Alaska Airlines upgrade certificates go electronic (plus fare class restrictions)

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold members currently receive four paper upgrade certificates per year which can be applied to any fare.

Well, as of the next elite year, MVP Gold members will receive four electronic upgrade certificates in place of the paper ones. There’s no doubt that’s easier and the old system was abused pretty heavily, though here’s the real kicker — they’ve added fare class restrictions. Previously any revenue fares could be upgraded, while now “G” and “T” class fares are excluded, which are the lowest fare classes.

Furthermore, all current paper upgrade certificates have to be redeemed by December 31, 2011.

That’s gotta sting at least a little bit…


  1. Lots of people whine about paper ANYTHING when it comes to airlines. Upgrades, bump vouchers, etc.

    But the reality is, the human element involved in redeeming paper often has some…. benefits.

  2. Too bad I missed out on the “features” of the AS paper upgrades. Oh well, I’ve done pretty well on other “features”. 😉

  3. It is virtually impossible to find out what fare class you are purchasing on the website. There doesn’t seem to be any way to see your fare class when purchasing – nor does it seem to be shown on the receipt they send you. I assume they aren’t going to require as high a fare class as currently for instant upgrades (which would make these certificates pretty useless for Golds) so they will have to add another option to bookings?

    The paper certificates were great – except for the fact that you couldn’t print your boarding pass in advance. And it sure seemed like DL and CO and other airline employees didn’t know to ask for them…

  4. How did people abuse the paper certs?

    One nice feature I am still enjoying (unlike SWUs) is the long expiration date. So I am using them to fly F this year even though my MVP-G status expired last year. Now that’s a soft landing…

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