11:31 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Seattle
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Just booked 2 F JFK-HND and HND-JFk for November. Saw several other F options through LAX and ORD
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Old Jan 18, 2022, 12:51 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fresno, California
Posts: 45
Just booked 2 on AY in J for 70k each going SFO-SEA-HEL-LHR on Aug 15. I noticed a few other dates still available. They are there, just have to put in the time searching and being creative. Good luck!
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Old Jan 18, 2022, 2:53 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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I used alaska miles over Christmas holidays to fly between Vancouver and Sydney.
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Old Jan 18, 2022, 8:52 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 404
Originally Posted by mate
I used to be able to book business or first class awards on partner airlines *pre-covid* using Alaska miles. Iíve accumulated nearly a million miles and went back this week to plan some 2022 travel assuming I could get some good deals even if they cost 100k+ points per leg.

But I canít seem to find a single route with these fares when book with miles. Worse, fares marked Ďbusinessí on the web page are actually economy or premium economy on the partner, and first only on AS segments. I did find a few routes in Asia with three segments and the middle short segment in partner business.

So, as per various forums guidelines, I found some award routes on partner sites (in this case BA) and called in to book over the phone. However, the agent I spoke to told me they donít have anything more than I can see online, which seems to be a significant change.

I know CX have decimated their network and EK withdraw first class from the program in Sep 2020, but I canít even find non-economy fares on the likes of BA or FI.

Would love to hear from anyone who has been able to use their miles for non-economy overseas travel booked for 2022. I think it would be a big story if to use Alaska miles with partners one has to travel economy or premium economy only. But hey, now itís almost impossible to score an upgrade at booking except for short routes domestically, maybe Iíll end up using my miles for domestic travel instead? :-)

Hope I donít sound entitled, nice long trips with the family for free are one of the lovely perks I got used to flying a lot for work. Iím wishing someone will tell me the secret behind this so I can continue to take advantage.
I was able to book r/t travel to Tokyo on JAL in business class for July. But the way things are looking now, it seems unlikely that the Japanese government will be allowing tourists in by then. One thing I did happen to notice was that the partner awards seem to be opening up more around 2-5 weeks prior to the actual travel date. Not sure if this pattern will continue into the summer but it's certainly true at the moment.
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