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Booking Alaska Airlines with Avios

Booking Alaska Airlines with Avios

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Old Sep 3, 22, 7:03 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Joeykins
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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 Jun 14, 12, 12:03 pm
  #121  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: AZ
Programs: HH Diamond
Posts: 196
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post

It was a huge pain.

Just that experiece alone has made us to never want to use avios to book on Alaska Airlines again.

Sorry to hear you had to spend part of your vacation being shunted back and forth. We spent an anxious hour standing at Check-in waiting to see if we were going to fly that day only to be told here are your tickets and you have "20 minutes to get thru security and be at the gate".


On the other hand, I love Alaska's speed in delivering luggage. We fly to PDX at least once a year so I'll just have to weigh that over the need to check the reservation every week if we've booked using Avios.

Edited to remove OT rant.

Last edited by MellieAZ; Jun 14, 12 at 7:53 pm
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Old Jun 16, 12, 9:53 am
  #122  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: London, UK
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Posts: 1,319
Thanks for all the tips on here - just booked some AS flights over the phone using my Avios (no transaction charge as Gold).

Follow-up question, how do we request/book seats? The BA ref and ticket number on the confirmation don't work on the Alaska website, any way to reserve seats before checkin?
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Old Jun 16, 12, 10:42 am
  #123  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Go to classic.checkmytrip.com, put in your BA reference number. You'll see the PNR listed for Alaska there which you can then use on their site to pull up your booking/select seats etc
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Old Aug 13, 12, 8:42 pm
  #124  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Los Angeles
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Posts: 1,210
So going through this thread, and a few others, clearly to use Avios points to book a flight on Alaska metal, I need to call BAEC.

I dont have any access to expert flyer to check award availability. Would I be able to check award availability using AA.com? Does Alaska offer the same award inventory to BA as it does to AA?

Also, can anyone tell me how many Avios I would need to go 1-way from LAX to MEX in Y?

Thx
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Old Aug 13, 12, 9:26 pm
  #125  
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

Originally Posted by rajuabju
So going through this thread, and a few others, clearly to use Avios points to book a flight on Alaska metal, I need to call BAEC.

I dont have any access to expert flyer to check award availability. Would I be able to check award availability using AA.com? Does Alaska offer the same award inventory to BA as it does to AA?

Also, can anyone tell me how many Avios I would need to go 1-way from LAX to MEX in Y?

Thx
10,000 Avios one-way on a direct flight. If aa.com is showing availability of an AS flight, then you should be able to secure it with Avios.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 10:15 pm
  #126  
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Originally Posted by rajuabju View Post
Would I be able to check award availability using AA.com? Does Alaska offer the same award inventory to BA as it does to AA?
I use http://www.alaskaair.com/ to check availability. If coach award seats are available at the lowest redemption level, then BA will be able to issue the award.

You will be charged a phone booking fee of $30 per ticket. I was told once that the fee would be waived because it can't be booked online. I was still charged.

Also, can anyone tell me how many Avios I would need to go 1-way from LAX to MEX in Y?
It's 1553 miles from LAX-MEX (using Great Circle Mapper). Coach is 10K one way; biz is 20K. There is a significant tax/fee component. I think we paid about $150 per person in fees on RT coach SAN-Cabo tickets.
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Old Aug 21, 12, 7:42 pm
  #127  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: People's Republic of Portlandia
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Posts: 38
Originally Posted by colmc View Post
Go to classic.checkmytrip.com, put in your BA reference number. You'll see the PNR listed for Alaska there which you can then use on their site to pull up your booking/select seats etc
The site colmc recommended just saved me from a steadily growing headache. After telling me the queue was about ten minutes deep, BA put me on hold for over a half hour just so I could ask them for the AA locator for a flight I'd just booked with Avios points. Thanks for the assist on classic.checkmytrip.com, colmc!
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Old Sep 6, 12, 12:35 pm
  #128  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Great Thread

This is really a great thread... I've learned a lot going through its 9 pages thus far! I have Chase Ultimate Rewards points that I could "download" into BA Avios if needed for AS flights but didn't really know how to do it... so this really helps. Thanks everyone for your expertise and experience!
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Old Sep 13, 12, 1:44 am
  #129  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
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Originally Posted by Morland View Post
Thanks for all the tips on here - just booked some AS flights over the phone using my Avios (no transaction charge as Gold).

Follow-up question, how do we request/book seats? The BA ref and ticket number on the confirmation don't work on the Alaska website, any way to reserve seats before checkin?
Just a heads up...while you can get your AS pnr, I have discovered that whenever BA asks for a 2nd cc to verify address I cannotselect seats on AS website. The site reports that I have requested a special service! If this happens to you, then you'll need to call AS CS and select seat with CSR.
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Old Sep 21, 12, 5:46 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 158
IIRC, booking a coach on AS using BA award used to get you a free checked in baggage.

Is that still the case ?

Also, are they waiving the $30 call in fee these days or not ? I got it refunded
when I booked a year ago.
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Old Sep 21, 12, 8:57 pm
  #131  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Baggage fee isn't waived.
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Old Sep 23, 12, 10:19 pm
  #132  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 158
Originally Posted by colmc View Post
Baggage fee isn't waived.
Thanks for the info. That's a bummer especially if we have to pay a $30
booking fee as well.
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Old Sep 24, 12, 10:43 am
  #133  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 502
Originally Posted by lanb View Post
IIRC, booking a coach on AS using BA award used to get you a free checked in baggage.

Is that still the case ?

Also, are they waiving the $30 call in fee these days or not ? I got it refunded
when I booked a year ago.
My confirmation says "0 free bags" on the bag info page. I did not have to pay the offline service charge after saying that I cannot book this online.
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Old Sep 25, 12, 1:30 pm
  #134  
mqm
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Thank you flyertalk! I have just booked my first award trip ever using this thread. Sea-San on AS with Avios points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards. I used Expertflyer to find the award seats and had no difficulty when I called BA. They charged me $10 in taxes for 4 people. No mention of a booking fee. I'm taking the kids to Legoland! Thanks again (especially to Cubiscus) for showing me the way.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 6:46 pm
  #135  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
why did I spend 25000 avios for two tickets

After reading this thread, I am curious about my past trip using BA avios to book alaska tickets.
So here is the thing, I booked two one-way tickets from SEA to SJC last July (2011), and I just checked my email and found out that I actually spent 25000 avios for 2 one-way tickets. The distance from SEA to SJC is 697 miles according to gcmap. Was I overcharged? or did BA change their rules after last summer?

Just wondering....

Thanks
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