Alaska Mileage Plan Outage Through August 18, 2014

In terms of things that make you go “seriously?!” Alaska’s Mileage Plan frequent flyer program is down for four days, through August 18, 2014.

Via a notice posted on Alaska’s website:

Scheduled Mileage Plan™ Outage: August 14-18, 2014

The Mileage Plan™ system is undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be unavailable through August 18, 2014. During this period, Mileage Plan™ members will be unable to access their Mileage Plan™ accounts either online or via Reservations/Customer Care, and have limited access to their My Account profiles.

During the outage, Mileage Plan™ numbers can only be added to a reservation during Web or Mobile Check-In or at an Airport Check-In Kiosk.

Please expect a delay in the posting of miles or Elite Status earned during the week surrounding the outage.

Thank you for your patience. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

During the outage, Mileage Plan™ members will be able to:

  • Sign in to their My Account profiles at
  • View and use My Wallet funds
  • View My Trips
  • Add Mileage Plan™ numbers to reservations
  • Utilize Complimentary Upgrades
  • View and use most Discount Codes

During the outage, Mileage Plan™ members will not be able to:

  • View current Mileage Plan™ balance
  • View current account activity
  • Redeem miles for awards or upgrades
  • Change an existing award reservation
  • Request Complimentary Gold Guest Upgrades
  • Enroll in or renew Board Room memberships
  • Update personal information in My Account
  • Request mileage credit
  • Register for Double Miles promotions

I’m not an IT expert, but seriously? In 2014 a frequent flyer program just shuts their doors for four days for an outage?

Anyone care to chime in as to what would cause something like this?

(Tip of the hat to Steve)


  1. A complete system upgrade and its thorough testing with a team that wants to work only 8-5 on business days… that can explain it 🙂

  2. I’m watching for BA space to open and to change a flight….really hope it doesn’t happen during this outage.

  3. The bright sight of the story might be that there is no outsourcing in this case available:) just an 8-hour shift central time 🙂

  4. Well, im an IT specialist and manage and managed large migration projects but this i never heard of. It is unacceptable. Someone should take them to court It is like ur bank saying you cant get to your money for four days because we are migrating our system. Wtf

  5. What’s frustrating is they didn’t send out or post any advance warning….unless I missed it somehow. Went to log in to my account this morning and got the outage message.

  6. It’s the Scotty Effect… if you tell people it’ll last 4 days and it only lasts 2 or 3, they’ll be surprised and impressed. If you tell people it’ll only last 1 day and it lasts 2 or 3, there will be pitchforks.

  7. Lucky,

    I still find a lot useful and interesting on your blog, but some of the recent ‘issues’ you have had are really far too sensitive. Like the Radisson Blu thing, as if 10 minutes on Tripadvisor would not have highlighted the particular property’s condition, another 30 seconds on Google explained the water smell, and for someone of your travel experience, that there is significant variability in service and physical plant among any program’s top brands including St Regis Ritz Four Seasons, except perhaps at Park Hyatts.

    As far as this particular outage, Alaska sent 2 or 3 emails over the last couple of months highlighting this outage and encouraging members to plan for it. Other programs have made changes that led to weeks of issues without much outrage on your part, like AA’s ventana change.

  8. @ Jig — I never received such an email about the outage. And I can’t think of any other program which literally shut down everything for days.

    As far as the water smell, it was actually specific to the Radisson Blu. Yes, all the water here has a bit of a smell, but there was a HUGE difference between the water smell at the Radisson Blu and the Hilton.

  9. If they actually come up clean after 4 days, I’d say that’s preferable to what AA did with Ventana. (I.e. total outages relatively brief but general chaos lasting for months.) So let’s see how they do.

  10. I dont care if they sent out thousands if emails warning about this. It is unacceptable. Do they break any laws? I dont know im not an atterney. Im a system (like this and larger) migrator. I never heard of bringing a customer facing environment down for days. May be an hour or couple hours to switch from old to new. There are age old methodologies to run old and new environments in paralell and switch users from old to new. They acting like this is some type cheap garage software that is used by two people. We switch nationwide patient facing healthcare systems from old to new, nationwide customer facing banking system from old to new with few hours downtime. What im reading from @lucky is absurd and unacceptable.

  11. @Endre – So you say someone should take them to court, and then admit you don’t know whether or not they broke any law? OK, then.

  12. @Lucky – The notification was embedded in their Alaska Airlines Insider email that went out Aug 12. I do not recall seeing it in previous iterations of this email.

    “A Quick Reminder:
    Mileage Plan System Outage
    Don’t forget, the system that powers our Mileage Plan will be down for maintenance August 14-18. Plan ahead and book award travel now to make sure you have all your travel needs met — when you need them.”

  13. @ Richard — I guess I’m not subscribed to receive promotional emails from Alaska, because I didn’t get that. That being said I don’t think a major thing like this belongs in a promotional email, but in a separate email which goes out to all members.

  14. @Lucky – I totally agree! I don’t read the promo emails usually and only knew the notification was there because I went searching my email trash after reading jig’s email.

    I have begun to wonder if this has any bearing on my partner miles from AA/US Air not posting from my flight Aug 1.

  15. I was hanging out in Seoul the past few days and arrived at ICN yesterday supper excited to fly Korean Business to DPS on AS award ticket. Upon check-in I discovered I mistakenly book next Monday. The KE staff could not make the change. I called the AS Gold desk and was told that the system was down.

    Yeah, I made a mistake booking, but my lifestyle includes frequently booking AS award travel in Asia at the last minute. I think it’s absolutely crazy that I cannot book any award travel for days AND that they could not help me at all this afternoon.

    So, in the end I bought a one way ticket to DPS 45 minutes prior to departure.

    I’ve been gold with AS for many years. I’ve never written a letter of complaint. Should this issue be my first?

  16. @ JimmyJoe — Totally up to you. Might be worth some general feedback to them to say that it’s ridiculous a system would be down for four days in this day and age, and that it wasn’t well communicated. I doubt you’ll get very far with them, but it certainly can’t hurt.

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