Several weeks ago Alaska announced that they were introducing some new discounted distance based awards. Specifically, there are discounted awards available if flying a distance of less than 700 miles, a distance of 701 to 1,400 miles or a distance of 1,401 to 2,100 miles.
As I explained at the time, this presented some incredible opportunities to book one-way awards for 5,000 miles including a stopover.
While not directly related to this type of award, there are certainly other opportunities to take advantage of discounted distance based awards. Per The Points Guy:
- When flying on Alaska flights, Mileage Plan prices the cost of these distance based awards based on the origin and destination, and not based on the intermediate points
- When flying on partner airlines, Mileage Plan prices open jaw tickets as one-ways based on the origin and destination, assuming all travel is in one day
These types of awards won’t always price ideally, but they sometimes will.
To give an example, for 7,500 miles in economy or 15,000 miles in first class you could fly same day from Los Angeles to New York to San Francisco on Virgin America.
Now, admittedly most people probably don’t want to fly roundtrip to New York and back the same day, though I’m guessing that’s not how many people would intend to use this (unless they really want to try Virgin America’s first class product, in which case it could be fun).
This opportunity with the Alaska booking engine has been around for a long time, and personally I wouldn’t have written about it, because I think this will now be shut down. However, that’s happening either way now that The Points Guy has written about, so as many people as possible might as well take advantage of this great opportunity while it’s still available…
My general philosophy with these deals is to always maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and at this point I think writing about it is the right thing to do.
So I’d recommend playing around with the Alaska website for award bookings and seeing what’s available. Like I said, there are some fantastic opportunities to be had, both on Alaska Airlines and partner flights. I doubt they’ll last.