Alaska Airlines Making Negative Changes
Changes to Flexible Change/Cancellation Policy
News came out earlier this week that Alaska Airlines would be doing away with it’s generous change and cancellation policies. The top 2 elite tiers, MVP Gold and 75k Elite are exempt from these new rules, unfortunately their companions (and everyone else are not.) Interestingly, these new rules do not apply to travel wholly within Alaska. Here’s the official announcement page for more details.
For travel booked prior to June 5, there are no change fees associated with changing or cancelling an existing ticket that is at least 60 days out. After June 5, there will be a $125 change fee regardless of whether you do it 60 days before scheduled travel. Additionally, any change or cancellation on tickets booked within 24 hours of the flight will be subject to the same $125 fee regardless. You will of course be able to cancel without penalty within 24 hours of booking (unless you’re flight is within that same period.)
In Even Crazier News
I just found an article on CNBC announcing that Alaska will be closing down it’s base in NY and pulling it’s planes and pilots from the area. Currently, the airline operates 5 flights between JFK and the West Coast a day and this will likely decrease to 1 or 2 after the base closes.
I live in NY and have never actually flown Alaska (though I have Virgin) so this change is not exactly terrible news to me. However, I know a lot of people choose Alaska because of the flexibility it offers them in their travel plans and this certainly throws a wrench in that. Keep in mind, most airlines charge more than $125 so it’s not worst case scenario. I guess you could move to Southwest for flights where flexibility is needed. Let us know how this will affect you and if you may consider moving your loyalty.
HT: Travel Codex