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Massive Mileage Redemption Inflation on AS?

Massive Mileage Redemption Inflation on AS?

Old Sep 5, 22, 11:18 am
  #1  
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Massive Mileage Redemption Inflation on AS?

I was checking for award flights coming back from BOS to ANC in a couple months time. I noticed a few of the normal 50K miles and 70K miles for F, and then something took me aback. I almost spit my coffee out when I saw a higher redemption level... 95K MILES, ONE WAY for F on AS. I checked other dates and have seen this mileage numerous times, so I know it is not a mistake. What on earth is AS thinking, who would redeem 95k miles for a one way flight on AS?
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Old Sep 5, 22, 11:27 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by AKLifetimeFlyer
I was checking for award flights coming back from BOS to ANC in a couple months time. I noticed a few of the normal 50K miles and 70K miles for F, and then something took me aback. I almost spit my coffee out when I saw a higher redemption level... 95K MILES, ONE WAY for F on AS. I checked other dates and have seen this mileage numerous times, so I know it is not a mistake. What on earth is AS thinking, who would redeem 95k miles for a one way flight on AS?
Morning AKLifetimeFlyer - do you have any sample dates you feel comfortable sharing?
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Old Sep 5, 22, 12:37 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by J.Edward
Morning AKLifetimeFlyer - do you have any sample dates you feel comfortable sharing?
No problem at all. November 12, 2022. Note, I also accidentally searched sometime in May 2023 where I first saw the 95K miles. Attached is a screenshot from the November 12 date.


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Old Sep 5, 22, 1:29 pm
  #4  
 
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It was a change made earlier this year:

https://onemileatatime.com/news/alas...s-award-costs/

https://thepointsguy.com/news/alaska...s-devaluation/
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Old Sep 5, 22, 2:37 pm
  #5  
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I am in the unfortunate position of having several hundred thousand AS miles, some of which came from the B of A Credit Card use, a small number from flying, and (very unfortunately) around 100K which I purchased on those "sales deals" shortly before the pandemic began. I now regard these miles as being worth very little to nothing.

Unfortunately, this is all water under the bridge.

What you can do, and what I plan to do, is to not renew my AS Visa Card when the next renewal comes up, and to NEVER buy AS miles again. I'll redeem what I have for what little it will get me, but for accumulating more of them, all I can say is, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me TWICE, Shame on ME."
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Old Sep 5, 22, 2:49 pm
  #6  
 
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Yeah, this looks to be the implementation of what RAD_PDX mentions in post #4. It's strange because the "main" fares seem to have remained the same but they sure did jack up the prices on FC.

As for buying miles, I have never understood the point. When you factor in the miles you forfeit by flying an award ticket it just doesn't pencil out. Especially if you have any status and multipliers.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 3:00 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by champignon
I am in the unfortunate position of having several hundred thousand AS miles, some of which came from the B of A Credit Card use, a small number from flying, and (very unfortunately) around 100K which I purchased on those "sales deals" shortly before the pandemic began. I now regard these miles as being worth very little to nothing.

Unfortunately, this is all water under the bridge.

What you can do, and what I plan to do, is to not renew my AS Visa Card when the next renewal comes up, and to NEVER buy AS miles again. I'll redeem what I have for what little it will get me, but for accumulating more of them, all I can say is, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me TWICE, Shame on ME."
Not judging, but here's my strategy. I only purchase miles with hard money if I have a specific and immediate redemption in mind. I never purchase them speculatively, as miles/points overwhelmingly tend to devalue.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 3:21 pm
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95k for a one way flight on AS is bonkers.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by mtofell
Yeah, this looks to be the implementation of what RAD_PDX mentions in post #4. It's strange because the "main" fares seem to have remained the same but they sure did jack up the prices on FC.

As for buying miles, I have never understood the point. When you factor in the miles you forfeit by flying an award ticket it just doesn't pencil out. Especially if you have any status and multipliers.
I bought the miles for the purpose of using them on premium class (usually FC, occasionally Business) long haul flights on British Airways. It used to make financial sense to supplement the miles I accumulated for free, with some that were purchased (with that misleading "60% bonus" they often offered. Since I make my vacation travel plans months to a year in advance, and since I'm very flexible as to which dates I actually fly, I used to be able to get these FC and Business Class seats for what amounted to a huge discount over what they would cost to buy outright.

In the interim, BA has stopped offering ANY FC long haul inventory for award seating, as far as I can tell, or if they do offer some it is so miniscule that you can't find the seats when you look for them, even if you search often and very far in advance. BA and AS have increased the additional cash charges made when you do snag an award seat, to the point where if you factor in the Tier Points and benefits of status coming from paid tickets, it is no longer a compelling value to get mileage tickets from BA, if you could even get them towards the front of the plane which is not easy to do now.

