Has Alaska changed their same day flight change policy (at least in practice)?

Being a frequent traveler that lives in the Pacific Northwest, it’s almost a requirement to be an Alaska Airlines elite. They fly everywhere on the west coast I need to go, and they’re very easy to fly thanks to their generous MVP Gold change policy (you can refund any ticket into your “travel bank” for free) and same day flight change policy, as well as the abundant upgrades. As I’ve said since moving here, Alaska Airlines is kind of like riding a nice bus (and that’s intended to be a compliment… I think).

But one of my favorite MVP Gold benefits has been the ability to make same day flight changes for free starting at 10PM the night before. If you’re confirmed in coach you can confirm onto any flight as long as there’s a coach seat available, even if it’s only a different fare class. Similarly, if you’re confirmed in first class (even if it’s on an upgrade) you could confirm onto any other flight with first class availability, even if there’s no confirmable upgrade space.

Sadly it looks like the latter part of that policy has changed, and now if you’re confirmed in first class with an upgrade you can only make a same day flight change to another flight with confirmable upgrade space, or else you’ll only be confirmed in coach.

At least that’s my experience based on trying to make a same day flight change online today.

Anyone else notice this? On one hand it was a generous policy, though on the other hand Alaska’s first class really isn’t that great, so there’s not much product to “protect.”

Filed Under: Alaska
  1. I am going to chime a bit late on this because I just tried to use this “same day change” policy to get a more direct flight and arrive earlier. I could do it by paying $356 more on the web site because all the value fares had gone and only full flex was available. However, with a cheap $411 ticket, I waited until the day before to see if I could get that earlier flight. No, it would not let me book it on line. So I called. The nice agent said that it had to be the EXACT same itinerary. Not just city to city pairs. She gave me the example that even if the plane flies ANC-LAX non stop, then your change has to be non-stop. If the plane stops in PDX before continuing to LAX, it is not the same itinerary and you can not change it. For $356 more, I just waited and arrived 4 hours later.

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