Alaska Airlines has long played David to the U.S. airlines’ Goliaths, a smallish regional airline with an outsized presence that belies its true size.
In particular, Alaska’s Mileage Plan is a loyalty program befitting an airline many times its size, with a partner lineup that features earning and redemption on the likes of Air France, American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Icelandair, KLM, Korean Air, LAN, and Qantas.
Beginning on March 1, that impressive list gets even longer with the addition of Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier that flies to 100 cities in 66 countries and boasts one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets.
Initially, Mileage Plan members will only be able to earn miles when flying Emirates. Program members will have to wait until “late 2012” to redeem their miles for free flights on Emirates.
Earning rates will be as follows: 50 percent actual flight miles for discount coach tickets (M, B, U, K, Q, L, T, V, X, H classes of service); 100 percent actual flight miles for full-fare coach (Y, E, R, W classes of service); 125 percent actual flight miles for business class (C, J, I classes of service); and 150 percent actual flight miles for first class (F, A, P classes of service). Emirates miles will count toward earning Mileage Plan elite status.
As is standard industry practice in promoting such tie-ups, Mileage Plan members will earn double miles on Emirates flights between March 1 and to May 31.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.