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It takes about 285000 skyward miles to redeem a first class ticket from Asia to America but it only takes 200000 Alaskan miles to redeem that award.

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    Have you compared the earning charts as well? It may simply be that you also need to fly more per 100000 miles for Alaska airlines than you need to fly for 100000 skyward miles.
    – DCTLib
    Jan 3, 2016 at 19:02

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Airline miles are a currency, just like real money. Some miles have a larger worth then others.

Just compare the earnings:

A flight with Emirates from DXB to LHR oneway in first class earns 7500 Skywards miles, but only about 5200 Alaska Mileage miles.

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