If you fly regularly around the west coast or plan to this year, then this news will be of interest: Alaska Airlines just launched their first-ever flight subscription called Flight Pass.
With plans starting at $49 a month, Flight Pass members can fly up to 24 roundtrip flights a year to the most popular routes within California, as well as nonstop service from California airports to Reno, Phoenix and Las Vegas, for a fixed monthly rate.
There are two annual plans being offered to Flight Pass subscribers. One is based on the best value and the other on flexibility. Here’s how it works: “Subscribers will receive credits deposited monthly or bi-monthly into their Flight Pass account, to be redeemed for 6, 12 or 24 nonstop trips a year to eligible destinations. Flyers are still required to pay applicable government taxes and airport fees on each flight, in addition to the monthly subscription fee and nominal fare (most flights the fare is only $0.01).”
How To Take Flight with Flight Pass
- Sign up by creating an account at www.flightpass.alaskaair.com.
- Pick your preferred plan:
- Best value – Flight Pass: Starts at $49 per month, requires booking at least 14 days before travel, and as early as 90 days in advance.
- Most flexible – Flight Pass Pro: Starts at $199 per month, allows same-day booking up to two hours before departure, and as early as 90 days in advance.
- Choose the number of roundtrips you would like annually: 6, 12 or 24 roundtrip flights.
- Redeem your credits and book your trip on an eligible flight.
- Choose from 100 daily flights connecting 13 California airports to each other and to Reno, Phoenix, and Vegas
This is a new way to fly and the best part, besides the low price, is that it allows travelers to earn miles. I’m told “the same upgrade benefits Mileage Plan Elite members have come to enjoy are also applicable to Elites travelling on Flight Pass tickets. To upgrade to Premium Class, select a seat in the Premium Class cabin on the seat map and pay the applicable upgrade fee. When available, upgrades to First Class may also be purchased by managing your reservation on alaskaair.com, while checking in for your flight, or at the airport.”
Be careful before you jump into Alaska Air’s new Flight Pass service. I just read every page of Alaska’s info on this. ➡️ For most anything other than making the original booking, you must speak to an Alaska Air agent by telephone, even to cancel some trips. If you’ve tried to call Alaska Air over the past year, then you know it can easily take over an hour to get through and often takes several hours. I can’t imagine the requirement of speaking to an agent is cost effective for Alaska, and it certainly isn’t time effective for travelers.
Also, not all of the listed destinations are available from each departure airport. For example, San Diego (my home airport) to Phoenix isn’t available; neither is San Diego to Reno. There are several other limitations.
While Flight Pass will be a cost saver for some, it will not be helpful to others. Learn the limits before you buy the annual pass, because you cannot cancel 7 ‘til the end of your year.