More Details on the Amazing Alaska Airlines $350 or Less First Class Opportunity

Jared of Online Travel Review has been doing yoeman’s work on the amazing deal where you can buy Icelandair miles and fly Alaska Airlines first class to anywhere they fly in the US and Canada (including Hawaii and Alaska) for $350 per person or less.

Today he explains Icelandair’s rules for connections and stopovers on these awards, which offers insight into a problem some folks have had getting their itineraries approved.

You’re permitted one stopover on an award. Yes, a stopover is permitted even on a purely domestic U.S. award ticket!

A stopover is considered anything more than 4 hours. So if your connection in, say, Seattle is 5 hours then that is a stopover. If you overnight in Seattle both directions that isn’t allowed because it’s considered two stopovers.

So one connection (or stopover) greater than 4 hours is ok, and won’t increase the cost of your award ticket. Two connections greater than 4 hours is not permitted without paying additional miles for a second award ticket.

This remains arguably the travel deal of the year so far. And it is not an error or a glitch, it’s a favorable award chart using Icelandair miles on Alaska Airlines, a generous and instant mileage purchase program made even more valuable by the strength of the US dollar relative to the Icelandic Krona, and a short-term bonus on purchased (and transferred) miles which makes it even better.

Definitely read the full details where I explain how to take advantage of this amazing offer.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. @Gene why? It’s about the best deal out there and it isn’t a mistake. Icelandair is well aware of it, folks have been communicating with the program’s management on it already. Cat is totally out of the bag. Completely public deal.

  2. This is a great deal!!

    A few questions… Are you allowed to put an award reservation on hold for a certain amount of time before ticketing it? Iceland allows you to change their Business class award tickets for free, does this also apply to Alaska First Class tickets? Can you ticket a one-way itinerary (paying the roundtrip cost) and later pay the change fee (if applicable) to make it a roundtrip?

    Thanks!!

  3. Agree. Jared is in contact, emailing directly, with the head of their Saga FF program. She said she was grateful for the publicity. They are getting a huge revenue boost with the purchase of miles, a ton of publicity, and a lot of direct traffic to their website. The only issue is that their phone agents just might lose it, so hopefully management is doing something to help them out!

  4. Gary. Now that we know the rules, do you recommend we do anything different to find an awards from east coast (nyc)

    I have spent countless hours looking through expertflyer and AS website to no avail

  5. Grr, and I still haven’t been able to join Saga Club! Error from the website, no reply (except an auto-reply) when I follow their directions and send an email.

  6. @Chaim – from the Midwest there’s usually availability. From the West Coast for sure. But from say DC and New York and Philly you often won’t find any first class award space. You may have to fly cross country in coach (“W”) or buy a ticket to a gateway city like Chicago or Minneapolis.

  7. I am sure I missed this somewhere but I tried to get a saga acct on Thursday and still have not received an email. I called and they told me to wait 10 days then call. Is there a faster way?

  8. Same here, still no account. And when I call the customer service number, it hangs up on me… I hate being left out of the fun

  9. Tried to sign up for an account Thursday night. Received an error message. Emailed them Friday with my info and received an auto-reply. This morning my account was set up. I highly recommend emailing them at icc@icelandair.is if you get the technical error to get the ball rolling on your enrollment.

  10. I was in the same boat with no account. I signed up on Friday, but didn’t get the account number until Monday. They are swamped over there. I signed up with 3 different browsers, 4 family members, called and emailed, but to no avail. It just showed up Monday AM bright and early and now I am looking for award availabity!(not much left for holidays out of SEA), but I am hoping to find something good!

  11. I’ve watched the inventory dwindle in the past few days to almost nothing for the next year. Especially because one friend did this eight times

  12. Relative newbie here – slightly frightened by Mr. Peters comment. I was planning on purchasing coach tickets from SEA->HNL and KOA->SEA for next May anyway, using the Alaska Air companion ticket. That in itself is a great deal. This is more intriguing … First Class! Trying to wait on my wife’s Sapphire card, but maybe I shouldn’t!!??

    The bigger question. I can find the 2 NS flights I want looking up on the Alaska site. They want 65k Alaska miles for this flight purchased directly, but that’s in coach! Does this have any bearing on the Saga Club miles required?

    There are 2 questions in there, left slightly open. Any information would be appreciated!

  13. knight: the Saga club rates only apply to supersaver award rates in coach or first. Won’t work at all for any other fare buckets, no matter how many miles you have

  14. @John Peters: Ah, well there goes that idea then. Back to using the companion ticket … I’d rather fly my selected non-stops in coach than multiple connects in first. Thanks for explaining this …

  15. I was pretty excited about this deal but did not rush into it. After proper planning pulled the trigger, bought and transferred points to get the max benefit and also made sure 4 First class seats were available on all the flights before completing the purchase. However, when I received the e-ticket today I noticed that I had been charged 20250 KR per ticket which comes out to $170 per ticket. I was under the impression that Iceland air’s taxes and fees were pretty nominal. Alaska air website only shows $10 in taxes and fees. What kind of taxes are others see on their ticket. I can also see a breakup of fees in the ticket and it shows 2020 US, 9950US and 8280XT. The first 2 values do match up with taxes shown on ITA website but XT does not. Looking to compare to others before calling Iceland Air.

  16. If you are going to Mexico, those taxes sound about right. That is about how much I paid. Going to Hawaii it was less, about $68. Part of the taxes is a $40 fuel surcharge. Part of it is the Mexico tax. I thought the taxes were a lot as well, but am not complaining because the value I am receiving is so high.

    If you do call, please let us know what you find out.

  17. I am flying to Alaska and not Mexico. I also posted on online travel review site as well and there are some good comments there that leads me to believe there is indeed a mistake that they are fixing on their own but if not reversed i will definitely call and let everybody know the outcome

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