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 Jan 23, 12, 9:21 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by jaguar View Post
Very easy to do over the phone and the BA CSR's know not to charge a booking fee. It just takes a moment for the CSR to input the flights to the BA rate desk to compute the miles to be deducted.
Did I miss the change in policy??
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Old Jan 23, 12, 10:22 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by econjon View Post
Did I miss the change in policy??
No change in policy. If you call to make a booking which is absolutely not possible to carry out online then the telephone booking fee will be waived.

This may not be the agents first response but stand your ground - they will go and check and the fee will be waived.

I speak from experience of being a UK Exec club member based currently in YVR who has redeemed 6 segments both pre and post Avois on Alaska.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 11:17 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Blenz101 View Post
No change in policy. If you call to make a booking which is absolutely not possible to carry out online then the telephone booking fee will be waived.

This may not be the agents first response but stand your ground - they will go and check and the fee will be waived.

I speak from experience of being a UK Exec club member based currently in YVR who has redeemed 6 segments both pre and post Avois on Alaska.
This is not the official Policy. BA's official stance is $40 booking fee no matter what. If you got it waived after the switch to Avios, (good for you) but that is not the official policy.
AMRivlin is offline  
Old Jan 23, 12, 12:02 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin View Post
This is not the official Policy. BA's official stance is $40 booking fee no matter what. If you got it waived after the switch to Avios, (good for you) but that is not the official policy.
Agreed. See Nicci's statement about fees:
Booking fees
[Question]With Alaska Air still a partner, but NEVER searchable on ba.com (it is available on aa.com, but I digress) Will the $30 phone booking fee be waived for us flying from YVR to the West Coast?

[Answer]Unfortunately you will not be able to book Alaska Air online for the foreseeable future. We do always try to put partner reward bookings online but unfortunately we have had the odd technical glitch with one or two of our partners. A fee will apply for any bookings made offline except if you are a Gold member.


[Question]Date/time changes online used to be free in US/Canada. Now they will be $40. Why is there a service fee in place for something that can be done online, without any interaction from BA staff?

[Question]Related to service fees, I saw a few other posts in this thread commenting on them, and based on other threads there's either confusion or an inconsistent application of policy happening re: some fees. Can you please update ba.com to reflect the policy of the known circumstances where fees will/will not be waived when using the call center to book?

[Answer]The new reward fees structure was created with trying to bring some consistency to how fees are applied. The official stance is that fees should be applied both on and offline as stated without exception.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/17514113-post2.html

The exception policy for when ba.com is broken has bee stated in the past in this manner by Nicci, Prospero(one of our moderators) and others:
Rule of thumb relating to offline booking fees:

If functionality exists to make a booking online but for whatever reason ba.com is not functioning as it is supposed to, then the offline booking fee is usually waived if you make the booking over the phone.

For those types of transactions that can only be done offline such as booking open jaw redemptions, expect to pay the advertised offline booking fee. This will not be waived.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...king-fees.html
jerry a. laska is offline  
Old Jan 23, 12, 12:12 pm
  #50  
 
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Whilst on the subject of Alaska I spoke to BA team and they were great in answering my questions and quoted the correct miles.

Being either a BA Silver or Gold do we get any free checked bags also if in coach can we use a lounge at LAX?

Thanks
redsox1918 is offline  
Old Jan 23, 12, 12:23 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by redsox1918 View Post
Whilst on the subject of Alaska I spoke to BA team and they were great in answering my questions and quoted the correct miles.

Being either a BA Silver or Gold do we get any free checked bags also if in coach can we use a lounge at LAX?

Thanks
See:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...harges-us.html
http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...harges-waivers

You cannot use the Alaska Boardroom lounge if in coach.
•Passengers ticketed in First Class in either F or A class have access to the Alaska Airlines Board Room included in their ticket (excluding reciprocal agreements with other airline clubs or lounges). Passengers traveling on an upgraded ticket booked in U class do not have access.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 12:31 pm
  #52  
 
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Thanks. Based on what we have read and price or miles to be used we shall be using a ZED ticket.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 12:44 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin View Post
This is not the official Policy. BA's official stance is $40 booking fee no matter what. If you got it waived after the switch to Avios, (good for you) but that is not the official policy.
Perhaps the UK call centre show more flexibility in this instance. In my personal experience post Avios ... I've had one agent waive automatically (when explaining the cost they have mentioned the taxes and charges in GBP and explained they have waived the offline booking fee in this instance) and another two agents have waived the fee after I've explained to them that I can't make the booking online, they have put me on hold, checked and come back and agreed the fee can be waived under these circumstances.

Perhaps its such a rare redemption for a UK based member to be making that any policy isn't rigorously applied (or understood) but worth noting for other UK members who may find themselves on the the west coast that it certainly is possible if you ask the agent politely to check.
Blenz101 is offline  
Old Jan 23, 12, 1:23 pm
  #54  
 
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THis thread has perked my interest as I have some long term plans in that area and didn't realise we had options on Alaska. Does anyone know if Alaska has a big YQ component in its fare ?
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Old Jan 23, 12, 2:38 pm
  #55  
 
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I had to book with Horizon (at very short notice, due to dire weather conditions) for SEA-YVR last week.

The phone agent said she would waive the off line charge 'just this once'; I had to pay to check a bag, but it was worth it since I spent 4500 Milevios and $C23 for the flight.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 3:52 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by tangey View Post
THis thread has perked my interest as I have some long term plans in that area and didn't realise we had options on Alaska. Does anyone know if Alaska has a big YQ component in its fare ?
No YQ - just tax which is minimal by UK standards (and baggage is chargable if not booked into F).

Thoise taxes are higher ex-Canada than if you can get yourself across the border to the US.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 4:06 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Blenz101 View Post
No YQ - just tax which is minimal by UK standards (and baggage is chargable if not booked into F).

Thoise taxes are higher ex-Canada than if you can get yourself across the border to the US.
I might not have been clear (or I may very well be misunderstanding your reply !). I understand that its usual policy for most airlines in the US to include the YQ in the award miles, but BA doesn't do that. If there is a YQ portion in the fare, they charge that in cash. So are you saying there is no YQ component at all in the cash fare ?
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Old Jan 23, 12, 5:21 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by tangey View Post
I might not have been clear (or I may very well be misunderstanding your reply !). I understand that its usual policy for most airlines in the US to include the YQ in the award miles, but BA doesn't do that. If there is a YQ portion in the fare, they charge that in cash. So are you saying there is no YQ component at all in the cash fare ?
There is no YQ charged on reward bookings made using Avios that I am aware when used with Alaska (it certainly isn't broken down as a line item). In fact, I do not believe that a YQ is charged on cash tickets either booked directly with the airline.

To give a feel for the level of fees - a recent YVR-SEA-LAS-SEA-YVR in F attracted the following....

"Tax/Fee/Charge GBP 49.54 = GBP 49.54"
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Old Jan 23, 12, 5:29 pm
  #59  
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There is no YQ on flights in US and canada.
azepine00 is offline  
Old Jan 23, 12, 7:46 pm
  #60  
 
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I flew Alaskan this morning (SEA to SNA) and was pleasantly surprised at the the legroom in Y and the fact I got priority boarding with BA gold. Bit disappointed that I had to pay $20 for my bag though.
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