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New AS 100k -- weekly SEA-PHX commute -- Survival tips on AS?

New AS 100k -- weekly SEA-PHX commute -- Survival tips on AS?

Old Jan 5, 2024, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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New AS 100k -- weekly SEA-PHX commute -- Survival tips on AS?

I will be commuting SEA-PHX, weekly, for at least the next 6 months and perhaps longer:

* What is the best solution for lounge access? The T3 Premier lounge is... well just ok. I have Amex Platinum. Should I just buy the Lounge plus and use the United lounge? Amex plat will get $200 off. Or is it not really an improvement on the Premier / Amex lounge that is the fishbowl in T3 near E/F?

On the Seattle side, I use the centurion lounge. It's great.

* Can I same day change to PAE/SEA interchangeable or are they considered different terminals? Generally, Delta was pretty generous with Ohare/Midway, for comparison.

* When should I buy the flights? Is there any disadvantage to just booking them all with Alaska and you can rebook for price savings later? I just did the next two months, they're at $129 main cabin $79 basic economy. Ouch, but I paid for main.

* Is there anything else I need to know about booking 737 vs e-175 for service or upgrades? Or same day change policies?

* It looks like I can't redeem miles on Alaska for flights and earn EQM like I could with Delta. Is this correct?

* Are the once a year international upgrade certs worth it? Are they general to the global upgrade certs from Delta?

Typically flights will be on Friday evenings (late) or Saturday late afternoons, around 70k a year worth. I'll fill in the remainder with credit card spend. I'm based on out of Seattle 6 months a year, and PHX the other 6 with lots of commuting, so might as well give Alaska a try.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 7:27 pm
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AS considers SEA/PAE to be co-terminals, so you can freely exercise a SDC between those two airports (space permitting).
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 7:47 pm
  #3  
 
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If you're a 100K, you can select the lounge plus as a benefit and you don't need to purchase it.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 8:42 pm
  #4  
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* It looks like I can't redeem miles on Alaska for flights and earn EQM like I could with Delta. Is this correct?

Not entirely; if you do a cash + miles purchase you earn EQM as normal
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 8:49 pm
  #5  
 
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oh no the Delta refugees are here! Hide the kids! /s
The upgrade certs are not worth it generally. Good luck finding C openings on AA long haul. In certain markets it may as well be impossible. Also the past year it was given out so late that my travel planning for the year had mostly passed.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 9:12 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by beyounged
oh no the Delta refugees are here! Hide the kids! /s
The upgrade certs are not worth it generally. Good luck finding C openings on AA long haul. In certain markets it may as well be impossible. Also the past year it was given out so late that my travel planning for the year had mostly passed.
I was able to clear three upgrades on HND - LAX very much worth it
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelingZoomer
I was able to clear three upgrades on HND - LAX very much worth it
this very much depend on the route. I tried to find MIA/DFW-SCL for weeks and could not find it in the 2 week window I had in mind, so really depends. I bet it was wide open for SEA-LHR.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 10:14 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by TravelingZoomer
* It looks like I can't redeem miles on Alaska for flights and earn EQM like I could with Delta. Is this correct?

Not entirely; if you do a cash + miles purchase you earn EQM as normal
You are correct..If you on a points purchased flight, you do not credit mileage credit for that flight on Alaska.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 10:31 pm
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Answering a few of your questions in bold and then an extra thought below

Originally Posted by johndoe123
I will be commuting SEA-PHX, weekly, for at least the next 6 months and perhaps longer:

* What is the best solution for lounge access? The T3 Premier lounge is... well just ok. I have Amex Platinum. Should I just buy the Lounge plus and use the United lounge? Amex plat will get $200 off. Or is it not really an improvement on the Premier / Amex lounge that is the fishbowl in T3 near E/F? Lounge plus is great. I use AA lounges when they are better or the only choice.

On the Seattle side, I use the centurion lounge. It's great. (You didn’t ask but Alaska has a few good lounges in SEA so i would say use the one your flights out of… Amex is nice but really busy many times)..

* Can I same day change to PAE/SEA interchangeable or are they considered different terminals? Generally, Delta was pretty generous with Ohare/Midway, for comparison. Answered by Anteater

* When should I buy the flights? Is there any disadvantage to just booking them all with Alaska and you can rebook for price savings later? I just did the next two months, they're at $129 main cabin $79 basic economy. Ouch, but I paid for main.

* Is there anything else I need to know about booking 737 vs e-175 for service or upgrades? Or same day change policies? I don’t know the % but a decent number of the 737 have the newer cabins and are much nicer then the old ones and much nicer then the E175. More First on 737 means more upgrade opportunities for you

* It looks like I can't redeem miles on Alaska for flights and earn EQM like I could with Delta. Is this correct? Answered above and you are correct

* Are the once a year international upgrade certs worth it? Are they general to the global upgrade certs from Delta? Not quite. I find using them on Delta is much easier however with Delta you have to buy prem select on international flights to get immediate confirmation your in D1 (when there is availability), with AA SWU, you can buy main cabin and go into business with them. However they are not as available in advance as Delta (and their partners are)..

Typically flights will be on Friday evenings (late) or Saturday late afternoons, around 70k a year worth. I'll fill in the remainder with credit card spend. I'm based on out of Seattle 6 months a year, and PHX the other 6 with lots of commuting, so might as well give Alaska a try.
I think one thing to also know is the ability to fly AA and still get the recognition for upgrades and mileage for AS.. I fly AA about 8-10 times a year when it makes the most sense for a direct flight and to still get the same benefits has been great.. For international partner flights, you will find Alaska points way way way more valuable then DL sky miles…
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 10:35 pm
  #10  
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I'd buy Lounge+. The PHX UC is a nice club. As a bonus, you can also use it when flying UA and you can use Admiral Clubs when flying AA. The Aspire lounge is really poor.
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Old Jan 5, 2024, 11:18 pm
  #11  
 
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Survival tip? Avoid row 26.
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Old Jan 6, 2024, 12:06 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by pesos
Survival tip? Avoid row 26.
Too soon!
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Old Jan 6, 2024, 12:27 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by pesos
Survival tip? Avoid row 26.
Always wear your seat belt, choose an aisle seat above the wings.
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Old Jan 6, 2024, 12:34 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti
Always wear your seat belt, choose an aisle seat above the wings.
And have your cellphone on a crossbody lanyard,

Originally Posted by isaacchambers
Too soon!
I am so glad we can actually joke a little bit. I have been thinking recently how safe commercial aviation is (even when things go horribly wrong - JAL at HND - modern aircraft and crew can be amazing).
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Old Jan 6, 2024, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by beyounged
oh no the Delta refugees are here! Hide the kids! /s
The upgrade certs are not worth it generally. Good luck finding C openings on AA long haul. In certain markets it may as well be impossible. Also the past year it was given out so late that my travel planning for the year had mostly passed.
Did DL converts get 100k perks right off the bat or did they need to earn them?

also, Ive never had problems redeeming my SWUs and would be happy to take ones you cant use
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