April 27, 2014

Upgrading to First Class on Alaska Airlines

I can't remember the last time I flew Alaska Airlines.  It's probably been over twenty years.  They have steadily built their west coast presence and actually have a pretty big operation in San Diego where I grew up.  Alaska does allow redemptions on partner Emirates in first class so I have been steadily racking up Alaska miles in anticipation of using them for an Emirates flight.

My parents are flying Alaska to Hawaii in May.  My dad just had back surgery and 6.5 hours is a long time to be uncomfortable in a middle seat so I set out to try and get them upgraded to first class.

It was actually incredibly simple.  Alaska allows first class upgrades (even on flights to Hawaii) for 15,000 miles one way.  There was availability on their flight (the non-stop from San Diego to Lihue) and the total was just 30,000 miles for both tickets.  I could see availability online but had to call to complete the process.  The call took about five minutes to process the upgrades, select new seats, and issue a new itinerary.

First Class Upgrades on Alaska are 15,000 miles One Way

Kudos to Alaska for having such a straight forward mileage upgrade process and enabling me to make my Dad just a bit more comfortable.  The product on this aircraft (a 737-800) isn't earth shattering but it will certainly be better than coach for a quasi long haul flight.  

Mom & Dad - hope you enjoy!!

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