Yesterday I wrote about Alaska’s Cyber Monday Sale, which is one of the better fare sales I’ve seen in a while. I’ve just completed an utterly crazy mileage run to Brazil, and with that I’m now an MVP Gold 75K with Alaska. Obviously I’d like to requalify (assuming I stay on the west coast), so I’m starting to look at ways to leverage the Cyber Monday sale to get a head start on 2014 flying.
One potentially lucrative opportunity is to combine the Cyber Monday sale with Alaska’s double miles promotion (both elite qualifying and redeemable), which they’re offering in several markets through May 31, 2014. That promotion is obviously to compete with Delta’s huge expansion and double miles promotion that they’re also offering out of Seattle.
So in looking at fares, Alaska is charging $137.80 for roundtrip travel between Seattle and Los Angeles for many dates during the promotion period. You can potentially do two roundtrips in a day.
Each $137.80 roundtrip would net you 3,816 elite qualifying and redeemable miles. If you’re an MVP Gold or above you earn a 100% bonus on redeemable base miles, for a total of 3,816 elite qualifying miles and 5,724 redeemable miles per roundtrip. That means you can potentially earn 7,632 elite qualifying miles and 11,448 redeemable miles for a $275.60 roundtrip. As an MVP Gold that comes out to 3.6 cents per elite qualifying mile and 2.4 cents per redeemable mile.
The alternative would be to fly something like Seattle to Philadelphia roundtrip in a day, where you can net 4,741 elite qualifying miles and 9,481 redeemable miles for $197.80. That comes out to 4.2 cents per elite qualifying miles and 2.1 cents per redeemable miles.
It’s interesting because due to the double miles promotion to Los Angeles you’re getting a better deal to Los Angeles on a cent per elite qualifying mile basis, while you’re getting a better deal to Philadelphia on a cent per redeemable mile basis.
That being said, I’d probably still go with the two roundtrips to Los Angeles in a day, since you’re ultimately knocking out more than 1.5x as many elite qualifying miles in a day. The beauty of being an MVP Gold is that you can lock in some trips speculatively, and if you decide not to take them you can deposit the value of the tickets into your Alaska “wallet.”
Which mileage run would you take? Anyone else plan on using the Cyber Monday Sale to take advantage of the double miles promotion?