America Airlines – Right here’s the lowdown on low cost flight tickets utilizing Alaska Airlines miles, elite standing and D.C. flight security protocols
Are you sitting on a bunch of frequent flyer miles? I’m. They’re beginning to burn a gap in my e-wallet.
Over the course of the pandemic, I haven’t earned many flight miles. However miles earned due to bank card fees have been piling up.
Whereas checking on airfares this week, I noticed that charges have been creeping up. Between Anchorage and Portland, it’s $191 one-way on Alaska Airlines, beginning Feb. 5. That’s a bit of greater than charges to San Francisco, at $185 one-way on both Delta or Alaska. Charges like this normally imply there’s one other huge fare sale is true across the nook.
However when you wanted to go away straight away, your Alaska Airlines miles can turn out to be useful. For instance, when you wanted to fly straight away to Seattle, the fare is $369 one-way in the principle cabin. “Saver” seats aren’t even accessible till later subsequent week. That’s super-high. It’s occasions like this when you possibly can dig into your mileage account. It’s simply 12,500 miles every manner — not for each flight, however there are seats day-after-day in January for that charge.
In truth, 12,500 Alaska Airlines miles is the going charge for one-way tickets to high cities on the West Coast: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These charges are all for last-minute departures and so they’re all in the principle cabin. Meaning there’s no extra cost to get a pre-assigned seat.
Proper now, although, COVID-19 numbers are excessive on the West Coast. Washington, Oregon and California all have journey quarantine necessities in place. That’s most likely why the mileage ranges are so low.
However the West Coast will not be the value chief proper now relating to mileage redemption. No, that honor belongs to Hawaii. Certain, they’ve acquired a unusual COVID-19 testing routine. However the seashores are sunny.
When you plan rigorously and fly in the midst of the week, you possibly can catch the nonstop to Kona for as little as $199 one-way (Saver fare). However you will get a mileage ticket for 15,000 one-way beginning on Monday, Jan. 17. These charges are in impact till mid-June, and never only for Kona — flights to Maui and Honolulu are the identical price.
Do it is advisable high off your mileage account? The airways, together with Alaska Airlines, are actually pushing their co-branded bank cards. Alaska’s card, marketed by Bank of America, is providing 50,000 bonus miles when you spend not less than $2,000 inside the first 90 days. The annual price is $75.
Airlines, together with Alaska and Delta, are attempting to get vacationers again within the air, touting their enhanced cleansing routine, necessary masks and empty center seats (on Delta).
For frequent flyers, Alaska is rolling out some applications to jump-start the journey to elite standing, MVP or MVP Gold.
For starters, Alaska Air prolonged everyone’s elite standing by way of 2021. So when you have been an MVP elite traveler for 2020 however didn’t earn sufficient miles for 2021, no downside. You possibly can test your standing on-line and it ought to replicate the identical stage for this yr.
However the race is on for 2022. So between now and June 30, Alaska Airlines is awarding a 50% elite qualifying mile bonus on all flights. You possibly can’t use these bonus miles to redeem free flights, however it is going to assist you to get to that elite stage faster. Between Anchorage and Seattle, it’s 1,449 miles. With this program, you earn a bonus of 724 miles. If you find yourself shopping for that ticket to Kona, you’ll earn 2,880 elite qualifying miles, plus 1,440 bonus miles. It received’t take lengthy to succeed in 20,000 miles for MVP standing.
The clock is ticking for Alaska Airlines to completely be part of the oneworld alliance. Associate airways embrace Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, British and several other others. This transfer will simplify lots of the mileage agreements Alaska Air has with the carriers. Additionally, with oneworld’s three-tier elite traveler system, Alaska’s vacationers can tier match with their standing.
For instance, when you’re an MVP traveler, you’ll grow to be a “Ruby” traveler with oneworld, beginning March 31. Meaning you have got entry to precedence check-in and boarding on all oneworld carriers. MVP Gold elite vacationers will earn “Sapphire” standing, which incorporates admission to enterprise class lounges and an additional baggage allowance.
Alaska simply introduced it’s popping out with a particular 100,000-mile stage for its uber-frequent vacationers. There’s no phrase on how this adjustments the tier-match ranges for oneworld. However these tremendous highway warriors may have the primary crack at upgrades, that’s for certain.
Often, airways are busy attempting to get you to fly someplace. The COVID-19 pandemic modified all that. Now there’s one other damper on journey: threats of violent protests in Washington, D.C., main as much as Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
1. Elevated masks enforcement on the bottom and all through the journey for all routes.
2. Limiting the variety of tickets bought to 3 capital-area airports: Ronald Reagan/Nationwide Airport, Dulles Worldwide Airport and Baltimore/Washington Worldwide Airport.
3. Requiring all passengers to stay of their seats for one hour from takeoff or touchdown at these airports.
4. Prohibiting checked firearms to D.C.-area airports.
“Weighing the violence we witnessed in the Capitol last week alongside our unwavering commitment to the safety of customers and our people, Delta will not allow firearms in checked baggage for flights into the D.C. area Saturday, Jan. 16 through Saturday, Jan. 23, with the exception of credentialed law enforcement. Customers needing to change travel due this policy or requests from officials asking people not to travel to the inauguration, can do so using our flexible change policy. Nothing is more important than doing our part to keep people safe.”
The FAA lately introduced a brand new coverage for “unruly passengers” that might imply fines of as much as $35,000 and jail time. “The FAA has seen a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior. These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. Capitol,” the company wrote in an announcement.
Airbnb canceled all of its reservations within the Washington, D.C., space for the week of the inauguration. Friends acquired full refunds and hosts can be paid in full for the bookings.
When you did handle to make it to D.C., there may not be a lot to do. A COVID-19-related suspension on museum visits and indoor eating was prolonged by Mayor Muriel Bowser. The Washington Monument is closed by way of Jan. 24. The Nationwide Mall can be blocked off on inauguration day.
It’s an odd time for vacationers in our nation — and particularly for these in Washington, D.C. We’re all hoping for an finish to the pandemic, a rise in vaccinations and a cessation of violence. Within the meantime, make sure you masks up, wash your palms and keep 6 ft aside when potential.