Alaska Airlines is a major airline carrier that has its flight operations throughout the globe. Also, like many US-based airlines, they offer some nice benefits to its customers, whether travelling on domestic flights or taking a trip to international destinations. In addition, any passenger that wants to upgrade his or her seat after making reservations, Alaska also has some fine perks to such options. While some passengers can easily get their upgrades for free, others may not be so fortunate as there are many things attached to upgrades.
In this guide, we will take a look at how to upgrade seats on Alaska Airlines flights – the different ways and also, what are their charges.
Things to Know about Alaska Airlines’ Seat Upgrades
If you have travelled many times on Alaska’s flights, you will be aware that they only offer Main Cabin and First Class fare types. Their First Class cabin offers priority boarding and access to overhead bin, and other benefits as well. Now, they have also included a new Saver fare type, which is the lowest of these. However, this fare type is available on certain flights only.
Alaska Airlines offers options to its customers to upgrade their seats to a higher cabin class. This however, depends on two things – the fare type and availability of seats. If you travel frequently on Alaska Airlines’ flights, you will notice that the airline carrier has different category of tickets, where each class of ticket type has its perks and limitations.
Similarly, there is, but one such class of service that is not eligible for upgrades to certain fare types. Customers that purchase Saver fares are usually not offered elite upgrade options. However, there is a possibility of getting paid upgrades. Although, being a new addition to the fare class, it does offer passengers the comfort of a Main Cabin in-flight experience with the most affordable price. This includes almost everything, such as earning one mile for each mile flown, spacious seats, in-flight entertainment, food, drinks and baggage allowance.
First Class Upgrades
When travelling to your destination on an Alaska flight, you can use your Mileage Plan miles for the purpose of availing upgrades. Their Mileage Plan membership program helps you to easily upgrade your seat, or even request for a paid upgrade during check-in or at the departure gate.
You can redeem your miles to get yourself an upgrade to a First Class cabin. So, for a one way trip, you will need to redeem 15,000 miles points to avail their First Class upgrade. However, if you are paying with cash or credit card, the upgrade costs around $29 USD. Also, the cost for upgrade to First Class may differ, depending on your one-way trip and miles accumulated.
One-way trip by miles and price comparison is given below:
- $29 USD for 0 – 450 miles per one-way trip
- $49 USD for 451 – 700 miles per one-way trip
- $99 USD for 701 – 1,400 miles per one-way trip
- $149 USD for 1401 – 2,100 miles per one-way trip
- $199 USD for 2,101 and above miles per one-way trip
Alaska Airlines also allows its customers to shop for fares online that qualify for the mileage upgrade.
Alaska’s complimentary upgrades perk is basically offered to customers that are elite status members of their Mileage Plan program. So, if you are an elite status member, you can avail the benefit of unlimited complimentary upgrades to First Class. Now, in order to be eligible for such upgrades, your qualifying Mileage Plan number must be in the reservation, and your flight miles must be credited to Mileage Plan.
There are certain fare types that are eligible for immediate upgrades into First Class, which also depends on the availability. If you want to know the fare you are purchasing qualifies for the upgrade and availability of space, there are just a few things to do. You can head over to Alaska’s website, and when shopping online for flights, select the “Upgrade Type” option from the preference that is provided on the advanced search booking form.
Here are the elite status levels and fare types that fall in those categories.
- Qualifying Y, S, or Z fares for MVP members
- Qualifying Y, S, B, M, or Z fares for MVP Gold members
- Qualifying Y, S, B, M, H, or Z fares for MVP Gold 75K members
Their “Z” fares are refundable Main Cabin awards.
Ways to Upgrade your Seat on Alaska Airlines Flight
There are a few ways that allow passengers travelling on Alaska Airlines flights to upgrade their seats with convenience. An important thing to note here is that passengers can request a paid upgrade at the time of check-in if First Class seats are open within 24 hours of departure. Thus, you can avail this opportunity by upgrading online at Alaska’s website, at the airport kiosk or during counter check-in.
Upgrading Seats with Miles while Shopping Online
Alaska offers you a few ways to use your earned miles for purchasing any of their products and/or services, including their partner retails. For instance, you can use miles to book a stopover, purchase magazine subscriptions, or simply gift or transfer to someone or even donate them to a cause.
You can easily upgrade your current seat reservation by shopping online with the Mileage Plan miles points that you earn as a frequent flyer on Alaska flights. However, there is one condition to upgrading through this method. In order for you to be eligible to upgrade your seat with miles points, your ticket must be booked in a certain fare category.
Given below are few steps that will show how you can upgrade with miles on Alaska flights by shopping online.
1. Using your computer or smartphone device, visit Alaska Airlines’ website https://www.alaskaair.com.
2. When you are shopping online at Alaska’s website for products and services, select the “Mileage” option from the Upgrades type box. You will find this option in the Upgrade Preference box.
3. You will be shown only those fares that qualify for upgrade. Thus, flights with available upgrade seats are designated with a “U” class just next to the fare.
4. If ticket that you purchased is eligible for an upgrade, you can proceed with upgrade process and paying whatever fee is applicable.
Keep in mind that if you booked your reservation through a customer service centre or a third-party travel agency, you will be required to ask for fares that are in “Y, S, B, M, or H” class of service.
You may also contact their official customer service team to upgrade your seat with miles. Their representatives will be willing to assist you on the phone.
Upgrading Seats Online
This is a very common way of getting yourself seat upgrades when you have made a reservation with the airline carrier.
1. Using your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone device, visit Alaska Airlines’ official website https://www.alaskaair.com.
2. On their homepage, click the Sign in button to login to your account. This will allow you to easily manage your booking, even requesting seat upgrades on the go.
3. After you’re logged in, the next thing you will need to do is select the reservation that you want an upgrade for.
Note: If the ticket you purchased is eligible for an upgrade, it will be displayed along with other information.
4. You may also be required to provide certain details in order to verify your eligibility, which will depend on whether your request is going to be approved or rejected.
5. If your details and ticket type are successfully verified, your upgrade request will be in the process of completion. This could take some time.
Thus, once you have been upgraded to a higher cabin class, a confirmation will be sent to you via e-mail. So, make sure that you have access to your e-mail account at the time of carrying out the request online.
Upgrading Seats via Phone
Last, but not the least, seeking assistance from Alaska’s customer service centre is also worth going for. Their reservations centre are available to get things done for you within minutes. All you have to do is just give them a call, provide your details along with the request and that’s basically all.
You can contact the airline’s reservations centre at their 24/7 help desk phone number +1 800 252 7522 (+1 800 ALASKAAIR).
Alaska Airlines gives you the options that you can take as an opportunity, and even upgrade your flight’s seat, so you can travel with the most comfortable experience.