Last week Tiffany wrote about how Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of miles through October 6, 2015.
That’s an exciting promotion, given that it’s a great way to buy miles for discounted premium cabin awards on Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qantas, etc. That’s especially true since there’s no cap on how many miles you can buy, so it’s a great way to build a mileage balance from “scratch.”
But that’s not the only promotion that Alaska Mileage Plan is offering at the moment. Alaska Mileage Plan is also offering a fall award sale, whereby awards start at just 5,000 miles one-way.
The promotion is valid for economy class travel on Alaska in select markets, so this isn’t valid on partner airlines. Admittedly those aren’t the most aspirational Alaska awards, though they sure can be practical.
To take advantage of this sale, you have to make a booking by September 13, 2015, for travel between September 9 and December 16, 2015. Blackout dates of November 20 through December 1, 2015, apply.
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. Out of Seattle they’re offering discounted awards to about 40 markets, ranging anywhere from 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles one-way.
For example, out of Seattle they’re offering one-way awards to San Francisco for 5,000 miles, or one-way awards to Los Angeles for 7,500 miles. Availability is generally excellent, so this isn’t some sort of a gimmick promotion.
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 next weekend.
Meanwhile the cost of a revenue ticket would be ~$229.
Generally my favorite way to redeem miles for travel on Alaska Airlines is using British Airways Avios, given that they have a distance based award chart. That means that:
- A one-way economy award of 0-650 miles costs 4,500 Avios
- A one-way economy award of 651-1,151 miles costs 7,500 Avios
- A one-way economy award of 1,152-2,000 miles costs 10,000 Avios
So in many cases this Alaska fare sale brings the prices nicely in line with what British Airways would charge for a similar award.
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 some cases the award rates here are even better than what British Airways charges.
Do you plan on taking advantage of Alaska’s award sale?