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We have written quite a bit recently about the Alaska Airlines takeover of Virgin America and the great value Points/Miles redemption opportunities it has created for savvy travellers. Unless you read the American travel blogs though, you might not be aware that you could have 10,000 completely free Alaska Miles waiting for you as a result!
One of the core pieces of advice we give at InsideFlyer UK is to sign up for everything and never miss out on free Miles (so long as it only takes a minute of your time, of course!) – even if it’s a small amount, or you don’t have an obvious immediate use for them.
That’s why we constantly flagged the opportunities for free Virgin America Elevate Points last year. Anyone who followed that advice and opened a Virgin America Elevate account has now hit the jackpot!
As part of the takeover, Alaska Mileage Plan is giving everyone who had a Virgin Elevate account before 5th December 2016 10,000 free Alaska Miles (or $100 flight credit, if you prefer).
This an incredibly generous move by Alaska, and they deserve a lot of credit – I also happen to think it’s pretty smart business too for an airline that doesn’t have the same reach as the US airline giants, American, United and Delta. It’s bound to generate a lot of headlines and goodwill.
When you factor in the 1 Elevate Point = 1.3 Alaska Miles transfer ratio too, if you collected all the free Virgin Elevate Points we posted about, you should now end up with at least another 3,500 Miles – so 13,500 free Alaska Miles in total. Not bad for a bit of clicking last year!
I value Alaska Miles extremely highly (~2p each), because of incredible value awards like 29 hours in Cathay Pacific First Class for 70,000 Miles, with no surcharges.
Personalised emails are being sent out to everyone who had a Virgin Elevate account before 5th December, but don’t have an Alaska Mileage Plan account. If you already have both accounts, Alaska will try to match the details and place 10,000 Miles in your Mileage Plan account automatically (get in touch with them in a few days if you don’t receive anything).
You have until 31st January 2017 to claim your free Miles.
This is the text from the email a family member received and you should get your own very soon if you haven’t already, so check your emails:
“Your Virgin America Elevate membership is paying off with Alaska Airlines.
You’re now a member of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™, one of the most generous travel rewards programs out there. Your benefits begin with your choice of 10,000 bonus miles or $100 off any Alaska-operated flight when you activate your account. With round-trip flights starting at 10,000 miles, plus taxes and fees*, you’ll have enough to start traveling right away.”
“Already a Mileage Plan member? No need to activate a new Mileage Plan account if you already have one. Just let us know your existing account number here. We’ll automatically deposit 10,000 bonus miles in your account.”
Once you follow the personalised link, you get to choose whether you want the Miles or the cash discount (I would strongly recommend the Miles!)
and that’s it:
In this case the 10,000 Miles posted immediately, but I’ve heard that there have been delays for others.
This is an unexpected and very welcome bonus. At a time when most airlines seem fixated on reducing the value of their loyalty programmes, Alaska Mileage Plan is doing something a bit different. That’s brave, and deserves recognition.
My colleague Craig (who, contrary to rumours, is not actually a flying pig) recently wrote a great article on why you might want to start thinking about crediting BA flights to Alaska Mileage Plan from now on – there’s never been a better time to check it out!
Choice of 10,000 bonus miles or $100 discount is valid only for active members of Virgin America Elevate as of December 5, 2016 who were not members of Alaska Mileage Plan. Only one offer can be selected, and choice of offer cannot be changed after account activation. Qualifying members will have through January 31, 2017 to make their selection. Any individual may receive a maximum of one offer, even if they hold multiple separate Elevate accounts. Your welcome offer will be deposited in your account within 24 hours of activation.
Discount: Valid for one discount of $100 off base fare levels published at alaskaair.com. Fare basis code information can be found in the section entitled “View Fare and Baggage Rule” on the Itinerary and Price Summary page. Fare types that are ineligible for this discount may be lower than other fares with discount code applied. One discount allowed per reservation. Discount not valid on all fares, including but not limited to Mileage Plan Award Reservations, Alaska Airlines Vacation packages, tour or contract fares, most discounted first class fares and many privately filed fares. Any Discount Code value remaining after purchase is forfeited.
Reservations & Ticketing: Valid for new ticket purchases only at alaskaair.com. Discount Code cannot be applied to tickets that have already been purchased and issued. Discount Code is relinquished at time of ticketing and void for future purchases. Credit card required for purchase.
Flights: Valid only on flights operated by Alaska Airlines, and flights operated on behalf of Alaska Airlines by Horizon Air, Sky West and Pen Air. Not valid on codeshare flights.
Passengers: Up to 1 person per Discount Code, traveling together and booked and ticketed at the same time in the same reservation and at the same fare.
Routes: Discount valid systemwide (excluding Prudhoe Bay). Based on published fare routings and some cities may not be available. Advance Purchase: Per applicable fare rules. Purchase By: October 31, 2017. Travel Valid From: January 9, 2017. Travel Complete: October 31, 2017. Blackout Dates: per fare rules Minimum & Maximum Stay: Per applicable fare rules. Taxes, Fees and Surcharges: Passenger is responsible for all applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges, including checked baggage fees. Combinability: Not valid with any other discounts, including Discount Codes, coupons, discount programs, MyAccount online discount, or other arrangements. Changes and Refunds: Changes and refunds are allowed per the applicable fare rule and will result in the forfeiture of the Discount Code in cases where the modified itinerary does not qualify for the discount. Once issued, tickets are not transferable. Mileage Plan: Mileage Plan credit applies and upgrades are allowed. Transferability: Discount Codes may not be sold, bought, bartered, auctioned or collected in bulk. Any deemed by Alaska to have been distributed or acquired improperly will not be honored and traveler will be responsible for payment of full fare. Additional Terms: All rules of alaskaair.com and the applicable published fare not mentioned within these terms and conditions apply. Other: Discount Codes have no cash value and are not valid for travel. Lost or stolen Discount Codes cannot be replaced. Alaska has the final authority regarding Discount Code redemption. Travel is subject to Alaska’s contract of carriage. Terms and conditions as written herein are final and cannot be changed by any statement or representation of any unauthorized person, including employees of Alaska/Horizon or issuing organization. Other restrictions may apply and Alaska reserves the right to suspend or change this offer without notice.