Alaska Airlines Devalues its Award Chart

Alaska Airlines is increasing the price of some awards effective January 14 on its own flights and at this point not on partners. And the bulk of those changes are in the price of “rule-buster” (or extra availability) awards.

Earlier this year I declared the death of the ‘double miles’ award, the idea of spending “double” so that any member could get any seat on any plane. Only American still offers this, and I predict that will not last.

“Last seat availability” potentially trades off with a paying customer, it’s expensive for an airline to offer, and mileage programs have been bumping those prices up. Here Alaska is doing it even more than they already had done before.

For Domestic (48 US states plus Alaska) awards they are increasing just the price of these last seat availability awards.

  • A roundtrip saver coach ticket remains 25,000 miles roundtrip. Last seat availability will go to 60,000.
  • A roundtrip saver first class ticket remains 50,000 miles roundtrip. Last seat availability will go to 120,000. For a domestic ticket!

All Hawaii awards are getting more expensive, fortunately just 2500 to 5000 miles each way:

For Mexico rule-buster awards go up in both coach and first class and oddly enough saver first class goes down slightly.

The only thing I can think as far as bringing down the price of Mexico first class awards is to make them in line with what Alaska has been charging for first class flying their partner American Airlines. They’ve dissipated much of the advantages here to flying Alaska over partners, but they also perhaps didn’t want to penalize members for flying Alaska.

Still, and while I might have thought they would do it at the same time, I have to think that changes to partner award charts could be coming as well.

(HT: Notiflyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Maybe I’m misreading the chart, but it looks like the saver awards in coach to Hawaii aren’t changing

  2. Did these guys all come together one weekend and plan this conspiracy over cigars and brandy? ( I see an investigative report coming out soon from Al Jazeera on these devaluations soon)

  3. Please stop writing, “Only American still offers this, and I predict that will not last.” It’s as if you WANT AA to get rid of aanytime awards. Why? You’re making it a self-fulfilling prophecy by talking about it all the time, and not just here.

  4. @non- AA *knows* they are alone in offering this. They *know* they don’t want to do it long-term. When they introduced an AA-metal award to Seoul they made AAnytime awards pricier on that route only rather than devalue the rest of the chart. But it is coming no matter what, and it has nothing to do with this blog.

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