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Best Way to Redeem Chase Points for Flight to Alaska [June 2016]

Best Way to Redeem Chase Points for Flight to Alaska [June 2016]

Old Jul 23, 15, 1:35 pm
  #1  
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Question Best Way to Redeem Chase Points for Flight to Alaska [June 2016]



I am looking to redeem some of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points on a one-way flight from the San Diego or Orange County area to Fairbanks, Alaska next June, 2016. I checked the Chase Travel Center and for four (4) one-way tickets it's coming out to 116,636 points! That's obviously quite a chunk, although I was being picky with my times as we'll be traveling with a 1-year old and 2-year old. Alaska Airlines isn't a transfer partner, but I checked and it's 30,000 miles/ticket there anyway which would be 120,000 miles.

Anyone have any advice on other options for booking flights from SAN/SNA or similar to FAI using Chase points?

Thank you so much! Our family appreciates the advice!
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Old Jul 23, 15, 3:20 pm
  #2  
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Fairbanks is hard because your only options are Alaska, Delta, and United. A few thoughts:

- United charges 35k roundtrip for saver tickets to Alaska, but if they do have saver space available, you may be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Krisflyer and book the tickets for 25k roundtrip (because United and Singapore are Star Alliance partners).

- British Airways Avios can be used to book tickets on Alaska, but only on flights where there’s saver space available (that’ll show up on Alaska’s website as 12,500 points one-way for most domestic itineraries, or 7,500 points for flights wholly within Alaska). You pay per segment, so best case scenario you end up paying 35,000 Avios for an itinerary with a single connection in Seattle.

- You might be able to book a ticket on Delta or Alaska by transferring points to Korean Air, though I don’t have any experience with that.

- You could also try breaking the ticket up into two parts, with one ticket for California to Seattle or Anchorage, and a second ticket to Fairbanks –.that might give you more options, although it’d be more of a hassle.

- FYI, Alaska Airlines doesn’t require that children under the age of 2 have a separate ticket, though I totally understand if you still want to have the littlest one secured in a car seat.

The Alaska Airlines forum on Flyertalk is also a good place to look for suggestions or ask for help - people are generally very friendly over there.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 23, 15, 3:53 pm
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Thumbs up

Thanks, Tonei!

United's only flight to Fairbanks I could find was from Chicago O'Hare.

So if I transferred my Chase points to British Airways I might be able to get a flight from SAN -> FAI for 12,500 per person? Or is it 25,000 per person because it stops in SEA? I've tried to search on the BA website for award travel from SAN -> FAI but it keep saying "British Airways and its partners do not fly this route. Please consider alternative destinations or call your Executive Club Service Centre."

As to the kids, we actually have a 16-year old traveling too which is the fourth seat. We're totally holding the 1-year old to save on points!
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Old Jul 23, 15, 4:38 pm
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With Avios you pay per segment. 0-650 miles is 4500, 651-1150 miles is 7500, etc, etc. Check the BA forum for more info.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by philemer View Post
With Avios you pay per segment. 0-650 miles is 4500, 651-1150 miles is 7500, etc, etc. Check the BA forum for more info.
Understood. So that holds true even if I'm booking an Alaskan Airlines flight through the BA website?
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Old Jul 23, 15, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by KentyMac View Post
Understood. So that holds true even if I'm booking an Alaskan Airlines flight through the BA website?
It doesn't matter which partner you use. The same rules apply. And to book AS flts you need to call BA. Can't do it online like AA flts.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 8:16 pm
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Hello. I frequent the M$ forum. I have recently cleaned up my credit and I now have some great credit cards and many miles. I too am looking to go to AK in 2016. I have spent hours researching all of the different airline alliances and matching them to UR transfer partners. I still have never booked an award flight but am excited to do so.

I noticed that someone mentioned using Avios to book Alaska Airlines. According to my research, (Please correct me if I am wrong), it would be more economical to book Alaska Airline award travel through Korean Air. Korean air has a separate award chart just for Alaska Airlines. I believe that a flight from US/Canada/Mexico to US/Canada/Mexico round trip is only 20,000 miles for coach, and 40,000 miles for 1st class. I am considering going in 1st. The same flights through Korean Air on Skyteam partners were 25,000 and 45,000, so you seem to save a few miles flying on Alaska Airlines when booked through Korean Air.

Alaska Airlines flys from several cities in your area.

I would fly from Chicago. I looked into United and it was a lot of miles. Transferring to Krisflyer was an interesting idea.

I hope we can both help each other figure this out. Going to AK is a dream that I've had that's about to come true!

Last edited by pwd847; Jul 23, 15 at 8:22 pm
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Old Jul 23, 15, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by pwd847 View Post
I noticed that someone mentioned using Avios to book Alaska Airlines. According to my research, (Please correct me if I am wrong), it would be more economical to book Alaska Airline award travel through Korean Air. Korean air has a separate award chart just for Alaska Airlines. I believe that a flight from US/Canada/Mexico to US/Canada/Mexico round trip is only 20,000 miles for coach, and 40,000 miles for 1st class. I am considering going in 1st. The same flights through Korean Air on Skyteam partners were 25,000 and 45,000, so you seem to save a few miles flying on Alaska Airlines when booked through Korean Air.
Thanks for the idea! Does anyone know about transferring UR points to Korean Air for redemption on Alaska Airlines? I just tried a flight on their website and it told me I needed to call them.

