Does Alaska offer cash FC upgrades to Hawaii last minute?

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by sargenet, May 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sargenet
    Original Member

    sargenet Silver Member

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    Here is my situation. I have 2 coach award tickets booked on Alaska next week to Kona. I used miles I received through the 40K sign up bonus.

    My husband got his ticket on Alaska using his AA miles. Since the time of booking I noticed they have first class tickets on the same flight for 37.5K and I was thinking about upgrading him. Problem is he said he doesn't want to upgrade unless we can also upgrade our tickets. I don't have the miles and the only choice I have is to buy a FC ticket and pay the $99 for the second ticket. I spoke to Alaska and they said I would then be charged $75 a ticket to cancel my award tickets. So for me I can't justify a cost of $850 just to sit in FC for this trip...(one way..2 people).

    The agent did mention to me that as my flight gets closer I might be able to "pay" to upgrade to first class. Has anyone seen this offered within 24 hours of a flight? I am also wondering if this is just an option for customers who purchase their ticket vs anyone using an award ticket.

    Personally I think my husband is a fool to pass up a chance to sit in FC!! Instead he will be stuck with me and an 8 year old in coach!
     
  2. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    To my knowledge Alaska doesn't offer upgrades on miles/award tickets for elites or for cash on the day of departure.

    Upgrades on mile/awards tickets are only common with Delta and United but neither allows that to Hawaii AFAIK so no use to you.

    As far as paid upgrades on normal revenue tickets to Hawaii on Alaska it is occasionally possible to buy upgrades during online checkin or at the gate for $150 each way. You will have best luck if you are not flying through Seattle and instead departing from CA cities or Portland. I bought a return Maui to Portland upgrade at the gate in Maui last winter for my SO and it was the first I've seen for sale in a long time.

    You might want to consider saving your $99 certificate for a round trip flight because it is the same price ($99) one way or RT.

    Good luck!
     
  3. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    Thanks...when I originally signed up for the card I was planning to use the $99 ticket to get us from Austin to Kona. But the prices were crazy high compared to other airlines and it didn't make sense. I ended up using Alaska miles to get there...and Hawaiian miles back. We decided to break up our trip with a stop over on the west coast both directions.

    Right now on our flight coming up on Thursday I see half of FC still empty. Coach is full. I guess I will log in 24 hours in advance and see if I can purchase upgrades!
     
  4. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    The MVPG/MVP upgrade window hasn't even hit yet (well, MVPG does today) on discounted fares.
     
  5. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    I see that now and am understanding the process a little better! That being said I just upgraded my husband to FC using his AA miles (since his ticket was purchased through AA). Who knows...maybe we will get lucky and be able to purchase the upgrades...maybe not! At least we are going to Hawaii!
     
  6. sargenet
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    sargenet Silver Member

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    As a follow up we did get lucky! I was able to get the flight for 20K points and when I checked in at the ticket counter I asked if there were any cash upgrades available to first class. Sure enough, we were able to pay $150 each to upgrade to first class! Made it a nice start to our Hawaii vacation. I enjoyed having the extra space and nice service. The breakfast food...well it was a little weird and not very good! But I am glad we paid the extra to upgrade!
     
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  7. bridgetkay

    bridgetkay New Member

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    Alaska always sells any remaining F/C seats. It is $50 for every 1250 miles traveled.
     
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  8. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    Exactly. AS does not care if you paid full fare for your ticket, bought a $99 companion, or used miles. They just want the incremental revenue from UFC. So I have often seen $100 UFC offered at the counter and over the PA at the gate (now $150 for Hawaii).

    I disagree about the breakfast - both entrees were great on my last flight. I will try to post photos. The IFE is worthless, but it is just nice to have the extra space and free mai tais.
     

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