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2017 Alaska Airlines *FLAME-FREE* Q&A thread: all welcome, new and old!

2017 Alaska Airlines *FLAME-FREE* Q&A thread: all welcome, new and old!

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Old Jan 17, 17, 11:11 pm   -   Wikipost
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Welcome to the Alaska Airlines Flame-Free Q&A Thread for 2017!

Anyone is welcome to ask anything, even the most basic questions, in this thread without having to fear a snarky response. In this thread, there's no such thing as a dumb question--we were all new to Alaska Airlines, FlyerTalk, and even the whole idea of mileage programs once and needed some help navigating the ropes. We're here to help you do just that!

That said, if you want to do a little reading to see if your question has been previously discussed, links to some of the most common and extensive topics in this forum are listed in our FAQ thread -- click here to check it out.

Special care will be given in this thread to trying to provide answers in a clear manner with minimal use of acronyms and jargon.

If you need to contact someone for help, here's a current list of our forum's team:

Ambassadors (Our Greeters--members who have specifically volunteered to welcome and mentor newbies and monitor this thread):
ANC RED-EYE
baliktad
beckoa
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Moderators (Our Janitors--members who have volunteered to do housekeeping/keep the forum in order)
ryandc99
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You are welcome to send a private message to any of these individuals for assistance, but you'll generally get a faster response and broader palette of answers if you simply post your inquiry here in this thread.

Note to FlyerTalk members who enjoy the ability to take advantage of loopholes--if someone posts something that exposes information you'd rather not be public, please remember this is a Flame-Free thread, and harsh or snarky posts are not permitted. Although FlyerTalk itself does not censor posts that share information, members are free to edit their own posts to remove information. If you wish to request any poster to remove information they have shared publicly, please do so politely and respectfully.

Welcome, and we look forward to providing any assistance we can!

~the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan forum team~

For the 2016 version of this thread, please click here
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Old Sep 1, 17, 10:47 am
  #1231  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: BOS/ORH
Programs: AS 75K
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Originally Posted by WillTravel4Food View Post
This is my first year with MP. I came in on a status match and quickly renewed to MVPG. My schedule should get me to 75K before the end of the year. The only thing I've been curious about is why it takes so long for miles to post to my account. My flight from last Friday, one week ago, still hasn't posted. It leaves me always wondering if it got lost in the mix. But now knowing how slow these things work with AS, they always do post. Does anybody know why AS takes so long to post? I'm just hoping the delay doesn't affect me when I make 75K.
Were they Alaska metal? Virgin and partners post on a different schedule and take longer than Alaska/horizon/skywest
CDKing is offline  
Old Sep 1, 17, 10:47 am
  #1232  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K, Marriott Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 1,316
Originally Posted by Baze View Post
In my about 1 year of flying AS I have observed that AS metal flights post in about 2-3 days, AA metal flights take about 4-5 days and VX metal flights take 2 weeks to post. This is with about 50+ segments of flights posting to my AS account.
I've experienced a range of 2-12 days with a median of about 4 or 5. This is after 25 segments this year, with segment #26 currently at 7 and counting.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:09 pm
  #1233  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Programs: N/A (kid =! no travel :( )
Posts: 236
Hoping this is a quick answer. I am looking to book for a friends wedding out in June/July 2018. We are looking to make it a west coast trip to see family as well so multi-city. I am currently MVP Gold but will have lost all status by the time we fly. When picking our flights, the return flight I am leaning towards currently has the premium class available at a reasonable price but I would prefer first considering it is a redeye. What I am trying to figure out is the use of my guest gold upgrades I have: should I book our 4 flights leaving the complementary upgrade slot selected and then come back to the reservation to apply the upgrades to myself and my wife for the redeye flight we want first on considering I wont have status at the time of the flight? The other flights we are fine with the premium class so it would only be the 1 flight I for sure want an upgrade on.

