Alaska Airlines joining oneworld alliance

In breaking travel news, Alaska Airlines will be joining the oneworld alliance sometime in summer 2021.

This news is both huge and surprising, as Alaska has been cutting ties in recent years with former partner American Airlines. I’m sure the news is especially well-received among oneworld members, as they recently lost LATAM (which was a significant loss, since it was their only Latin American-based carrier).

My thoughts: I’m a bit uneasy about this change, as my fear is that the following will be (negatively) affected:

  • How you earn status on Alaska (currently, pretty easy and based on the actual miles you fly regardless of how much you spend on your tickets)
  • Redemption rates for Alaska partners (an example of a redemption rate that I don’t want to lose is that you can redeem 55,000 Alaska miles for business class to New Zealand or Australia on Qantas)
  • Alaska partners (currently Alaska has a hodgepodge of great airline partners and they may lose some, like Emirates and Singapore, by joining oneworld)

That said, as a San Francisco-based traveler, this makes the prospect of status on Alaska makes a lot more since it’s hubbed in SFO and I can fly American Airlines for my international trips with oneworld status.

What are your thoughts on Alaska joining oneworld? Let me know in the comments!

Alaska Airlines is offering up to 30% off flights to Hawaii based on wave height

Not only do I love Hawaii and Alaska Airlines, but I love big waves.  When I was in Maui for whale season last year, there was a 40-60 foot swell at Jaws, the world-famous big wave surfing hot-spot, which I tried to get to (but had to miss because of wind conditions).

So, I was thrilled when I received notification of a really cool Alaska Airlines sale to Hawaii where they are discounting travel based on wave height. Here’s how it works:

The bigger the waves, the more you’ll save on flights to and from Lihue, Kona, Maui, and Honolulu for travel between November 4-20, 2019.

Discount amounts are determined by the predicted heights of upcoming swells from Surfline. How much will you save? If the maximum swell height is:

0 to 10ft = 10% off

11 to 15ft = 15% off

16 to 20ft = 20% off

21ft or more = 30% off

The deal ends on November 8th and you’ll need to use code SURFLINE15 to access the reduced fares (currently at 15% off based on 12.9 foot swells).

Earn double miles on cross-country Alaska Airlines flights through the end of 2019

Alaska Airlines has a new promotion where, if you register, you can earn double miles on all Alaska Airlines transcontinental flights for the remainder of 2019. You can register here for the promotion.

The promotion is eligible on West Coast departures between:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington-Dulles (IAD), or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Diego (SAN) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Newark (EWR), or Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Raleigh (RDU), Washington-Dulles (IAD), or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Jose (SJC) and New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR)

Eligible on East Coast departures between:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), or San Jose (SJC)
    Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), or San Jose (SJC)
  • Baltimore (BWI) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Orlando (MCO) and San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Raleigh (RDU) and San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Reagan (DCA) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)

This is a great deal. The Points Guy currently values Alaska Airlines miles at 1.8 cents per mile and since Alaska awards miles for distance flown, for a round-trip flight from SFO to JFK, you would typically earn 5,160 Mileage Plan miles. However, with this promotion, you would earn 10,320 Mileage Plan miles, valued at $185.76.

Alaska Airlines offering its own version of basic economy

The days of Alaska Airlines not having a basic economy program are numbered.

On the Q1 Earnings Call this morning, Alaska Airlines announced its a beginning a “Saver Fare” program, which is similar to basic economy offered by United, Delta, and American, except that you will be able to select your own seat (towards the back of the plane).

On the Alaska Saver Fare, you will not be able to earn miles towards elite status, there will be restrictions about what you can bring on the plane, and you will board last.

Alaska Airlines expands Wine Flies Free program along West Coast, offers free wine in celebration

Did you know that February 18th was National Drink Wine Day?

Alaska Airlines did and their celebration is epic. In addition to giving passengers flying today a free glass of wine, Alaska announced that it’s expanding its Wine Flies Free program to cover all flights in California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Under Alaska’ Wine Flies Free program, which was started in 2007 to help passengers flying home from Napa/Sonoma, Mileage Plan members departing from eligible airports may check an entire case of wine for free.

See if your preferred airport is participating below!

Participating Wine Flies Free Cities:

* Indicates new cities being added to the program.

Alaska Airlines announces new daily service to Everett, Washington

Alaska Airlines announced today that it will begin non-stop service from Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport, located in Everett, Washington. The flights to Everett, which is just north of Seattle and in an area referred to locally as the North Sound, will increase the ease of travel for local residents, particularly those living in the northern suburbs, and provide an additional hub for those looking to explore northern Washington and southern British Columbia.

Although the number of flight frequencies in each market and the starting dates will be announced later, there will be daily flights from Paine Field to the following destinations:

  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Portland
  • Phoenix
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange County
  • Las Vegas

This announcement follows United’s announcement in August that it would begin daily, non-stop service between Paine Field and its San Francisco and Denver hubs.

Trip Deal: $79 round-trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles on United, Alaska/Virgin America

United Airlines and Alaska/Virgin America are putting flights between SFO and LAX on sale. Flights start at $79 after taxes, with dates found from through April.

With United, this fare is only for basic economy, costing between $19 and $38 more (depending on the flight) to get regular economy. Because of this, booking an Alaska/Virgin America flight is the better deal.

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between SFO and LAX.