Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is one of my favorite programs out there. They don’t belong to any alliances, but have a number of partners across different continents. They have flexible routing rules, allowing stopovers even on one-way tickets for many bookings. Their miles are relatively easy to come by, considering there are no limits to the amount of miles you can purchase in a year, and Alaska often runs discounts on mile purchases.
Well, it would appear Alaska is adding a new partner—Condor. Condor is a leisure airline based in Frankfurt, and was owned by Lufthansa until the 2000s, when Thomas Cook took over. Since it’s a leisure airline, it mostly focuses on destinations that see mostly tourist traffic. For example, you can fly from Baltimore (and soon Pittsburgh), but not from New York.
They are a leisure airline, but don’t exactly treat passengers like other low-cost carriers might. For example, in Economy Class on long-haul flights, you can still get a free meal and drinks. Flights to/from the US will even include a 50-lb baggage allowance, and a 13-lb carry-on allowance. They also offer a “Premium Class” with extra legroom, higher baggage allowance, and better food and beverage offerings. Their Business Class product is an angled-flat (170°) seat, with lounge access bundled in where available.
The Points Guy first leaked information the partnership, but it looks like we now have more details about earning Alaska miles when flying Condor. Here is the earning chart, which will be based on cabin flown, and not fare class purchased:
These are pretty generous earning rates, considering Condor ticket prices can be towards the lower end. Under this chart, a round-trip flight between Baltimore and Frankfurt will earn you:
- 4,039 Alaska miles in Economy
- 8,078 Alaska miles in Economy Flex (usually ~$75 – 100 more each way)
- 10,097 Alaska miles in Premium Economy
- 24,234 Alaska miles in Business
The Business Class earning rate is really exciting; you can fly Business Class between US and Europe just once, and be half way towards a Business Class ticket on Cathay Pacific to anywhere in Asia. These rates are also great because both the Base Miles and Cabin Bonus count toward Alaska status.
To give you some context to how generous this Alaska earning chart is, here are the earning rates when you credit your Condor flights to Lufthansa’s Miles & More program, the only other partner Condor has in mileage accrual. That same Baltimore-Frankfurt roundtrip will only earn you 5,000 Miles & More miles.
Presumably, Alaska Mileage Plan members will also be able to redeem award tickets for travel on Condor. However, Alaska hasn’t made those public yet, and if their partnership with Japan Airlines is any indication, it might be a bit of wait before those go live. Alaska already partners with a number of airlines that fly to Europe, but for those who might be located in an airport not otherwise served by Alaska and partners’ current route map, this is certainly good news.
Ultimately, in a time where many airline programs are cutting earning rates for the “everyday passenger,” it’s nice to see that Alaska is still being generous and adding both flexibility and options to their frequent flyer program.