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Alaska miles seem worth WAY more than United, for instance. Help me

Alaska miles seem worth WAY more than United, for instance. Help me

Old Aug 20, 18, 5:40 pm
  #1  
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Alaska miles seem worth WAY more than United, for instance. Help me

make sure I understand this please.

First of all I am seeing 30,000 miles if I get their visa, is there a better offer somewhere?

7500 miles to fly one way? Wow, am I reading that right? LA to Vegas? I know how to read so that is what it says, just used to much higher with United.

So the offer of 30,000, can I do better for Alaska miles? Too bad I cant transfer United to Alaska miles.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 5:52 pm
  #2  
LBJ
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UA prices short haul trips like LAX-LAS from 10K miles each way. Not exactly a huge difference. DL prices LAX - LAS for as low as 5K miles each way (for Tue/Wed/Sat travel, 5.5K miles for other days of the week). Given that LAX-LAS fares routinely sell for about $50 - $60 each way, I don't think I'd spend more than about 5K miles each way on an award ticket.

Last edited by LBJ; Aug 20, 18 at 6:01 pm
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Old Aug 20, 18, 6:13 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by randys1 View Post
make sure I understand this please.

First of all I am seeing 30,000 miles if I get their visa, is there a better offer somewhere?

7500 miles to fly one way? Wow, am I reading that right? LA to Vegas? I know how to read so that is what it says, just used to much higher with United.

So the offer of 30,000, can I do better for Alaska miles? Too bad I cant transfer United to Alaska miles.
Saver is 5k, not 7.5k. But as mentioned above, if it's a $49 fare, not a great use of miles. Re bonus, you can do 1,000 miles better if you sign up during one of the sales pitches on board, so 31k total.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 6:21 pm
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Yes, alaska miles are worth more, and while you can easily find short-hops for 5k-7.5k miles, those will typically not be weekend Friday-Sunday flights.

So its better than united, but united is not a high bar anyways.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 6:50 pm
  #5  
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After getting booted from United status because of the PQD requirement, I have been extremely pleased with both the availability of AS award flights as well as the "price."

I've seen more than a few situations where on a given route, UA wanted 50K miles and AS was less than half of that.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 7:51 pm
  #6  
 
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Basically, you're right. The strength of AS lies entirely within its people and its frequent flyer program.
But there are drawbacks; AS uses a very generous loyalty program to try to make up for their shortcomings, which at this point primarily revolve around being a very west-coast airline.
They've lost two partners in the past year or so, Delta and American, so if you find yourself needing to travel between two non-hub cities that Alaska serves, like Chicago and Miami, you're stuck connecting all the way back on the west coast. Because you can no longer earn any AS miles on DL flights, and AA flights are very difficult/complex for beginners to figure out.
BUT. All that said, AS works GREAT for me, and for many many other people.
AND they've got some fantastic partners, with some very attractive award pricing on those partners, especially in premium cabins!

So, at the end of the day, yeah, I agree, AS miles are much more useful and valuable than UA, which is also the program I came to AS from.
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Old Aug 20, 18, 11:42 pm
  #7  
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IMO, redeeming shorthaul domestic coach, Southwest’s program beats everyone, including Alaska. The only way you are going to find 5k AS redemptions in the Lower 48 is in cheap routes where WN is going to be competitive on the cash price and the award price.

Given Southwest’s excellent change/cancel policies, I’d take the Southwest card over the Alaska card if all I was doing is looking for some LAX-LAS flights for $5.60 and points for shorthaul redemption in a heartbeat. I think spending 30k AS miles on shorthaul is a terrible waste compared to long haul, but to each their own. I suppose free money is better than no money, even if spent on things I don’t find value in.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
IMO, redeeming shorthaul domestic coach, Southwest’s program beats everyone, including Alaska. The only way you are going to find 5k AS redemptions in the Lower 48 is in cheap routes where WN is going to be competitive on the cash price and the award price.

Given Southwest’s excellent change/cancel policies, I’d take the Southwest card over the Alaska card if all I was doing is looking for some LAX-LAS flights for $5.60 and points for shorthaul redemption in a heartbeat. I think spending 30k AS miles on shorthaul is a terrible waste compared to long haul, but to each their own. I suppose free money is better than no money, even if spent on things I don’t find value in.
If you’re flying somewhere Southwest goes. AS/QX’s network into small cities in the Northwest is a major asset for me. But certainly for LAS-LAX, WN is a great option. And yes, 30k mikes on short haul is a terrible value, but 5k-10k is often a pretty good (albeit rarely amazing) value.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 8:42 am
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to respond to your view: yes I value AS at $0.02 and UA at $0.016.

Value is based on how you use them.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 9:19 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
The only way you are going to find 5k AS redemptions in the Lower 48 is in cheap routes where WN is going to be competitive on the cash price and the award price.... I think spending 30k AS miles on shorthaul is a terrible waste compared to long haul, but to each their own.
I regularly found 5 or 7.5K redemptions SEA-COS when AS flew that route that last couple of years.

30K miles for a last minute ticket beats the too-often-50K of UA for the same route.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 9:41 am
  #11  
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I mean to say I would be picking up the Chase Southwest Card over the BofA Alaska card if I was fixated on using the signing bonus to fly a bunch of $80-100 flights LAX-LAS, since that seems to be what OP is planning on. It’s a bigger signing bonus. Chase UR is also a Southwest transfer partner, and quite frankly Chase UR is a better program than having all of your eggs in the Alaska basket, since you have multiple partners.

In fact, you can use Chase UR to fly Alaska via BA... at 7.5k for LAS-LAX. AND Southwest. But if OP wants that card and redemption for whatever reason... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Aug 21, 18 at 12:56 pm
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Old Aug 21, 18, 10:04 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
After getting booted from United status because of the PQD requirement, I have been extremely pleased with both the availability of AS award flights as well as the "price."

I've seen more than a few situations where on a given route, UA wanted 50K miles and AS was less than half of that.
PQD?

I google it and see what it says, but how does that apply to my using UA miles for UA flights? Status requirement, booted, etc?
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Old Aug 21, 18, 10:12 am
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AS earning is better and burning value too, but again comes down to routes and such, lots to consider, YMMV
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Old Aug 21, 18, 10:36 am
  #14  
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I have both UA and AS points. I want both of them and I use both of them. UA points are tremendously valuable for European business class travel for two. I book 11 months out. I find excellent availability on the nonstop Austrian flight from LAX-VIE with connecting service onward. AS only has BA with its heavy fuel surcharges as an option. I recently used AS miles to fly JNB-HKG-LAX on CX in a combination of biz and F. It was an incredible value. I have an upcoming trip where I'll fly Fiji Airways to Fiji and on to Sydney.

AS has a mini hub in San Diego. Redemptions can be excellent value in coach on nonstop flights.

If I didn't live in an AS hub or able to easily drive to LAX to access their partners, I wouldn't find AS very interesting.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by randys1 View Post
PQD?

I google it and see what it says, but how does that apply to my using UA miles for UA flights? Status requirement, booted, etc?
It’s not relevant. The poster was presumably saying that once it became harder to get status on UA due to PQD requirements, s/he stopped flying them.
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