Is Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Old Jan 26, 14, 11:47 am
  #1  
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Is Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Been shopping around a lot recently for flights out of Seattle. Longtime loyalty member with Alaska but very disappointed recently. Most of the searches I've done lately have put other airlines ahead of Alaska on both price and flight duration.

Anybody else notice this or is it just me, my dates, and destination.

Honestly considering switching loyalty programs.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 12:42 pm
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Wished I lived in SEA where I had nonstops to most destinations.

OP, when are you buying your tickets?

My impression is that AS is competitive in low cost fare buckets, but when those fares are sold, they're sold --- and only the higher buckets are available to buy.

If you're traveling from SEA to cities that are part of the DEQM promotion, I would suspect that a lot of the low fare buckets were purchased a while ago.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 12:46 pm
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I've been thinking the same thing - that prices have gone up a lot. Specifically, prices for flights 2-3 weeks out to many destinations (DEN, LAX, LAS, PHX, FLL, PHL, SLC) seem really high. There are exceptions such as MSP which I purchased a next day flight last Thursday for $140. Delta was condiderably more and full whereas AS was empty both ways (going there Friday morning and returning Saturday evening).
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Old Jan 26, 14, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by erika33 View Post
Been shopping around a lot recently for flights out of Seattle. Longtime loyalty member with Alaska but very disappointed recently. Most of the searches I've done lately have put other airlines ahead of Alaska on both price and flight duration.

Anybody else notice this or is it just me, my dates, and destination.

Honestly considering switching loyalty programs.
(Almost) every airline matches every other airline's fares in most fare buckets. How many are available in any fare bucket will vary, and how fast they sell will vary. So you may find that at some point, the other airline will end up costing the same or more. As AS generally has smaller aircraft (although the new 739s hold quite a number of pax), there aren't as many seats in the lower fare buckets. Also, when AS has one or two flights a day to XXX, but DL (bite my tongue) may have several via ATL or SLC, or AA via ORD or DFW, there are just that many more seats that may be available at the lower fare buckets.

Often, when people think the grass is greener elsewhere, they learn that the grass is actually dead over there.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 1:41 pm
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AS is expensive?

No kidding
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Old Jan 26, 14, 1:45 pm
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Other airlines are beating Alaska on "flight duration"? This doesn't make sense to me. Most jet aircraft fly about the same speed.

If anything, Alaska often has the best schedules out of Seattle, including more frequent departures and nonstop flights. Fares are not always the cheapest, but for those not looking for a mileage run, they are usually fair given these other benefits.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Scottrick View Post
Other airlines are beating Alaska on "flight duration"? This doesn't make sense to me. Most jet aircraft fly about the same speed.

If anything, Alaska often has the best schedules out of Seattle, including more frequent departures and nonstop flights. Fares are not always the cheapest, but for those not looking for a mileage run, they are usually fair given these other benefits.
Im usually willing to pay AS a smidge more(not 100s and 100s more) than use somebody else due to the fact that AS staff at the airport and on the a/c still actually have better customer friendly service and still treat passengers with respect rather than as a number. You wont find the same courtesy on AA. And people can rebuke and say 'well its the rude passengers that cause this" In some cases yes but in my experience even when people are being nice on some one else such as AA, the FAs are quite snippy. Ive seen some AS FA's put up with a lot(way more than I would tolerate) from passengers but for the most part they stay professional and dont let their frustration be shown to the other 130 people on board or take it out on the other 130 people on board. I see it now and then such as a trip to OGG where one FA was a big sass the whole trip but later was also crying in the galley so I figure there were some problems going on at home causing the attitude problem. On AA Id say its maybe 50/50 courtesy.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 4:20 pm
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I noticed the same thing recently when trying to book SEA-OGG. Seemed pretty consistent that direct flights over the next few months were substantially cheaper on HA. On AS, the only way to get something close to the HA price was to include a stop. (Let's ignore the fact that the HA website won't let me actually complete a purchase...)

For my last few trips (mostly <2hr flights), AS has been ~$20 more expensive each way than the competition. For me, the great baggage service alone makes AS worth the few extra bucks.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by OverThereTooMuch View Post
I noticed the same thing recently when trying to book SEA-OGG. Seemed pretty consistent that direct flights over the next few months were substantially cheaper on HA. On AS, the only way to get something close to the HA price was to include a stop. (Let's ignore the fact that the HA website won't let me actually complete a purchase...)

For my last few trips (mostly <2hr flights), AS has been ~$20 more expensive each way than the competition. For me, the great baggage service alone makes AS worth the few extra bucks.
AS is probably betting that they can command a premium on their nonstop flights to OGG with their large FF base in SEA. For a MVPG, flying HA means losing out on roughly 10,000 RDM's. That's a decent chunk of mileage to skip out on.
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Old Jan 26, 14, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
AS is probably betting that they can command a premium on their nonstop flights to OGG with their large FF base in SEA. For a MVPG, flying HA means losing out on roughly 10,000 RDM's. That's a decent chunk of mileage to skip out on.
Id certainly pay more to fly non stop to pretty much anywhere on AS if given the opportunity. How much I would pay would depend how much more it costs and how much time Im trying to save. I think most people would also, even if they arent elites unless they are like the show "extreme cheapskates" I know a few people like that who would book a one way that takes 23hrs and 17mins if it was $25 cheaper than a nonstop that took 6hrs and 8mins
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Old Jan 26, 14, 11:28 pm
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Getting more expensive? Try flying to, from or within the state of Alaska. Until you've flown in 31E on a red eye for $685 one way ANC-SEA you don't know expensive.
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Old Jan 27, 14, 12:06 pm
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AS is a lot more for me out of SMF/RNO to the places I regularly go (FLL, PHL, EWR, and STL)...sometimes 50-100% more. I willingly left UA knowing that I would be paying more (with the intent of also flying less, but flying better).

Granted 80-90% of my flying will be on DL/AA...I'm willing to pony up more to fly AS when it's feasible from a scheduling standpoint.
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Old Jan 27, 14, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by LuckyDenver
Getting more expensive? Try flying to, from or within the state of Alaska. Until you've flown in 31E on a red eye for $685 one way ANC-SEA you don't know expensive.
^
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Old Jan 27, 14, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by LuckyDenver View Post
Getting more expensive? Try flying to, from or within the state of Alaska. Until you've flown in 31E on a red eye for $685 one way ANC-SEA you don't know expensive.
WOW! I agree but when was this? First class is cheaper than that
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Old Jan 27, 14, 2:48 pm
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lol...getting? As you can see, the responses from Alaskans speak for themselves.

IME, AS is often (though not always) competitive if you're looking for tickets 4-6 weeks + in advance. Within 4 weeks, AS is rarely competitive with UA and DL. Because of this, the majority of my work and personal travel (ex ANC) went to DL last year. I have some flexibility with work travel - based on schedule, time, etc. But usually cannot justify paying double to prefer AS. For personal travel, same story. All of this is compounded by my dwindling upgrade percentage as MVPG - en route ANC - SEA - LAX at the moment. As Gold, I'm not in the top five on either upgrade list...so the benefits don't justify the premium either. Some would argue that the service is worth a premium - they must be flying both a different AS and a different DL than I am.

Still happy with MP, however, but I believe this is 4 years running where more of my business goes to DL, for a variety of reasons, but the topic of this thread being #1.
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