Booking Alaska Airlines with Avios

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AS is a long standing BA partner and, as of 31st March 2021, a full member of oneworld. You can book AS flights using your Avios through BA: prior to AS joining oneworld this was only possible on the phone through your local service centre, but it is now possible to book online with some caveats, specifically that at this time (August 2022) it's not possible to retrieve the AS PNR via ba.com - the chat function on alaskaair.com is staffed by helpful and responsive agents though who can get your AS PNR issued quickly. You can book flights up to 330 days in advance.

It has been reported that flights operated by Skywest "Skywest operating as Alaska Airlines" for flights like SEA-SLO are not possible to book with Avios. The system may initially allow agents to grab inventory but then will send back an error message when going further even with the telephone booking.

Avios Cost
The cost should be in line with the normal BA reward price banding. To get an idea of what your flight may cost check the distance with the BAEC flight calculator or using gcmap, and then have a look at the avios banding here.

Note that all AS flights (just like any other non-BA flights) are priced at the peak avios rates. Also note that from 2 February 2016, redemption rates for travel on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and TAM will start at 7,500 Avios rather than 4,500 Avios, effectively pricing Distance Band 1 flights as Band 2.

If the flight includes a number of stops under the same flight number then the avios charge is for a non-stop flight from the departure point to the destination. For example, for Seattle to Juneau AS65 the service makes three stops enroute. However, the avios rate charged is as if it were non-stop Seattle to Juneau flight (7,500 avios) and not the avios total for four segments.

Taxes, Fees, and Charges
As with other non-BA reward bookings you need to pay the taxes, fees, and charges. You should be able to predict what this will be by having a look at the taxes, fees, and charges on the AS website or on itamatrix.

BA policy is to charge 15/US$25 for offline award tickets but there has been consistent and sustained reports for years of agents waiving fees. As recently as 1/2017, there have been confirmatory reports that the telephone fee has been consistently waived. When initially calling the call center let your first sentence be, "Can you help me with an Alaska booking that I cannot complete online." The agents have all proactively waived fees in every circumstance. If they do not, HUCA (hang up and call again - or ask supervisor to waive)

Can I Check Reward Availability Online?
You can attempt to make a booking on ba.com and this should at least show Alaska mainline routes. You can also check AA website and the AS website. If AS reward flights show as available on aa.com, then they should be bookable with BA using avios. Check MileSAAver availability not AAnytime availability. AA may be better to check as this should show partner reward availability.

Checked Bags?
AS charges for checked bags on all economy fares, however oneworld ruby & sapphire members are entitled to 2 free bags and emerald members to 3 free bags. Note that oneworld elite baggage allowance is only applied to the passenger with the elite status: 1 GCH and 3 blue members on the same booking only provides 3 bags free, not 12. See the baggage information here. Note that you can only add bags at OLCI, at the airport, or on the phone no earlier than 24 hrs before the flight. Baggage fees are also waived for Alaska Credit Card holders and up to 6 companions on the same booking.

Redemptions in First include 2 checked bags per passenger as the base entitlement.

oneworld Benefits?
AS joined oneworld on 31st March 2021: priority check-in, priority boarding, baggage allowance* and lounge access for passengers with status all apply per the normal oneworld/AS policies. Alaska's table is here.
(* see the Checked Bags question above for an important detail)

Does the 24 hour Cooling Off Period Apply?
Yes it does. However, you must cancel by phone - it is not possible to do it online. Miles are refunded immediately into your Avios account, taxes (if returned) just take a few days to be credited.

Can I Amend the Booking?
Yes, subject to fees and reward availability on the flight you want to move to. You need to do it on the phone. Fees (both the offline fee and change fee) are shown here.
Because of the fee structure of BA Avios - it is often beneficial to book two one ways instead of one roundtrip if you are unsure about either your departure or return dates.

Can I Cancel the Booking?
Yes you may subject to the usual fees here Fees (both the offline fee and change fee) are shown here. If the taxes, fees, and charges you paid were less than the cancellation fee due then you simply forfeit the taxes and fees paid and that serves as your effective cancellation fee. If taxes, fees, and charges you paid were more than the cancellation fee then you would pay the cancellation fee USD55 but get back your taxes in full as well as your miles. (Rather they debit USD55 from your taxes and fees and return to you the balance remaining to your form of payment.)

