The big airlines all throw down to get small businesses to plop their associates’ loyally on one livery. American Airlines has BusinessExtrAA, Delta Air Lines runs its Skybonus program, and United has PerksPlus. All are very similar, with perhaps a slight edge to American given the ease of hitting redeemable award milestones. But what about the feisty, up and coming West Coast contender, Alaska Airlines?
Alaska has its own small business program, and like the airline it’s somewhat in a league of its own.
Unlike the others, Alaska hasn’t created a separate rewards currency and redemption chart for its parallel business program, EasyBiz. In this sense, EasyBiz is easy: rewards are doled out in the same currency we’re all used to, MileagePlan miles.
Like the big boys, Alaska gives out smaller incremental mileage rewards for each trip, with the idea that employees are earning both their own miles, and contributing to a fast-growing pile of shared rewards vis-a-vis the EasyBiz program.
Who Can Enroll In EasyBiz
Any business with a taxpayer ID may enroll in EasyBiz. No minimum annual spending amount or number of travelers is required.
To enroll, the company must assign an administrator, and that individual must have a prior relationship with Alaska Airlines via a personal Mileage Plan account before green-lighted for admin privileges over the business account. Input basic company information and answer a few questions related to company travel, and you’re good to go.
Critically, you’ll want to choose the administrator carefully when using EasyBiz. In lieu of a corporate stash of shared business points, the rewards from the EasyBiz program will be deposited directly into this individual’s MileagePlan account.
EasyBiz members earn one MileagePlan mile per dollar spent on the base fare portion of every ticket purchase made online through the EasyBiz website. EasyBiz can also supplement earnings through the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card.
Only those with administrator permissions may book travel within EasyBiz, though it’s possible to nominate multiple administrators. So long as individual Mileage Plan numbers are recorded during booking, travelers flying on behalf of a business still accrue miles in their own accounts at the same rate as they would have had they purchased a ticket
There are no earning tiers based upon the class of service nor are there differences in earning based upon whether travelers are flying into or out of hubs. All that matters for earning is the base fare amount.
The main difference for businesses when redeeming miles is that flight awards may only be booked via EasyBiz by a user with administrator permissions. Otherwise, the same award inventory is available at the same redemption levels regardless of which program is used.
Alaska Airlines’ EasyBiz program is simple to use, administer and understand. Business owners should consider whether the program returns enough value to alter the way the business currently books Alaska Airlines flights. For a short haul one-way flight in first class, for example, a business would have to initially spend a minimum of $15,000 to earn the required 15,000 Mileage Plan miles for the award. So long as opening an EasyBiz account and then using it to book flights is a frictionless enough experience, businesses have nothing to lose by enrolling in and using EasyBiz to earn and redeem Mileage Plan miles.
Alaska Airlines’ EasyBiz program is simple to use, administer and understand. Simple, however, can be a dirty word for those looking to squeeze the most value out of a program. And given that both Delta and United offer tiered earning based upon fare class and hub travel, and that all three other legacy carriers offer ancillary redemptions through their business loyalty programs such as shared status, lounge passes, upgrade certificates and the lot, some may feel EasyBiz takes a watered down approach to earning and redemption.
Those business owners walking around with a cash back or Capital One credit card in their wallet may, however, feel perfectly content prioritizing EasyBiz knowing exactly how many Mileage Plan miles they will earn for each and every Alaska Airlines flight taken on the company’s dime.