Alaska Airlines is Introducing Upgrades on Awards and Changing Upgrade Priority

Effective December 5, Alaska Airlines will start taking fare class into account when determining upgrade priority.

  1. Elite status
  2. Fare class [more expensive fare classes have higher priority]
  3. Time of request

In addition, coach award tickets will become upgradable. Full, refundable coach awards (these book into ‘Z’ inventory) will be eligible for instant upgrade to first class for elite members.

As always, instant upgrades require there to be upgrade inventory (U space) available.

Meanwhile, saver and medium level coach awards will become upgradable December 5th as well.

(HT: Joe R.)

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. This hit the fan yesterday. Trying to check seat maps on AS last night was a mess. They kept changing configuration and current reservations could not be seen. 800’s will be E+ and 900’s have new up fare requirements for front of Y seats.
    What should be noted is that these upgrades are into the new Premium Economy seats.
    Preferred seats are no longer available to elites upon booking, up fare required. 75’s are the only elites who get better benefits with new Mileage Plan program.
    MVP’s got shafted on this one.
    Back of the plane until 48 hour upgrade window. Then, if any E+ seats left, (probably middle) then they can move up to those seats. Those elites who booked seats months ago in Row 6 are now being re-seated , without notice. Most don’t see it until OLCI. Then it is too late to change to a decent seat. MANY angry AS elites right now. Loyalty is being challenged.

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