Free stopover, cancellations, and no last minute fees on Alaska awards

I’m a huge fan of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Let me tell you why:

  1. Free stopovers
  2. No cancellation fees (60 days out)
  3. Last minute bookings


Free stopovers

I always try to save my Alaska Airlines miles until I need to fly on a trip that involves a stopover. For my trip to Frequent Travel University in Chicago, I was in San Francisco, but needed to stop by Los Angeles before heading east.

I had to fly SFO – LAX – ORD. Rather than buy two separate tickets, I was able to book one, and not be charged any additional miles.

Originally I booked SJC – LAX Nov 16 on Alaska, then LAX – ORD Nov 17 on Virgin America, all for the same price of one booking 20K miles. (It was 20K instead of 12.5K miles since it was high demand.)

Next day, about 20 hours later, I saw SFO – LAX inventory opened up, so I called and the representatives who are very friendly, changed my SJC – LAX leg to SFO – LAX leg on Virgin, with no additional fees or mileage!

No cancellation fee (60+ days away)

Booked a ticket HKG – SFO on Cathay Pacific premium economy for January 2018. It was right after the Christmas holiday break. I wasn’t sure I was going to go that date, but I wanted to book it early since I saw award inventory on the day I wanted.

Realized I wasn’t going to take that flight, called and got a refund (less $12.50USD booking fee for Cathay Pacific.) Very easy. You need to make sure this is at least 60 days out though, anything within 60 days they’ll charge a $125 USD fee.

Last minute bookings

Alaska, along with Delta (and Asia Miles) is one of the few US airlines that doesn’t charge a last minute booking fee. United and American both charge $75, yikes.

Therefore Alaska is great to book those last minute trips where the price is expensive, but the cost if using miles is cheap. I love Alaska (and Delta & Asia Miles) for last minute trips.

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