Booking Awards using BA Avios on Alaska Airlines AS
Went to visit some friends in Seattle, WA last week, and as I’m in Southern California at the moment it’s a short 2.5 hour flight. Believe it or not, Alaska Airlines is partners with British Airways despite Alaska Airlines not being part of any airline alliance. That means I was able to use my BA Avios to book an award ticket between Orange County SNA and Seattle SEA for only 7,500 miles each way! This is an absolute steal.
You can check availability on AS from their own web site, just check the “Use Miles” box when searching and look for the flights at the 12.5K or less level.
Alaska Airlines flies from most SoCal airport to Seattle, including LAX, ONT, LGB, BUR, SNA, and San Diego. Mileage redemption seats weren’t available when I was initially searching but the airline does release a lot of inventory as you get really close to departure, say a week out, so I just did that. You can’t book these awards on the BA web site but you can via phone, so you’ll need to call customer service at:
7:30 – 8pm EST daily
Just press 1, then 1 again to reach Avios reservations. Wait times can be EXTREMELY long at times, over 30 mins. Sometimes the phone line is so busy it will just disconnect you. I’d suggest trying to call at a slower time, for example a Sunday morning. However, once you reach an agent the two I spoke with were both competent, friendly, and thorough. I have no complaints with the executive club line despite other online reviews being negative. The agents also did not mention or charge a $25 phone booking fee that others mentioned they were charged. No fee is correct since you can’t book these awards online.
Booking is confirmed immediately and you can ever get an AS record locator from the agent so that you can check-in online. Check-in within 24 hours and you can select any available seat except exit row. Row 6 is a good choice on AS, it’s the first row of economy and a bulkhead seat. However, many of the planes use a short curtain to separate first and economy, so you’ll have ample legroom and Row 6 also boards first on AS, so you’ll be able to scoop up some of the overhead space.