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New Option for Using Alaska Airlines Miles to Fly to Europe (With a Free Stopover)

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New Option for Using Alaska Airlines Miles to Fly to Europe (With a Free Stopover)

Jason StaufferNew Option for Using Alaska Airlines Miles to Fly to Europe (With a Free Stopover)Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: Booking Aer Lingus flights with Alaska Airlines miles can save you hundred of dollars in taxes and fees. 

Your Alaska Airlines miles are more valuable and useful than ever for flights to Europe.

You can now use Alaska Airline miles to book Aer Lingus award flights. This won’t always be your best option for getting to Europe, but it does open up some interesting possibilities because Alaska Airlines allows free stopovers on award flights — even on one-way flights.

You can now use Alaska Airlines miles to book flights to Europe with a free stopover in Dublin. (Photo by Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock)

Alaska Airlines Miles for Aer Lingus Flights

This is the Alaska Airlines partner award chart for one-way Aer Lingus flights:

That’s a wide range of prices and if you’re paying anything but the lowest price for a one-way flight, you’re getting a terrible deal. Otherwise, these prices are comparable to what you’d pay for an award ticket from the US to Europe with most other programs.

What makes Alaska Airlines potentially more useful for booking Aer Lingus flights is that they allow free stopovers on one-way flights. The stopover needs to be in the operating airline’s hub city. So with Aer Lingus you could stop in Dublin before traveling to your final destination.

Aer Lingus serves the following US cities:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hartford
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Newark
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington DC

I was able to easily find one-way economy awards available for only 30,000 Alaska Airlines miles plus taxes, but the business-class awards at the cheapest level were hard to come by.

Keep in mind, you can also book many of the same flights for much less by using British Airways Avios points because British Airways has a distanced-based award chart. Flights to Dublin from the eight cities I highlighted above in boldface will only cost 13,000 British Airways Avios points one-way in the off-peak season and 20,000 Avios points during peak season. Even flights from Seattle would cost less (16,250 one-way off-peak, 25,000 one-way peak).

If you add a connection on a flight booked with Avios points, however, the price will increase because British Airways charges based on the distance per segment not the total trip distance. And you can save a couple of hundred dollars in taxes and fees by booking with Alaska Airlines. I checked a round-trip flight from Seattle to Dublin and with Alaska Airlines the taxes and fees were ~$76 compared to ~$310 when booking with Avios points.

On the other hand, another big advantage to using British Airways Avios points to book flights with Aer Lingus is that Avios points are much easier to earn than Alaska Airlines miles. You can transfer the following flexible points to British Airways:

You could also open a British Airways Visa Signature® Card, an Iberia Visa Signature® Card or an Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card because you can transfer points between those programs.

The information for the British Airways Visa, Iberia Visa, and Aer Lingus Visa has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Alaska Airlines only partners with Marriott. Or you could also apply for one of the Alaska Airlines credit cards:

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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

  • Now - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • New! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
  • Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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