Beginning Oct. 1, Mileage Plan members will find that the standard 1,000-mile bonus awarded for booking an award online has become a one-shot deal. The bonus, which is currently available for all online bookings, will only apply to first-time bookings. Subsequent bookings will not earn bonus miles.
Alaska is not the first airline to cut back on bonuses for online booking, nor will it be the last. Last year, Southwest announced that it was discontinuing its acclaimed “double credit for online booking” bonus — a multiple Freddie-award winner.
The reason is simple: the online bonuses have done their job. They’ve directed customers to the less cost-intensive method of procuring tickets, and until that trend reverses, we can expect to see more cutbacks in Web freebies.