Although Korean Air is partners with Delta which also flies the route I'm interested in so perhaps that's a possibility?
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Old Jul 23, 15, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by KentyMac View Post
Thanks for the idea! Does anyone know about transferring UR points to Korean Air for redemption on Alaska Airlines? I just tried a flight on their website and it told me I needed to call them.

Although Korean Air is partners with Delta which also flies the route I'm interested in so perhaps that's a possibility?
Delta is a possibility due to being in the skyteam alliance, but it will cost a few more miles. Now I don't know anything about the quality of seats but I can infer, based on comments I have read, that Alaska Airlines is a nicer plane than Delta.

Korean Airlines can only search and book KA's flights. You need to search on Alaska Airlines. I was just browsing around Alaska's site about an hour ago and there is TONS of coach availability from Chicago. Probably the same for you in San Diego. After you know the exact flight you want, you call KA and book over the phone. Then you explain that KA website won't allow you to book this flight and if they could please waive the $25 booking fee. Ask for a supervisor if you have to.

Here is where I got my information on how to book KA flights on partner airlines.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.c...skypass-miles/
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Old Jul 23, 15, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by pwd847 View Post
Delta is a possibility due to being in the skyteam alliance, but it will cost a few more miles. Now I don't know anything about the quality of seats but I can infer, based on comments I have read, that Alaska Airlines is a nicer plane than Delta.

Korean Airlines can only search and book KA's flights. You need to search on Alaska Airlines. I was just browsing around Alaska's site about an hour ago and there is TONS of coach availability from Chicago. Probably the same for you in San Diego. After you know the exact flight you want, you call KA and book over the phone. Then you explain that KA website won't allow you to book this flight and if they could please waive the $25 booking fee. Ask for a supervisor if you have to.
Thanks! Four flights at 25,000 each is still crazy high for four one-way tickets, but less than the 116,636 it would cost using the Chase Travel portal. I'll call Korean Air tomorrow and see if this'll "fly" (pardon the pun. )
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Old Jul 23, 15, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by KentyMac View Post
Thanks! Four flights at 25,000 each is still crazy high for four one-way tickets, but less than the 116,636 it would cost using the Chase Travel portal. I'll call Korean Air tomorrow and see if this'll "fly" (pardon the pun. )
Did you check out the link I posted. Scroll down the Alaska Airlines chart. it says (roundtrip, mile) above the chart. Doesn't that mean the it's 20,000 for a round trip flight?
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Old Jul 23, 15, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by pwd847 View Post
Did you check out the link I posted. Scroll down the Alaska Airlines chart. it says (roundtrip, mile) above the chart. Doesn't that mean the it's 20,000 for a round trip flight?
Just read it and it says "Roundtrip travel is required." Bummer.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 11:43 pm
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

If you can find Saver (lowest-tier) award seats for four SAN/SNA-SEA-FAI on AS metal, the cost for that one-way would be 17,500 BA Avios per person (7,500 + 10,000). But if you cannot find Saver seats on the date when you want to travel, then you may be stuck just redeeming your UR points for "cash" tickets.

Note that when redeeming BA Avios, you are free to stop over at your waypoint (SEA in this case) if desired. That might actually open up more award-travel options, as it's possible that you will not be able to find award seats for SAN/SNA-SEA and SEA-FAI on the same date; the first flight might be available on one day, and the second flight might only be available two or three days later.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by KentyMac View Post
Just read it and it says "Roundtrip travel is required." Bummer.
Oops! I forgot you were only going one way.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 8:18 am
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This is your business and your money, of course, but a quick check on ITA shows that one way from LAX to FAI in early June is $135 on Delta, $191 from SAN.

Many of us assign an arbitrary value to our miles as a way of seeing if the exchange is financially worthwhile; in my case I use 2c per mile. Others use 1.5c or even less, but the idea is that redeeming miles for less value than that is unwise. So for a ticket that "costs" 20,000 miles, if the cash price of that ticket is under $400 (20,000 x .02) or $300 in the case of 1.5c, then it's smarter to conserve the miles if at all possible. For example, a 100,000 mile round trip business class redemption to Europe at 2c per mile = $2,000, while actually buying a ticket would be closer to $3,000 or even more, giving a "value" of 3c per mile or more. Most people who play the mileage game will tell you that redeeming miles for domestic coach tickets is usually not the best idea.

Of course there has to be availability of award seats for this metric to work at all, and you may find that getting to Fairbanks in peak tourist season for a big party is pretty hard as it is. Getting 4 award seats on two or more back-to-back flights is a tall order, and if you have to connect in SEA during cruise season, even taller - SEA is VERY hard to get award seats in and out during the summer because of cruise passengers.

So paying a pretty cheap cash price for the convenience of quick flights with easy connections might be preferable than paying out a LOT of miles and then having to deal with long or roundabout connections. Your call.
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