So, as an indirect result of the pandemic and it's trickle on affects, and the actions of these two carriers, AS and BA, my former strategy for securing FC and Business Class seats at a discount on long haul BA routes, no longer functions.

But, what I was doing before, did make financial sense in the past.

So, I'm out maybe $1000 in purchased miles that are now worth maybe $350. If that's the worst thing that happens to me in 2022, then it will have been a great year!
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Old Sep 5, 22, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by StrandedinLA
95k for a one way flight on AS is bonkers.
My most frequent and usual route is to fly BOI to SAN, RT, to visit very aged parents who live there in a "Seniors Residence."

AS now wants 40K miles in each direction for a first class seat on days far removed from peak travel and holiday periods. If you just bought the seats, they would cost $239 to around $339 (the latter I would avoid), one way. These flights are 2 hours in length and operated by either Horizon or Skywest on regional jets, usually. The meal service, if you want to call it that, is a wicker basket passed around with small lunchbox sized bags of chips, popcorn, and small little "energy bars."

AS in FC is a bit nicer than SW in cattle class, however the price for this in both miles and in cash is making the price value relationship comparing FC in AS vs. Coach on SW not enough better to make me re-evaluate which carrier I'll be flying on in the future. I'll certainly price shop the flights before deciding, that much is for sure.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by StrandedinLA
95k for a one way flight on AS is bonkers.
I could imagine redeeming at that rate for HNL-East Coast, but it wouldnt be my first choice.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 4:46 pm
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Why is everyone so hot and bothered? Mileage redemption for AS first class has always been a terrible waste of miles. It doesnt matter to me if it was 40k or 95k, its a no go.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 5:03 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus
Why is everyone so hot and bothered? Mileage redemption for AS first class has always been a terrible waste of miles. It doesnt matter to me if it was 40k or 95k, its a no go.
If 40k is a "terrible waste of miles", then 95k is a 2.3x worse waste of miles.

Just because you wouldn't pay 40k for ANC-BOS doesn't mean I wouldn't.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus
Why is everyone so hot and bothered? Mileage redemption for AS first class has always been a terrible waste of miles. It doesnt matter to me if it was 40k or 95k, its a no go.
I'm certainly not "hot and bothered." Although I now have way more miles in my account than I would like to have, given present opportunities to redeem them, this is a one-off problem that will quickly resolve itself as I get very modest value out of redeeming what I have accrued, and as I shift my spending and other mileage accrual opportunities towards better options. I have always received more miles from credit card spending and (in the past) purchases of miles, than I ever did from flying on AS.

For example, I have a credit card that effectively gives me a 4.5% rebate on all purchases made, if I only use it either on "travel related purchases" or on "mobile wallet" expenditures (such as Apple Pay). This beats the pants off any other card that I have, and as a result, any where that I can pay with my Apple Watch, and most travel purchases, get made on that card. I originally got my AS Visa card because, at the time, the miles "earned" were worth more and the other benefits received made paying for the card worth it. That time has sadly passed, and the only fathomable benefit I might get from that AS card is a reduced price entry to an Alaska Lounge. Since I usually fly in First on AS, and/or use my BA Executive Club number on my AS flight reservations, I get that lounge entry for free now anyway, in most circumstances.

So, when it comes time for this card to renew (which currently has a zero balance on it and has had this for quite a while), I'll ditch the card for something else or simply not replace it at all.

As to Flying AS, I'll do that when it suits my purposes and when I think I am getting value for money; I'll go elsewhere when the opposite is the case.

People adapt to circumstances and incentives. Significantly devaluing mileage already accrued is a real negative, and doesn't encourage the accrual of additional mileage. That's just a fact. But in all honesty I had already shifted my mileage accrual from AS flights over to BA, within the alliance, so it isn't as if this mileage devaluation was particularly determinant, at least not in my case.
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Old Sep 5, 22, 6:12 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by StrandedinLA
95k for a one way flight on AS is bonkers.
Agreed, considering in the not so distant pass I redeemed 140K AS Miles for LAX-HKG-NRT-HKG-LAX on CX in F/J, and have also redeemed 70K miles for one way ZAG-LHR-SEA on BA J/F. Even my recent RT Coach redemption on FI for ANC-SEA-KEF seems like a better deal. Moral of the story, use your miles for international redemptions I guess. I'm still trying to get on the Finnair A350 in J with AS Miles.
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