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Alaska has announced a host of changes that will affect its award chart, cancellation and change policies. As is the trend most changes are negative, especially the new change and cancellation policies, although the change to the award chart is slightly positive.
24-Hour Free Change And Cancellation Policy
Effective June 5, 2018, the new policy will be as follows:
- You will only be able to cancel/change your ticket if it is booked for travel more than 24 hours after the time of purchase
- For tickets booked for travel within 24 hours standard change/cancellation fees will apply
Change And Cancellation Fees
Also starting June 5, 2018, the following will apply:
- For changes/cancellations on tickets more than 60 days prior to travel a fee of $125 will apply
- For changes/cancellations when travel begins within 24 hours of purchase a fee of $125 will apply immediately
- For all other travel, 24 hours after ticket purchase a fee of $125 applies
- MVP Gold and Gold 75K Mileage Plan members are exempt from the fees
Same Day Confirmed Changes
- Same day change fee is increasing to $50
- The 6-hour window is being abolished, you can request a change at any point during check-in
- The new flight will have to be on the same day as the ticketed flight
- The fee will also apply to non-refundable First class award travel booked in our A class of service
- MVP® Gold and Gold 75K Mileage Plan members continue to benefit from having their fees waived
Award Chart Changes
The changes to Alaska’s award chart will come into effect June 25, 2018. Overall, they are pretty positive with minor reductions, and changes include:
- Short distance (less than 700 miles) First class award have their lowest award level reduced
- Reduced refundable award level pricing on First class flights less than 1,400 miles within the contiguous US and Alaska
- Reduced refundable award level pricing on First class flights less than 2,100 miles from the US to Mexico
- A new lowest award level of 10,000 miles on main cabin flights from California to select destinations in Mexico (on flights that are less than 1,400 miles)
- Awards to Hawaii now start at 15,000 miles one way
Adding cancellation and change fees is disappointing, and the blow is only slightly softened by the mild improvements in Alaska’s award chart. Despite the changes, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan remains our favorite airline frequent flyer program and still has some excellent perks and benefits including some great sweet spots for redemptions.
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