Not only is Alaska Airlines offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles through October 14, 2014, but Alaska is also running an award sale for economy travel at the moment.
The promotion is valid for economy class travel on Alaska in select markets — admittedly that’s not the most aspirational use of Alaska miles compared to Cathay Pacific or Emirates first class — but it can represent an outstanding value.
To take advantage of this sale, you must book a ticket for travel between August 30 and October 31, 2014.
The sale is sorted by market, so go to the Alaska promotion page and then select the market you’re flying from to see what they have on offer.
For example, out of Seattle they’re offering awards to Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose for just 5,000 miles each way, which is a heck of a deal, and even cheaper than booking using British Airways Avios. And those are only a few of the offers.
Meanwhile out of San Diego they’re charging just 5,000 miles each way to Salt Lake City. There are transcon options to Boston and Orlando for 10,000 miles each way, which is also cheaper than redeeming British Airways Avios.
Keep in mind that Alaska doesn’t charge close-in award ticketing fees, so this can be an especially good value for last minute tickets which would otherwise be quite pricey.
For example, you can redeem 5,000 Alaska miles for one-way travel between Seattle and San Francisco this weekend.
Meanwhile the cost of a revenue ticket would be ~$235.
This isn’t the most aspirational way to redeem Alaska miles, but in many cases it’s incredibly practical. I’ve redeemed British Airways Avios for travel on Alaska well over a dozen times, as it was great for quick weekend getaways when I lived in Seattle. In many cases the award rates here are even better than what British Airways charges.
(Tip of the hat to Mac)