Can I SDC Same Day Confirm on an AS Avios Ticket?
Yes, AS Avios tickets are eligible for AS same day confirmed change benefits as detailed on the AS website. If AS agent tells you differently HUCA. But AS website should allow you to do this regardless.

Are AS Avios tickets upgradeable with cash?
Yes, AS Avios tickets can be upgraded by paying a fee at 24hr check in, "U" inventory allowance, space available. Please note upgraded U fare class tickets are not eligible for lounge access.

Do AS Elite Benefits apply to AS Avios tickets?
Yes, if you are AS MVP Gold for instance your AS Avios ticket is eligible for Complimentary Upgrades and as long as your AS FFN is in the reservation, you will be automatically added to the AS complimentary upgrade list (AS in 12/05/16 changed policy to allow complimentary upgrades to apply to award tickets - including Avios awards) Gold Guest Upgrades, however, have never been allowed to be applied to AS Avios tickets.

Can I book Virgin America flights now using avios?
As of 25 April 2018, Virgin America no longer exists as far as reservations systems are concerned. Former VX flights are now AS flights and can be booked with Avios.



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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:06 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by PeteTheBrit View Post
Would anyone have any idea what SEA-ANC would be in Avios?
Yes, I do.

To know the distance between any two airports: http://www.gcmap.com/

To know how many BA avios it costs to travel any specific distance:
http://www.awardguru.com/blog/?p=425

SEA-ANC is 1448 miles.

So it will cost 10,000 BA avois each direction.
+ Taxes + a phone booking fee since BA.com cannot book AS flights for you.

To check miles availability on Alaska Airlines, go to http://www.alaskaair.com and check "Award Reservations." 99% of the time, BA avois will have access to the same seats as Alaska shows available on their website for miles only redemptions at the "Super Saver" level. "Choice" miles seats (more miles required) are only available with Alaska miles, not partern airline miles.

Last edited by crazyMRer; Nov 23, 11 at 1:11 pm
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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:07 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by crazyMRer View Post
Yes, I do.
Thank you for the tutorial! I am very grateful.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:52 pm
  #18  
 
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Furthermore, is it possible to use Avios to book awards on Alaska Air affiliates such as PenAir? Or if there even are award seats on those flights?
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:12 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by PeteTheBrit
Would anyone have any idea what SEA-ANC would be in Avios?
Should be 10,000 Avios each way in Coach.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:17 pm
  #20  
 
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Timely thread since I am looking at HNL from SEA. Great circle has this as 2699miles so would be 12.5k oneway 25k return is that correct.

This seems like good value vs. say using Skymiles where DL wants 65k for coach and booking directly with AS mileage plan is between 40k - 55k depending on dates selected.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:33 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by cmanc View Post
Timely thread since I am looking at HNL from SEA. Great circle has this as 2699miles so would be 12.5k oneway 25k return is that correct.

This seems like good value vs. say using Skymiles where DL wants 65k for coach and booking directly with AS mileage plan is between 40k - 55k depending on dates selected.
Yes, 25K is correct, but note that ONLY dates that are 40K return with AS miles will be available to you. You only have access to Super Saver seats with partner airline miles.

ANY connecting flights will cost many more BA Avios than the non-stop. On a connecting itinerary, each segment is priced by itself, then totalled up. Only the non-stop AS SEA-HNL will cost you 12.5K avios each way.

Originally Posted by PeteTheBrit View Post
Furthermore, is it possible to use Avios to book awards on Alaska Air affiliates such as PenAir? Or if there even are award seats on those flights?
As far as I can tell, PenAir is a separate company that codeshares with AS, so would not be including as an Avios redemption option. Alaska Airlines miles can be used on PenAir as they are a AS redemption partner airline, but AFAIK, only by calling Alaska. Horizon is part of Alaska Airlines so all Horizon flights would be eligible for Avois redemption provided there is "Super Saver" space showing on AlaskaAir.com

Last edited by crazyMRer; Nov 23, 11 at 3:00 pm
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Old Dec 4, 11, 9:21 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by crazyMRer View Post
To check miles availability on Alaska Airlines, go to http://www.alaskaair.com and check "Award Reservations." 99% of the time, BA avois will have access to the same seats as Alaska shows available on their website for miles only redemptions at the "Super Saver" level. "Choice" miles seats (more miles required) are only available with Alaska miles, not partern airline miles.
Thanks a lot crazyMRer.

