You can now use – or earn – Alaska Airlines miles booking hotels
Alaska Airlines has rolled out a new plan allowing its frequent flyers to turn in the carrier’s miles for hotel rooms – or earn miles for booking hotel rooms through the airline.
A Tuesday statement from Ryan Butz, Alaska’s managing director of its loyalty programs, touted the benefits for people who also use Alaska Airlines’ credit card to make their bookings.
“Redeeming miles for hotels was among the most requested enhancements to Mileage Plan, and our members now have the ability to redeem valuable Alaska miles for both flights and hotels,” Butz said.
Airline officials weren’t immediately available Tuesday to answer questions about the website.
On Tuesday, a test of the new site brought up 38 Anchorage hotels for a one-night stay for two adults on June 12, with 24 available for the same stay next year on April 12.
The highest cost in miles for the June stay was 86,900 miles at the Embassy Suites Anchorage, with the lowest cost 18,700 miles for the Eagle River Microtel. Those costs were markedly lower for many hotels in April, ranging from 78,600 miles at the Hotel Captain Cook to 11,400 miles at the Puffin Inn.
Here’s a look at how various Anchorage hotels available on both dates stacked up in mileage costs for the two stays:
Crowne Plaza: 47,600 June, 25,900 April
Dimond Center Hotel: 36,800 June, 21,900 April
Hilton Anchorage: 64,900 June, 34,600 April
Hilton Garden Inn: 48,000 June, 21,800 April
Holiday Inn Express Anchorage: 33,000 June, 23,600 April
Hotel Captain Cook: 78,600 June, 78,600 April
Long House Alaskan Hotel: 43,500 June, 31,100 April
Puffin Inn: 34,100 June, 11,400 April
Booking with an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card offered a roughly 10 percent discount from those rates, with some exceptions.
By comparison, a revised award chart on Alaska’s Mileage Plan website shows coach tickets on the carrier costing up to 50,000 miles starting next month, with minimum costs within Alaska and the U.S., to or from Mexico and to or from Hawaii set at 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 miles respectively.
The new website also allows users to pay for hotel rooms normally and receive Alaska Airlines miles for booking through the website – a practice The Points Guy mileage blog has cautioned might prevent people from receiving loyalty points with the hotels involved, as a third-party booking.
Potential mileage earnings for the June 12 Anchorage stay ranged from 2,000 miles – the best award available on that date – for as little as $166 at an Extended Stay America location, down to 500 miles for a $98 stay at the Eagle River Microtel. An April 12 stay at the Hilton Anchorage for $306 was worth 7,000 miles, while the minimum 500 miles was available for a $68 night at the Puffin Inn.
Neither the hotels site nor the conventional Mileage Plan website appeared to offer combination bookings of airline tickets and hotel rooms Tuesday.
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