thanks
pattermj is offline  
Old Sep 2, 17, 1:54 pm
  #1234  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: California
Programs: VA Silver
Posts: 6
Hi, can you earn AS elite status by booking AS award flights?
dansyd is offline  
Old Sep 2, 17, 2:03 pm
  #1235  
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Originally Posted by dansyd View Post
Hi, can you earn AS elite status by booking AS award flights?
Unless some error causes a flight to post, awards do not earn points.
dansyd likes this.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 12:56 pm
  #1236  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Programs: N/A (kid =! no travel :( )
Posts: 236
Ok, sadly no luck on first question being answered, here is second and third. Why does Alaska offer the First Class Upgrade option when looking to book a ticket (for $50 more) and then it has the empty box F showing no first class is available? What is, if anything, the benefit of selecting this booking option? Can I use an MVP gold upgrade to still get the first class after booking?

thanks
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Old Sep 3, 17, 3:15 pm
  #1237  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: ʙᴏɴᴠo̱ʏ Pt, IHG Au, HH Dia, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred
Posts: 5,303
Originally Posted by pattermj View Post
Ok, sadly no luck on first question being answered, here is second and third. Why does Alaska offer the First Class Upgrade option when looking to book a ticket (for $50 more) and then it has the empty box F showing no first class is available? What is, if anything, the benefit of selecting this booking option? Can I use an MVP gold upgrade to still get the first class after booking?

thanks
Sometimes questions get overlooked, so if you don't get an answer within a reasonable amount of time, feel free to bump it!

The First Class Upgrade box is merely the lowest coach fare class required for the type of upgrade you've selected, it's not an upgrade in itself.

The first part of a First Class upgrade is the minimum fare class (K for a Gold Guest Upgrade (GGU), M on a instant upgrade). The second part is there needs to be U available to book into. This can be seen by either a white F in a blue box (U space available) or blue F in a white box (no U space available, no upgrade available at this time). U space is dependent on having actual F seats available so if F is sold out, there won't be U space and you won't be able to upgrade (*).

If U is unavailable at booking, you either have a more expensive ticket than otherwise, possibly a class of service bonus (if you purchased a Y, S, B, M coach fare), a chance to upgrade if U opens before your flight (instant upgrades and GGUs are handled differently here, GGUs can't be waitlisted) without needing to upfare then which could trigger a change fee for a non-Gold/75K companion, and higher upgrade priority within your elite level in the complimentary window and on the gate upgrade list.

For more see
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...ades-work.html
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...ntary-upgrades

(*) there seems to be some weirdness where AlaskaAir.com won't sell mixed F/coach fares with Skywest operated flights. Has anyone else seen this? Note that there's U space available on AS680 so there are F seats available. AS3389 is a OO operated CRJ with no F seats. Mixed fares appear for QX/AS combinations.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 3:29 pm
  #1238  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: ʙᴏɴᴠo̱ʏ Pt, IHG Au, HH Dia, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred
Posts: 5,303
Originally Posted by pattermj View Post
Hoping this is a quick answer. I am looking to book for a friends wedding out in June/July 2018. We are looking to make it a west coast trip to see family as well so multi-city. I am currently MVP Gold but will have lost all status by the time we fly. When picking our flights, the return flight I am leaning towards currently has the premium class available at a reasonable price but I would prefer first considering it is a redeye. What I am trying to figure out is the use of my guest gold upgrades I have: should I book our 4 flights leaving the complementary upgrade slot selected and then come back to the reservation to apply the upgrades to myself and my wife for the redeye flight we want first on considering I wont have status at the time of the flight? The other flights we are fine with the premium class so it would only be the 1 flight I for sure want an upgrade on.

thanks
If I'm understanding your question correctly, what you'd want to do is do a multi-city search and select Gold Guest upgrade for the upgrade type. Then on the flight selections, you can choose the lowest regular coach fare on the left side and only select the First Class upgrade box in the middle for the redeye that you want. Make sure U space is available- white F in blue box! You can either apply the GGU after purchase or go back into the reservation page later and apply it then.

Keep in mind that the same K fare minimum required to use a GGU is also the same fare class for instant Premium Class upgrades for a Gold. So if the difference between the regular coach fare and the First Class upgrade is less than the cost of the PC fee, you might as well buy the K fare directly.

