Alaska gives a stopover on award tickets, allowing you to spend as much time as you want in the connecting city without ever increasing your miles price at all.
Alaska Stopovers are still one of the best deals out there, and I wanted to go through all routes and try to share the best stopover deals I found. Prices often don’t make much sense, so pay attention to those as I list the routes!
It is such a good deal that you could save money on your Europe trip by adding a trip to Mexico or Hawaii first. Or you could use a stopover to save miles on a trip to Hawaii.
There are so many great deals and this post will list them as best I can.
In the post Alaska Miles Routing Rules, I broke down the 4 rules when using Alaska Miles:
- 1 Partner Airline + Alaska
- Only routes listed on award chart
- Stopovers are allowed in “hubs”
- It’s all “oneway” – per direction
Of course, these are not comprehensive, but they explain a lot of the rules. Of course, in the US you can often get stopovers in non-hubs.
The rule about award charts is that if a route price isn’t listed, it’s almost always not bookable. For example, there are no prices for Africa to Australia because you can’t do it with Alaska Miles (that I know of).
The other thing is, it tells you who you can fly through. This alone reveals interesting routes.
For example, see below:
I selected South Pacific to United States and it offered Fiji Airways, and more bizarrely, I could fly Korean… I guess that would be the long way around.
Sure enough, this worked…
Fiji to Seattle with a stopover in Korea:
Then, Almost Anywhere on Alaska…
One exception to the rule above seems to have to do with Alaska (Airlines). (It may not have directly to do with Alaska so much as the Mexico/Central American/Caribbean/Hawaii regions, but Alaska is the only airline you’re allowed to fly after you’ve started with a partner.)
In short, when traveling to the US, it seems you’re frequently able to tack on the aforementioned regions, regardless of what does or doesn’t show up in the award chart. (Or the same route in reverse).
(Remember, you are limited by route combinations due to the unusually strict rule of only using one partner (in addition to Alaska Airlines itself) each way.)
In the following example, I can fly Korean to the US and then anywhere as long as I’m using Alaska Airlines for the next leg.
So below is Fiji to Mexico, yet there is no option on the award chart for this.
My point is, why would this be on the partner award chart? After all Korean doesn’t fly to Mexico, it showed all the valid Korean routes, and it seems to be the same price to then hop an Alaska flight to the limited number of places they can fly.
However, I noticed that in the examples above you can stopover in the US and then take a later flight to Hawaii.
Then I noticed another route I’ve used as an example (Australia to US and then later to Hawaii) doesn’t list AA as an option, but it is clearly bookable on AA.
But to be sure, I decided to figure out as many interesting routes as I could just by playing around with the pricing. I’m just trying as many route combos as possible!
Finding The Interesting Stopovers
Note that every single route works the same in both directions. If you see an example like the following: start in Fiji, stopover in Seattle, then end in Mexico… You could just as easily book a ticket where you start in Mexico, stopover in Seattle (or US) and end in Fiji.
In my mind there are two types of stopovers that I’ll talk about:
1) A “stopover” in your home to essentially book two different tickets. You could come back from Fiji in the Spring, stopover in your home area (if they allow), and then continue to Mexico in the fall.
2) A stopover in another country, as part of a round-the-world style ticket. A stopover in Korea on the way to Fiji is just a long vacation.
It’s up to you to figure out the use that works for you.
- SYD-LAX-HNL = 40k/80k/110k
- SYD-NAN-SEA = 40k/55k
- SYD-LAX-SJD = 40K/55K (on Fiji)
- SYD-NAN-HNL = 27.5K/45K
Sydney to LAX (stopover), later to Hawaii is common, but to be able to stop in Japan is cool if you’re in business.
But the best deals, in my opinion, are on Fiji Airways. If you take a boat out to the surrounding islands, you will not regret it! (Avoid the chain hotels on the man-made island near the airport, go to Cancun for that).
A stopover in Fiji on the way to Australia is killer. And it’s an ever cheaper flight if you start in Hawaii!
- MEX-DFW-LHR = 22.5K/57.5K
- HNL-DFW-LHR = 22.5K/57.5K
- LAX/HNL-HEL-HKG = 50K/125K
- LAX/HNL-HEL-DXB = 40K/105K
- MLE-FRA-SEA/HNL=50K/65K (or any flight on Condor to Africa/ME)
- US–Iceland–Europe = 27.5k/55k
While more common, I still think the Hawaii – US – Europe on AA off-peak is the best deal in miles! I really think it’s up there.
As long as you fly the first segment, like Hawaii or Mexico to the US, in off-peak, then the entire thing will be priced off-peak. So this is not only a way to get an extra ticket from Hawaii to the US, but also a way to save on a Europe ticket in the summer.
Here’s a ticket that is Mexico to US in spring (off-peak to Europe), and then US to Europe in August (peak season). If it was just US to Europe it would be 30k, but since it “starts” in off-peak season, the ticket is 22.5k.
Obviously the Finnair and Condor options area a little more expensive in price.
And I completely left off British Airways because of the insane fuel surcharges, but you can stopover in London on the way to Africa, the Middle East, or almost anywhere in Europe.
- MEX-DFW-LIM = 20k/30k
- LIM-DFW-HNL = 20k/30k
- MEX-LAX-HNL = 22.5k/40k
- SJO/AUA-LAX-HNL = 17.5k/27.5k
- MEX-MIA-SJU = 17.5k/27.5k
Let me stop and point out just the prices here. On AA a flight to Hawaii is normally 22,500 miles…
But a flight to/from Hawaii that later includes a flight to Peru is only 20,000 miles. This is not just a 2 for 1 kind of deal, you save miles.
For some reason the entire route here assumes the South America price.
But with Mexico it assumes the higher Hawaii price.
Then I checked Caribbean and Central America and noticed that they were part of the group that assumed the lower price.
Therefore, going to Hawaii? I might recommend going to South America, Central America, or the Caribbean next!
Emirates to Most of the World
- HNL/SJD-SEA-DXB = 47.5K/82.5K/150K
- KUL-DXB-KUL/JNB = 52.5/105K/180K
- SJD-LAX-JNB = 47.5K/120K
- SJD-SEA-NRT = 35K/60K
- HNL-SEA-NRT = 35K/60K
- DEL-NRT-LAX/HNL = 35K/60K/70K
This last [Japan Airlines] route is a great deal to India or that part of the world. 35k/60k/70k is already great for India, but then to have the stopover in Japan is a great addition.
Tons of Cathay Options (not searchable)
One of the airlines to show up in the most regions is Cathay. It has some of the most routes with Alaska Miles and the best prices… Making it a little annoying that their award space isn’t searchable on Alaska, and that I can’t play around with its stopover combos online.
Yet, the award chart tells us that there are great prices to fly Cathay all over the world (plus, Hong Kong makes a great stopover).
However, the deal of the year (which I posted about years ago), is the following:
US – Hong Kong – Africa = 50k/62.5k/70k
Alaska still has some of the most valuable miles with the best stopover possibilities and prices.
There could be more route combinations out there that I missed, if so comment and let me know!