Waiting (Im)patiently for the Return of Icelandair’s Alaska Airlines Redemptions

ChangeDetection.com is a really useful website, I use it to track changes to pages like US Airways Grand Slam (I kept hoping they’d bring it back, and would get an early heads up if they changed the page which hosted it).

I’ve also been using it to track if and when Alaska Airlines awards come back to Icelandair’s Saga Club program.

Back in August lots of folks were hitting Icelandair pretty hard with their partner redemptions on Alaska Airlines.

You could straight up buy miles and redeem them on Alaska for first class to Hawaii for about $350.

Icelandair was aware of the deal. Their award chart was very very good, 30,000 miles roundtrip in first class, and it was cheap to buy miles in part because of weakness in their country’s currency. And if that wasn’t enough they were even running a buy miles bonus.

But the redemption costs must have begun really hurting because they withdrew the deal by withdrawing all Alaska Airlines redemptions from the program itself even though Alaska remains a partner.

Since the partner relationship does exist, I’ve been assuming that at some point redemption options would return to the program. Best guess is that they will be much more expensive than they were in the past. But there’s been some non-zero chance that they wouldn’t be too expensive for them to be useful.

So I have ChangeDetection.com trawling the site, waiting to let me know when the details change again.

In the meantime, I like how straightforward and positive they are about the whole affair:

Icelandair Saga Club offered a special redemption offer with Alaska Airlines for all our members, which was widely and greatly received. Hundreds of bookings were made and a lot of new members signed up for the Program.

The offer is now temporary unavailable and we thank all of you for your interest in our Program.

Yes yes, it was ‘widely and greatly received’ and no doubt a lot of new members (who will likely never fly Icelandair) signed up for the program. Indeed, like the good old days of british midland, many will wonder whether Icelandair is just a frequent flyer program…?

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Hah meant to say ‘trawling’ .. have corrected. Though trolling may not actually be incorrect in context, eg skulking in the background and hovering about

  2. It sure would be nice to have some information – either way. Any thoughts on the imposed “cool off” period timeline? ie: a year, or?

  3. March 23-28 from San Diego to Honolulu in first class with my brother for spring break, thanks IcelandAir <3

  4. I’ll probably use my Icelandair miles for a sidetrip to that nation while I’m visiting continental Europe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.