Happy belated birthday to Alaska Airlines Flight Pass! In celebration of their first year, the birthday gift is actually given to new users with a 20 percent off sale going on now! Last year, this major U.S. airline launched a monthly “Flight Pass” for routes on the West Coast. It has been such a hit that Alaska is doubling down and continuing the subscription service for at least another year.
New users interested in the sale have until March 8 to register so they can save some money for the first few months of their membership.
What is Flight Pass?
Alaska Airlines is the only major domestic carrier offering an annual flight membership where travelers can accumulate miles and book their itinerary without date restrictions. The subscription service allows travelers to fly pre-selected routes within the carrier’s network and has far exceeded the airlines' projections to the point of adding a new state into the mix – Utah.
The best part is the price remains the same at a starting price of just $49 per month for 6 trips per year. There are a total of 6 customizable plans for travelers to choose from before making the best decision for their own travel habits.
The next tier starts at $99, but high-end plans can skyrocket up to $749 per month for the ultimate Flight Pass Pro package of 24 round-trip flights per year at no more than twice per month.
“With Flight Pass, subscribers can book roundtrip flights to destinations including San Francisco, Las Vegas and now Salt Lake City at a fixed and consistent price. Subscribers now have an affordable and convenient way to connect with friends, family and colleagues.” – Neil Thwaites, regional vice-president of California for Alaska Airlines.
- 6 to 24 round-trip bookings each year with the airline
- A total of 16 destinations, mostly in California, ranging from San Diego to Sacramento
- Arizona, Nevada, and newly added Utah are also included without blackout dates
- A consumer-friendly price locked in for a full year
- Flexible options to switch flights
- Seat assignments on each flight
- Every completed flight earns 500 miles for Alaska loyalists
- Those with Alaska’s Mileage Plan elite status can enjoy free upgrades
Is Flight Pass Worth It?
At a monthly charge of $49 per month, the total annual cost of the membership at the lowest tier is $588. Users should also note if they cancel the plan, the entire annual cost is still charged.
Alaska announced the most popular airports for this service are San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego. Perhaps someone wants to take a weekend trip from San Diego to Salt Lake City in March. A quick flight search for Alaska’s competitors shows options of:
- $165 for a round trip flight with Spirit Airlines with a long layover in Las Vegas
- $388 for a direct round-trip flight with Delta Airlines
Now let’s say an Alaska subscriber wants to stay in California. Maybe someone from Fresno wants some relaxing beach time in San Diego. Another quick search shows some ironic options:
- Without Flight Pass, $244 for a direct round trip with Alaska Airlines
- $229 for a round-trip flight with Southwest with a reasonable layover in Las Vegas
Lastly, let's say someone wants to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and have a nice weekend in Scottsdale. Some more ironic results show:
- $159 for a direct round trip flight with low cost carrier Frontier Airlines
- Without Flight Pass, $488 for direct round trip flight with Alaska Airlines
While these are valuable examples to show what subscribers would be gaining or missing out on, ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide. Some flights without Flight Pass would cost almost the entire annual cost, while some of Alaska’s competitors offer very similar flights that may bring into question the benefit of the membership.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.