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I really don’t get why so many people love Alaska Airlines – their First Class is awful, their lounges are terrible, most of their FAs and ground staff are consistently rude, they’re not focusing on Seattle much anymore (but rather the West Coast), their mileage programme is basically useless for redemptions if you don’t travel to/from North America, and the list goes on and on. Having lived in Seattle for most of my life, I was able to experience Alaska lots of times and I can’t remember if I ever had a good experience from check-in to baggage claim.
People claim they love Alaska Airlines so much because of their amazing frequent flyer programme. While I agree that it is great considering they still award miles based on the distance flown and not the cost of the ticket, however, the mileage programme is basically useless if you do not live in North America since Alaska doesn’t allow you to redeem on all routes operated by their partner airlines… which is ridiculous. Want to fly Qantas from Australia to Asia? You can’t. Want to fly British Airways within Europe? You can’t (unless you’re connecting to/from North America). You can’t even redeem miles for something like Bangkok – Hong Kong – London on one ticket with Cathay Pacific (instead it would have to be two separate tickets).
Perhaps the biggest thing that irritates me about Alaska Airlines is how they claim they are so much better than Delta Air Lines and how they’re different and really “love” their customers. Seriously? Delta’s operations are 100x better than Alaska’s (and not to mention Delta’s FAs and ground staff are insanely nice). Yes, Delta has a terrible mileage programme… but it seems like Alaska loves Delta enough to keep duplicating Delta’s actions regarding making changes without notice.
A few years ago, Alaska Airlines devalued their award chart for flight awards on Emirates overnight. Without notice. Some awards went up by 100%. Can you imagine being an average Joe from Seattle saving years for your First Class getaway on Emirates only to have to wake up the next day and find out the award you want will cost you 100% more? Alaska claimed travel bloggers were the cause for the devaluation as “Emirates awards were a very popular option”. Really?!
Well, it looks like Alaska isn’t done making changes without notice… so much for their statement regarding that any further changes will be announced at least 30 days prior. Alaska Airlines is now blocking all redemptions and changes to award tickets on Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, and Japan Airlines within 72 hours of departure. Essentially you cannot redeem miles for flights operated by those three partner airlines if your flight is leaving in less than 72 hours… even if there is award availability.
Alaska Airlines, are you F#$%ing insane? Seriously? Another no-notice devaluation overnight? You have got to be kidding me. Of course, like last time, Alaska is blaming those involved in the mileage game for this devaluation. They are claiming this action is to reduce fraud associated with award tickets on those partner airlines. It is the year of 2018.. is there really no better way to fight fraud? I guess not, and I guess Alaska doesn’t care about their loyal members.
Considering Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines release an insane amount of First and Business Class award space last minute, this is a very big devaluation to Alaska’s frequent flyer programme. All in all, it is clear that Alaska is trying to literally be like Delta and make changes overnight without any notice… not only that, they think their members won’t notice any changes. It is ridiculous and it is the new norm for the Seattle-based airline.
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