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Alaska MileagePlan customers disadvantaged by smaller 331 day booking window

Alaska MileagePlan customers disadvantaged by smaller 331 day booking window

Old Jan 28, 18, 3:54 pm
  #1  
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Alaska MileagePlan customers disadvantaged by smaller 331 day booking window

I have the miles to book my Alaska or partner award flight for my desired date in about 350 days. However, since Alaska MileagePlan's booking window is limited to 331 days, I have to wait and watch the award seats being booked out by users of other frequent flyer programs who can book 365 days out, hoping an award seat left for me when my desired date is 331 days out

Is that fair ?
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:04 pm
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It may not be fair but unfortunately that's how alaska airlines work
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
I have the miles to book my Alaska or partner award flight for my desired date in about 350 days. However, since Alaska MileagePlan's booking window is limited to 331 days, I have to wait and watch the award seats being booked out by users of other frequent flyer programs who can book 365 days out, hoping an award seat left for me when my desired date is 331 days out

Is that fair ?
It's part of the calculus when you join Mileage Plan. If you wish a longer booking window, you can accrue with the specific carrier you desire to fly. By the way, very few programs allow booking at 365 days, and as far as I'm aware, none of Alaska's partners do. (CX 360, BA 355, QF 353, EK 340, etc.)
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by flytoeat View Post
... (CX 360, BA 355, QF 353, EK 340, etc.)
That's the issue, people using other reward programs are able to snatch the few available award seats 360 to 340 days out, but Alaska MileagePlan collectors cannot
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:43 pm
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You missed the point - join one of those other programs to accrue your miles if that is what is important to you!

Also note that not all award inventory is released when the booking window opens. Award inventory can be released anytime leading up to the date of departure.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:44 pm
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That assumes award inventory is made available at the partner carrier's greater window, and not again.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 4:53 pm
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Life is not fair but the Alaska program is. Alaska defines the program and its rules. If you choose to use their program you choose to be bound by its rules. You are free to choose another program if that program better suits your needs, perhaps one with a larger booking window?
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Old Jan 28, 18, 5:07 pm
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Same as AA.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 5:21 pm
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AS has been this way for many years, same with many carriers. It's more to advantage those who have points in the other programs where points are nowhere as easy as they are to obtain as AS points
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Old Jan 28, 18, 5:22 pm
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You could just as easily say it's unfair that other programs often require more miles redeemed than AS for the same itinerary. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 6:48 pm
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And many other programs have no stopovers. AS has stopovers on one ways. Is that “fair”? Or “different”?
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Old Jan 28, 18, 7:22 pm
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I have never once had issues getting award seats I needed with just a bit of flexibility, as recently as 4 J and 2 F seats JFK HKG on CX (same flight)

be patient, watch for and study availability you will be fine.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 7:34 pm
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I believe this is a restriction of the Sabre reservations system that AS (and AA and a whole bunch of other airlines) uses. Thatís why AA too can only book 331 days out, while Amadeus airlines like BA and QF can book 350 or whatever it is days out. It is what it is and is not going to change. Itís also not a restriction deliberately imposed by AS.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 7:42 pm
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331 days out vs. something greater than 331 days out for award booking? Mileage-based accrual rates vs. spend-based accrual rates? Award stop-overs vs. no stop-overs? I can go on and on for quite some time here. IMO, I'll forgo the 1-34 days earlier booking to get the other benefits. For those of us who put in the leg work to strategize and plan our award redemptions, those couple days aren't a major issue.
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Old Jan 28, 18, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by WillTravel4Food View Post
331 days out vs. something greater than 331 days out for award booking? Mileage-based accrual rates vs. spend-based accrual rates? Award stop-overs vs. no stop-overs? I can go on and on for quite some time here. IMO, I'll forgo the 1-34 days earlier booking to get the other benefits. For those of us who put in the leg work to strategize and plan our award redemptions, those couple days aren't a major issue.
What kind of legwork or strategy do you use to plan your award redemptions ? The advantage of booking way in advance like 360 days out is that there is a level of certainty about the availability of award seats
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