Alaska

New 40% Bonus On Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

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Through April 6, 2017, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles.

Sometimes Alaska offers several mystery targeted offers, where different accounts are targeted for different bonuses. This promo seems to be the same for everyone, and the more miles you purchase the higher your bonus percentage.

• Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% bonus
• Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles = 30% bonus
• Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles = 40% bonus

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Last Chance: Buy Alaska Miles With A 40% Bonus

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For the past several weeks, Alaska Mileage Plan has been offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles. Given how valuable Mileage Plan miles are, this represented a great opportunity to pick them up for just a bit over two cents each. If you’ve been holding off on taking advantage of this offer, note that it expires tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

This promotion does seem to be targeted, however, so not all accounts will be eligible for the offer.

As a reminder, with this promotion you receive a 40% mileage bonus when you buy at least 15,000 miles in one transaction. To recap all the other important details of buying Alaska miles:

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What’s Alaska Airlines First Class Like?

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This past weekend I flew Alaska Airlines first class roundtrip from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, and wanted to report back on the experience. This isn’t a full trip report about the two flights, but rather just a reflection on Alaska’s overall first class product.

Back in the day when I lived in the Pacific Northwest I flew Alaska all the time, though it has been a while since I’ve flown with them. So I figured I’d share my overall impression of the Alaska first class experience.

Alaska’s 737-900 aircraft feature 16 first class seats.

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Woman Kicked Off Alaska Flight For Going On Anti-Trump Rant

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A Facebook video is going viral of a lady who was kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight from Baltimore to Seattle this past Saturday. Here’s how the guy who sat next to her (a Trump supporter, who was being attacked) describes the event on Facebook:

“Just had the craziest experience ever on an airplane:

I’m boarding my flight from Baltimore to Seattle and approach my seat. I had an upgraded seat that I paid a little extra for because of the long 6 hour flight. As I approach my row I smile and motion to the husband and wife sitting in the aisle and middle seat that Imy seat was next to the window. I put my backpack in the overhead and the wife with a very stern voice says to me:”

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Great Business Class Fares To China On Hainan!

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Last January Hainan Airlines began twice weekly flights between Los Angeles and Changsha, which is an interesting new route. They had some incredible ~$1,350 roundtrip business class introductory fares when the route first launched, which represented an incredible deal, especially since the tickets came with chauffeur service on both ends of the trip.

So I flew Hainan from Los Angeles and Changsha and Changsha to Los Angeles, and really enjoyed my flights on them. In spite of the mediocre hard product, the soft product was excellent, among the best offered on any Chinese carrier (perhaps along with Xiamen Air).

The icing on the cake with these great Hainan fares is that they’re an Alaska Mileage Plan partner, and “R” fares (which is what these tickets book into) earn 200% elite qualifying and redeemable miles. That means the roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Changsha earned about 28,000 elite qualifying miles.

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Today Only: Earn 15 Alaska Miles Per Dollar Spent At Select Retailers

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Online shopping portals can be a great way to pick up additional miles & points for purchases you’d make anyway. Just for following a specific link you can earn bonus points in addition to the ones you’d earn anyway for credit card spend.

Sometimes it gets even better than that, as shopping portals have promotions with even better bonuses than usual. Well, there’s one such promotion now.

Through 11:59PM ET today, Friday, January 20, 2017, you can earn 15 bonus Alaska miles per dollar spent at select retailers.

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Roundtrip Transcon Virgin America First Class Tickets For 15,000 Miles

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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.

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Why You SHOULDN’T Convert Your Virgin America Points Into Alaska Miles

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As of earlier this week it’s possible to convert Virgin America Elevate points into Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 1:1.3 ratio. This follows Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America closing about a month ago. Points convert almost instantly, though the catch is that conversions are one-way — you can convert Virgin America Elevate points into Alaska Mileage Plan miles, but can’t convert Alaska miles into Virgin America points.

