Alaska Improves Baggage Delivery Guarantee: Your Bags are at the Carousel within 20 Minutes or They’ll Give You 2000 Miles

Take that, Domino’s!

Alaska is increasing their first checked bag fee, but continuing to exempt all elites and reducing the fees on checked bags beyond the first one. What’s more, they’re improving their Baggage Service Guarantee.

Since July, 2009 they’ve offered 2000 miles (or a $20 discount on a future flight, who would choose that?) if checked bags aren’t delivered within 25 minutes of a flight parking at the gate. They now guarantee checked baggage delivery within 20 minutes.

Several thoughts about the improved baggage guarantee:

1) If they’re going to charge for checked bags, this makes it go down easier.

2) It’s really impressive that they can get baggage working so smoothly as to promise this. It shows a real commitment to deliver results, something that’s hard to imagine most major carriers doing.

3) Hey, if bags were delivered more quickly (and actually showed up after the flight on which I traveled) I might be more inclined to check a bag occasionally!

4) It’s a good thing for Alaska that they no longer serve Washington-Dulles…

Update: Sneaky. After waiting on hold for Alaska’s partner award desk, playing an announcement for the old policy, I’ve realized that while the time guaranteed for baggage delivery has been improved, the compensation for late baggage has been reduced! The old policy was 2500 miles or a $25 certificate for future travel. So fewer miles/less money, but also quicker delivery. All-in-all quite fair, and something only Alaska does, but I didn’t initially realize they were reducing the compensation…

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. Re: your #3 comment- that is exactly why I don’t check bags. And being DL Diamond, I get them for no charge so money is not the issue. If DL would guarantee 20 minutes, I’d be all over that and wait for my bag.

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