Alaska Adding Dynamic Award Pricing On American

Alaska Adding Dynamic Award Pricing On American

12

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program will be introducing more flexible rewards on American Airlines, and I’d say that’s probably going to be good news.

Alaska Mileage Plan changing American awards

While details are limited as of now, Alaska Mileage Plan has updated its award chart to add the following:

American Airlines awards update: Effective March 1, 2022, while the current award prices will continue to be available, note that award pricing on American Airlines flights in the US and Canada may vary depending on demand.

As you can see, as of March 1, 2022, Alaska Mileage Plan award pricing on American Airlines will have more “variability.” We don’t have any details yet on what these changes will look like, but rather just have a heads up that this is changing.

Expect new variable award pricing on American

Why this change isn’t bad news

I see some people suggesting that this change is bad news or should be concerning, but that’s not at all my read on the situation:

  • Current award pricing will continue to be available, presumably continuing to use American’s typical “fare buckets” for awards
  • The reality is that there are several “levels” of award availability through American AAdvantage, and it sounds like Alaska will also have access to some of that space going forward; to me this reflects the closeness of the partnership between American and Alaska
  • I don’t see this immediately foreshadowing any changes at American AAdvantage, because if American wanted to change award pricing even more, that wouldn’t start with Alaska Mileage Plan
  • It’s possible that this could even be positive, as American has “Web Special” awards, where awards are cheaper than the regular saver award prices, even though the saver award buckets aren’t available; however, I’m not convinced Alaska will have access to this space
  • Alaska already has this “dynamic” award pricing on other airline partners, where Alaska has the regular published award chart for when a partner airline has award availability, and then much higher pricing for other flights that don’t have award availability

Like I said, the details are limited as of now, though logically I wouldn’t consider this to be a negative development. Now, this probably isn’t how I’d want to redeem my Mileage Plan miles, but more options are a good thing, assuming nothing is being taken away.

This shouldn’t be bad news for Mileage Plan members

Bottom line

As of March 1, 2022, Alaska Mileage Plan will introduce variable award pricing on American Airlines. Mileage Plan should continue to have the same award pricing when American has saver level award availability, but now members will also be able to redeem for travel on American on other flights as well.

While this is unlikely to represent some amazing deal for the average member, more ways to redeem miles are typically a good thing, assuming nothing is being taken away (and there’s no reason to believe anything is being taken away).

What do you make of Mileage Plan’s variable award pricing on American?

Conversations (12)
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  1. Apurva Guest

    Already doing it for Qatar Airways

  2. glenn t Diamond

    Would Alaska like us to view this new development as an 'enhancement' ? I suspect so.
    I view the idea of dynamic pricing of awards, not just AS, as a giant step away from the spirit of awards generally. There was a time when you could score a very desirable flight as an award where it may have been high-cost if bought for cash. No more!
    Dynamic pricing of awards is simply shadowing revenue inventory.
    Of course UA id the biggest offender here!

  3. KuBear Guest

    I have used AS miles to book flights from Hawaii to California (in 1st class) as a stop-over then 2 months later, continued onward on same reservation to east coast in AA Flagship lie-flat seats where I can connect to my final destination (also in business class) in the Caribbean or Central American, or Mexico. All of that for 27,500 AS miles. The same reservation with AA miles would have cost me 3x or maybe...

    I have used AS miles to book flights from Hawaii to California (in 1st class) as a stop-over then 2 months later, continued onward on same reservation to east coast in AA Flagship lie-flat seats where I can connect to my final destination (also in business class) in the Caribbean or Central American, or Mexico. All of that for 27,500 AS miles. The same reservation with AA miles would have cost me 3x or maybe even 4x. I feel like with this new update, I won't be able to make these bookings for the same amount of miles anymore :(

    Here are some examples of flights with stop-over I booked for only 27,500 AS miles (all in first/business)

    HNL-SFO-JFK-SJO
    OGG-LAX-MIA-AUA
    PUJ-DFW-HNL
    CUN-MIA-LAX-OGG

    1. Eric Guest

      So the free stopover also works on American flights? I didn’t realize these kind of routings were possible!

    2. CDKing Guest

      International yes, domestic partner awards do not allow stopovers

  4. Beachfan Guest

    Sorry for the spell check, meant does Alaska have fees to cancel partner awards.

    1. bd777 Guest

      They do not. They charge $12.50 for a partner award booking fee that is nonrefundable however. I have cancelled both AY and IB award tickets without any penalty except for that booking fee. I expect the same for AA.

  5. Beachfan Guest

    Coach may have done deals, but business awards will be sky high. Right now, you can find the flights lower in J than what AA has for the same AA flight.

    Does Slaska have feed to cancel award tickets?

    1. CDKing Guest

      only the $12.50 each way partner fee is not refundable

  6. Charles Seigel Guest

    I think your view that any kind of “dynamic pricing” can be a good thing is hopelessly naive. Dynamic pricing is the euphemism for gigantic rises in rates when most people would want it. A chart, even which goes by season rather than year round as originally, would be more reasonable and public for people to have some idea how many miles is needed. And while I know that this is also a way to...

    I think your view that any kind of “dynamic pricing” can be a good thing is hopelessly naive. Dynamic pricing is the euphemism for gigantic rises in rates when most people would want it. A chart, even which goes by season rather than year round as originally, would be more reasonable and public for people to have some idea how many miles is needed. And while I know that this is also a way to raise rates without saying so, “dynamic pricing” often comes up with absurd amounts which are insults. Airlines should go back to a chart even with raised prices and based on seasons.

  7. Harry Guest

    AA can be very difficult with reasonable award space available through their Oneworld partners. My experience with booking AA through BA, it has to be a flight with plenty of availability. Seasonal flights like before and after Christmas, forget it. BA thus far has been blocked out. Alaska, you can get AA flights and somewhat reasonable. However, with hardily any Alaska miles, I could transfer Amex to Singapore to Alaska, but with my Platinum business...

    AA can be very difficult with reasonable award space available through their Oneworld partners. My experience with booking AA through BA, it has to be a flight with plenty of availability. Seasonal flights like before and after Christmas, forget it. BA thus far has been blocked out. Alaska, you can get AA flights and somewhat reasonable. However, with hardily any Alaska miles, I could transfer Amex to Singapore to Alaska, but with my Platinum business card, the 35% rebate beats the Alaska price. So why do a transfer when I'll get miles using my Platinum business card? It's a game. Oh, AA award price, usually forget it. You might as well throw your points out the door. I guess AA has to make up for Ben's SimplyMiles haul! (joke, go Ben)

  8. Wayne Guest

    Alaska’s mileage plan is so complicated and deceiving. I am going back to American. I have over 700,000 miles on AMERICAN before I switched to to Alaska under their status match program. I now have about 26000 miles since I joined an now I find out it was a con job and so complicated. I am now going back to fly AMERICAN.

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Apurva Guest

Already doing it for Qatar Airways

0
CDKing Guest

only the $12.50 each way partner fee is not refundable

0
CDKing Guest

International yes, domestic partner awards do not allow stopovers

0
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