Although there have not been any changes announced (yet…) for Alaska Airlines’ partner award charts, they announced today some devaluations to their own award chart. This is an interesting converse to United’s decision to greatly increase its partner award charts while imposing modest changes on its own flights. But again, we don’t know yet if changes are coming to Alaska’s partner charts.
Not all of these changes are bad. I’m sitting next to Wandering Aramean as I write this, and he pointed out that one of the awards actually is going down. In addition, many of the changes are to their refundable awards. Changes go into effect January 14, 2014, though you’ll soon see why I don’t really mind the short notice.
NOTE: If you’re unfamiliar with Alaska’s award chart, awards are typically listed as something like Coach and Refundable Coach. The latter can be changed or cancelled with no penalty and have no restrictions on availability. The former do have restrictions and may come in two different award levels — a cheaper award with less availability and a middle level award with more availability. This is why you might see award levels separated by a slash.
Changes are being made to Alaska’s own flights within the continental U.S., Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico. Intra-state awards are not changing at this time. Partner awards are not changing at this time.
Continental U.S. and Canada — 5K to 10K increase round-trip
Hawaii — 5K to 10K increase round-trip
Mexico — 5K increase round-trip
Look carefully and you will see that in all cases, the cheapest coach award tickets are not changing. All increases are being made to refundable coach and first class awards or discounted first class awards. Some middle-tier coach awards that are still discounted but have slightly better availability are going up, but only for Hawaii, and the most heavily discounted coach awards are staying the same. Discounted first class awards to Mexico are actually going down by 5,000 miles round-trip.
I think this probably wins the award for this year’s most mild devaluation. Now we just have to wait and see what happens to partner awards like Emirates, American, and Delta.