You could also take a chance on waiting until the Premium Class complimentary window opens close to your flight if you're wanting to roll the dice. Even as an expired Gold, you should still remain on the waitlist for a Premium Class upgrade unless there's a schedule or reservation change after Jan 1 and of course seat selection may be more limited.
rustykettel is offline  
Old Sep 3, 17, 6:04 pm
  #1239  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Programs: N/A (kid =! no travel :( )
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
You could also take a chance on waiting until the Premium Class complimentary window opens close to your flight if you're wanting to roll the dice. Even as an expired Gold, you should still remain on the waitlist for a Premium Class upgrade unless there's a schedule or reservation change after Jan 1 and of course seat selection may be more limited.
Rusty, thanks for the information, I apologize for the snarkness of the second post. Going to do a bit more reading but the wife is suggesting some changes which may make this all moot. At this point the flights are completely open in first (at least seats are) so guessing they simply aren't interested in upgrade usage (it is transcon near holiday/weekend).

To follow up on item above though, so do I still maintain some benefit from having booked these flights while having status even if I don't at the time of flight?

thanks
pattermj is offline  
Old Sep 3, 17, 7:09 pm
  #1240  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: ʙᴏɴᴠo̱ʏ Pt, IHG Au, HH Dia, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred
Posts: 5,303
Originally Posted by pattermj View Post
Rusty, thanks for the information, I apologize for the snarkness of the second post. Going to do a bit more reading but the wife is suggesting some changes which may make this all moot. At this point the flights are completely open in first (at least seats are) so guessing they simply aren't interested in upgrade usage (it is transcon near holiday/weekend).

To follow up on item above though, so do I still maintain some benefit from having booked these flights while having status even if I don't at the time of flight?

thanks
No problem! Certain transcon routes can be hard to find U space on, along with shrinking the F cabin from 16 to 12 on the 738 has limited space more so than in the past.

Technically no status past Jan 1, but past reports have been that you'd remain on the waitlists unless there was some sort of change (anyone out there with more recent datapoints?). I'd look at it as nice if it happened but not count on it at all. If you don't really care about PC vs regular economy seat, I'd roll the dice. If it did matter, I'd lock in the seat now. I don't believe there are any other holdover benefits, baggage fees in coach are waived by status at check-in and not at booking.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 8:45 pm
  #1241  
Moderator Hilton Honors, Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Exec Elite
Posts: 35,261
F fare triples when using a Customer Care cert

The F fare for OAK-SEA is a very reasonable $161. When I search, though, using a $50 Customer Care cert the price goes to well over $400.

Is this normal? What's the reasoning? Any clue?
cblaisd is offline  
Old Sep 3, 17, 10:37 pm
  #1242  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: ʙᴏɴᴠo̱ʏ Pt, IHG Au, HH Dia, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred
Posts: 5,303
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
The F fare for OAK-SEA is a very reasonable $161. When I search, though, using a $50 Customer Care cert the price goes to well over $400.

Is this normal? What's the reasoning? Any clue?
Discount codes, including ones for service recovery, have excluded discount F (P fare class). If you add the flight to your cart does it show F for the fare class?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...purchased.html
rustykettel is offline  
Old Sep 4, 17, 7:17 pm
  #1243  
Moderator Hilton Honors, Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Exec Elite
Posts: 35,261
Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
Discount codes, including ones for service recovery, have excluded discount F (P fare class). If you add the flight to your cart does it show F for the fare class?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...purchased.html
Yes, it shows F fare and "Discount applied."
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Old Sep 4, 17, 11:01 pm
  #1244  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 728
flights I want to/from FLL - ANC available for 20k AS miles each way. Award nexus shows flights available in economy on AS which are usually 12.5k AS miles each but AS site shows them at 20k each way. Can I use AA miles to book these flights? AA doesn't show the AS flights on their search engine.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 6:13 am
  #1245  
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by g8trgr8t View Post
flights I want to/from FLL - ANC available for 20k AS miles each way. Award nexus shows flights available in economy on AS which are usually 12.5k AS miles each but AS site shows them at 20k each way. Can I use AA miles to book these flights? AA doesn't show the AS flights on their search engine.
if the 20K level is showing on the AS site its not available for AA miles.
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