I’ve seen a countless number of comments from readers who feel screwed by this deal, though. Take this comment, for example:

“This is a bait and switch scam if you are Virgin Elevate Member. I converted my points today thinking I was getting a 30% bump for it, which I did when the points were converted to miles. However the devil is in the details. When I later checked out a flight I was looking at, I noticed this is where the scam is.”

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You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles On Virgin America

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It’s a big day for Alaska Mileage Plan and Virgin America Elevate, as it’s now possible to convert your Virgin America Elevate points into Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 1:1.3 ratio (though a transfer in the other direction isn’t possible).

However, that’s not the only new development today.

It’s now also possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Virgin America. This is an interesting opportunity, given that Virgin America Elevate is a revenue based program, meaning the number of points required for a redemption is based on how much a ticket would cost. Meanwhile Alaska Mileage Plan is a traditional program, meaning award availability comes at fixed costs.

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Almost Everyone Should Receive 10,000 Free Alaska Miles!

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Earlier I wrote about how Alaska seems to be awarding certain people with 10,000 free miles. When the miles were posted to accounts, the description read “SPECIAL SERVICES ELEVATE MEMBER OTO 10K BONUS.”

So it seems pretty clear that this is linked to Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America. Furthermore, the timing makes sense, given that you can now transfer your Virgin America points to Alaska Mileage Plan (though you may not want to, since as of now the transfers are one-way, as you can’t transfer from Alaska to Virgin America).

The problem with the 10,000 mile bonus is that we couldn’t actually figure out based on what criteria they were awarding the bonus. It seemed entirely random, and obviously it left a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths when they didn’t get the bonus, and others did. While I don’t share that sentiment (even though I didn’t get the bonus), nowadays airlines should expect just about all information will be shared due to the internet.

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You Can Now Transfer Your Virgin America Points To Alaska Miles

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Last month Alaska and Virgin announced the next phase of their merger, with mileage conversion and status matching starting as of January 9th. Virgin America Elevate points will convert into Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 1:1.3 ratio. Per Alaska’s website:

“On January 9, 2017, we will invite you to enroll in Alaska’s award-winning Mileage Plan, enabling access to book award travel on Alaska Airlines and Alaska Global Partners network to over 900 worldwide destinations. Plus, you’ll receive more detail on how you can convert your Elevate points to Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a rate of 1.3 Mileage Plan miles per Elevate point. And for elite-level Elevate members, Alaska Mileage Plan will automatically match your elite status!”

The transfer functionality went live a few hours ago, so you can now convert points from Elevate to Mileage Plan.

To start, go to this page, which will prompt you for your Virgin America Elevate credentials:

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Did You Get 10,000 Free Alaska Miles?

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As of later today (January 9, 2017), it will be possible for Virgin America Elevate members to link their accounts and match their status to Alaska Mileage Plan. This follows Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America closing a few weeks ago. While we don’t yet know all the details of what the future combined loyalty program will look like (or the future combined airline, for that matter), this is certainly a step in the right direction.

However, leading up to this new linking opportunity, many Alaska Mileage Plan members are reporting 10,000 bonus miles appearing in their account with the description “SPECIAL SERVICES ELEVATE MEMBER OTO 10K BONUS.”

Unfortunately it’s not entirely clear what’s triggering this. It’s obviously somehow related to Virgin America Elevate based on the description, though beyond that it’s anyone’s guess.

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Alaska Airlines Introduces Free Inflight Messaging

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Alaska has just announced a very cool new permanent feature for customers (at least as of now it’s available through December 31, 2017). Effective immediately, Alaska will offer unlimited inflight messaging through Gogo wifi for all passengers. While you can continue to pay to use Gogo wifi, all customers can message for free through iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

You’ll be able to send messages and emojis, though can’t send pictures or videos. Obviously this only works in regions where Gogo wifi works, which excludes portion of flights to Mexico, Hawaii, Latin America, etc.

Per Alaska’s website, here’s how this new feature works:

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