Alaska Airlines is celebrating the spirit of the holidays by giving Alaska Airline’s Mileage Plan members more mile earning opportunities. Starting January 1, 2015 Alaska Airlines will increase the bonus miles members earn when flying Alaska Airlines in First class and in the higher priced economy class fare buckets. In addition to earning more bonus miles based on fare class, Alaska Airlines is also awarding their most loyal customers, MVP 75k, with an increase bonus of base miles, increasing from 100% bonus to 125%.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015
F (first class)
P (nonrefundable first class)
Y (refundable coach)
S (nonrefundable coach)
B (nonrefundable coach)
M (nonrefundable coach)
Elite Member – MVP Gold 75K
For those of you who may be confused by this enhancement, you have to understand how the airline fare class systems actually works. Fare classes are based on the cabin and dictate price, rules, and seats availability. For example, Alaska Airlines offers the following fare classes: F, P, Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, K, G, T, R, and U. “F” and “P” are both fare classes used for First class, ”F” being the most flexible, and full fare, while “P” is nonrefundable and not flexible. For economy class, the fare class range is much wider and range from Y—full fare, changeable/refundable, to the lowest fare class which is the most restrictive, non-refundable, and cheapest/discounted–usually found on 3rd party sites such as Orbitz. For most travelers this doesn’t matter, as what matters to most people is that ALL fare classes earn miles (except for award tickets), but some of the more expensive fare classes come with extra perks, like bonus miles or instant upgrades. These being the full fare tickets, and those tickets that are nearly full fare/walk up pricing: Y, S, B, & M
So what does this really mean for you
If you are a business traveler, or an individual who tends to buy the most expensive tickets (refundable or last minute/walkup fares) or Business /First class tickets, you will be rewarded with more miles next year. The most expensive fare class will see an increase in bonus miles awarded (Base + Bonus) whereas all other fare classes will continue to earn the 100% miles + applicable bonus based on status.
Overall this is great news for travelers as Alaska Airlines is actually enhancing their frequent flyer program instead of devaluing it like Delta and United. In the press release, Caroline Boren, Alaska’s managing director of loyalty marketing and customer care hinted that Alaska Airlines has no plan to move to a revenue based program like it’s biggest competitor Delta, “As other airlines move to revenue-based programs that have the potential of diluting the rewards earned for the average passenger, we are continuing to offer our same great mileage-based plan while increasing bonuses for customers who purchase our more flexible fares….Our customers tell us ours is the best loyalty program in the business and we plan to keep it that way.”
Overall this is a BIG win for Alaska flyers and just one more reason if you live on the West Coast why you should be flying Alaska over Delta! Thank you Alaska for giving me one more reason to say #iFlyAlaska