I took your suggestion and I was able to get 4 Portland, OR to Hawaii tickets for my family in August. We got PDX-OGG, KOA-OAK, OAK-PDX for 29.5K Avios & $25 agnet fee + $18 tax. Even with Alaska mileage plan miles, which is better than avios miles, I would need 40K MPlan miles. So 4 Hawaii tickets for 118K avios miles and $175 is a fantastic deal I believe.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 11:57 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Budget_Traveller_OR View Post
Thanks a lot crazyMRer.

I took your suggestion and I was able to get 4 Portland, OR to Hawaii tickets for my family in August. We got PDX-OGG, KOA-OAK, OAK-PDX for 29.5K Avios & $25 agnet fee + $18 tax. Even with Alaska mileage plan miles, which is better than avios miles, I would need 40K MPlan miles. So 4 Hawaii tickets for 118K avios miles and $175 is a fantastic deal I believe.
Yes, it is. Congrats on your redemption and enjoy your trip! ^

Avios are a great value on relatively short distance trips.
Alaska mileage plan would cost a lot less if you wanted to fly Cathay to asia or Alaska Airlines ANC to MIA, for example. Each program has its sweet spots.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 12:10 pm
  #24  
 
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Does Alaska's front cabin cost cost x2 or x3? Same for domestic and intl segments?
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Old Dec 4, 11, 12:22 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Colin
Does Alaska's front cabin cost cost x2 or x3? Same for domestic and intl segments?
On routes where AS markets its front cabin as "First Class," BA charges 3x. If AS has any routes on which the front cabin is marketed as "Business Class," then BA will charge 2x.

You can go to Alaska Air's website to see how any particular flight is marketed.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 1:38 pm
  #26  
 
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Am I correct in thinking ORD - ANC is 32500 miles return?
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Old Dec 20, 11, 4:03 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Cubiscus
Am I correct in thinking ORD - ANC is 32500 miles return?
That would be 16,250 Avios each way which, AFAIK, is not what BAEC charges for any one-way redemption.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 7:13 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Cubiscus View Post
Am I correct in thinking ORD - ANC is 32500 miles return?
Where did that number come from?

Not the steps I described earlier in this thread!
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Old Dec 21, 11, 4:03 am
  #29  
 
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Ok so I called BAEC and got the following quote:

50k miles each, out in Y back in F (no Y availability on the way back). The problem is the Y leg is 12500 each which is fine, however its using a 3x multiplier for F on the return such that its 37500 miles back, so 50k miles.

Now Id prefer to come back in F, but with all due respect to AS their F product isnt worth 3x economy. Sucks as the taxes are extremely low.
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Old Dec 21, 11, 4:53 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by Cubiscus View Post
Ok so I called BAEC
Why waste your time calling? I routinely get incorrect/incomplete answers from phone agents regarding award availability. Doing the research yourself will reveal the whole picture of what flights are and are not available faster and more accurately than calling airlines. As guv1976 explained in post 25, the 3x BA Avios for first seats will be the case for all AS domestic flights as they are marketed and sold by Alaska as First class.

Following the 3 easy steps will let you know exactly how much you need to modify your travel times/dates for there to be availability in economy class.

Steps, as already posted in post 16 of this thread:
1) To know the distance between any two airports: http://www.gcmap.com/
Answer: ANC-ORD is 2846 miles

2) To know how many BA Avios it costs to travel any specific distance:
http://www.awardguru.com/blog/?p=425
Answer: 12,500 each way in economy/coach class
Answer: 37,500 each way in First class

3) To check miles availability on Alaska Airlines, go to http://www.alaskaair.com and check "Award Reservations." 99.9% of the time, BA Avois will have access to the same seats as Alaska shows available on their website for miles only redemptions at the "Super Saver" level. "Choice" miles seats (more miles required) are only available with Alaska miles, not partner airline miles.

Last edited by crazyMRer; Dec 21, 11 at 5:05 am
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