Alaska Airlines Responds to Delta’s Seattle Seahawks Promotion and Offers Its Own Free Miles Promotion

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Sunday, October 9, 2016 – A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel

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Battle in Seattle Continues…

I recently wrote about Delta Air Lines’ new promotion, “12Status,” which is just another jab in the continuing saga of the ‘Battle in Seattle’ between Alaska Airlines and Delta.  It is a ‘turf war,’ with Delta being the newcomer.

For years Alaska Airlines has been the ‘hometown’ airline to Seattle and has a loyal following. Alaska also boasts an all-Boeing (Seattle-based manufacturer) aircraft fleet.  Alaska Airlines even signed the NFL Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson as their CFO (Chief Football Officer.) This flies in the face of Delta’s ‘12Status’ NFL promotion for SkyMiles members to earn free SkyMiles.

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Not to be outdone by Delta’s free giveaway, Alaska has come up with their own free miles giveaway promotion; Fantasy Bonus Miles. Qualification is limited to those Alaska MileagePlan members who live in one of five states; Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.  Alaska even made up an illustrative promotional video, featuring the Seahawks’ quarterback to launch and explain the promotion. You can see the full video here

A Significant Difference Between the Two Promotions

The one significant difference between the two promotions is that Delta gives away free miles to all eligible SkyMiles members who show up while Alaska is picking three winners from a pool of eligible entries. Alaska is touting the possibility of earning 400,000 redeemable miles in this program!

The tag line goes like this – This season, we’re converting our Chief Football Officer’s performance on the field into miles in the sky. Enter for your chance to win at http://fantasybonusmiles.com  You Must Register to Win   Enjoy discounts on travel to away game destinations.  Alaska also features discount fares to the Seahawks’ away games on this website.
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We know the importance of having supportive fans in the stands, both at home and on the road. To help Russell’s fans support him all season long, we are offering a 12% discount on air travel to most away games if you are traveling from WA, OR, ID, MT, AK, or British Columbia.  Alaska Airlines also has a promotion to allow fans to win free flights to cities where the Seahawks are playing.

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Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Follow Russell on The Road Sweepstakes starts 8/22/16 at 12:00 p.m. PT and ends 12/16/16 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Open only to eligible legal residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington who are at least 18 years old. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including eligibility requirements, entry periods, entry instructions, odds of winning a prize, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void elsewhere & where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Alaska Airlines, Inc. Not affiliated with or endorsed by Facebook, NFL or any NFL team.

Also, if you’re on an Alaska flight departing Seattle (to any destination) this football season, you can board early if you wear Russell’s #3 jersey. If you have travelled with Alaska, or been near one of their gates during boarding, in an airport in one of these states you have likely heard the agent announcement offering early boarding when wearing a Russell Wilson jersey.

 Final Thoughts

So, while it is a bit comical to sit on the sidelines (pun intended) and watch the battle ensue, it can be rewarding as you can pick up free SkyMiles and MileagePlan miles while letting every play be for your benefit. I have already picked up more than 2,000 SkyMiles and the season has just begun! With a potential to earn say 400,000 Alaska Airlines’ MileagePlan Miles I am sitting pretty in the Pacific Northwest!

What do you think of Alaska’s latest response to Delta’s 12Status promotion?  Have you signed up for either one (or both) of these giveaway promotions?  Please let us know in the comments.  Thank you & safe travels! We’ll see you ‘up there’ – John of laptoptravel

 

 

 

An Insight into Alaska Airlines’ Mindset Going Forward with Virgin America Merger

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 A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel

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The Merger is Expected to Be Completed in 2018

Alaska Airlines Virgin America Merger laptoptravel

I am very excited, as so many are, and intrigued by the merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. For myself, as an MVP 75K member, it opens up new opportunities, increased capacity and more choices (especially along the West Coast.)

First Class Alaska Airlines

First Class breakfast aboard Alaska’s B737-800 (enroute between SEA & LAX)

Alaska has a team dedicated to the transition and we are anxious to hear exactly how they plan to integrate Virgin’s fleet and operational uniqueness into the Alaska system. There is a lot of speculation of what Alaska will or won’t do when it comes to absorbing Virgin America’s ‘hip peculiarities’; Boeing versus Airbus, Hip versus Conservative, Routes, Interiors, Perks and an endless myriad of policies.  How will they do it?  What are they thinking?

Thankfully, this week, we got another peek into the mindset of Alaska regarding some of those issues. Here are some highlights from a recent presentation by Scott Habberstad, Director of Sales and Community Marketing for Alaska Airlines.

A recent report by KRBD, a Ketchikan, Alaska radio station and news organization, offers some insights into Alaska Airlines’ thinking going forward with the Virgin American merger. Habberstad stated that the airline sees no reason why the merger would not get approved by the government. He also addresses the culture of Virgin America and how that might translate, in some form, through to Alaska Airlines’ operations:

“Virgin is different. It’s an experience. You board listening to Beyoncé,” he said. “It’s got purple mood lighting in the airplanes. It’s a different experience, but it’s a good experience. It’s fresher, it’s new. While I don’t think you’ll board to Beyoncé on us in the future, there might be a little bit of an uptick: A little fresher brand coming from us.”

He also said that Alaska will ‘try out’ the Airbus aircraft which are currently mostly leased on Virgin’s fleet.

Habberstad also mentioned Alaska Airlines’ relationship with Delta. He said “Delta is a good partner and a good competitor.” He also remarked that in spite of the fierce competition with Delta in the Seattle market that the Virgin America merger will allow Alaska to strengthen that position.

 

Synergy RouteMap Alaska Airlines Virgin America Merger

Current Map of Both Airlines’ Routes

I take that statement (about Delta being a good partner) with a grain of salt.  Surely, with a written partnership agreement between the two airlines negative statements are going to come forth with minimal frequency.  The two airlines still work together and Alaska even offers bonus EQM’s for its Alaska frequent flyer program, MileagePlan for members who fly Delta’s premium fares and credit them back to their Alaska account.

Habberstad added that the company will be concentrating on expanding its international partnerships in the future as well.

This is an absolute necessity; since Alaska’s international reach is limited to Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. As the SeaTac (Seattle/Tacoma) Airport continues with its new international terminal it’s in Alaska’s best interest to get some ancillary revenue through that with increased international flights and partnerships.  After all, Alaska is going to pay its share for that terminal, based on passenger traffic whether they like it or not; a fact that Delta will surely reap the benefits of as it ramps up its Seattle hub for future international destinations and increased routes.  Delta’s goal is to increase its flights five-fold over summer of 2014’s traffic.

Alaska has a lot on their plate, and as oil prices (and jet fuel costs) rise, the costs of the merger, paying for the new SeaTac international terminal and competition with Delta make its burden heavy-laden, so no missteps can be afforded.

What do you think of the Alaska/Virgin merger?  Do you think this will help Alaska in their battle with their ‘frenemy’ Delta Air Lines? Have Fun ‘Up there!’ – John @ laptoptravel

Miami to Anchorage $854 & 8654 MQMs at 10CPM 2015 Overnight Weekend Delta Elite Mileage Run

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Monday, December 14, 2015  by John @laptoptravel

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Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage Flights

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Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage – Calendar

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Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage Booking

I know this is not an ideal Mileage Run, but let me say that it is really getting ugly here the last few days to take a Mileage Run before 2015 ends.  I am hearing from a lot of you that you “just need something” to get you over the MQM hump for the year. On the plus side it is a WEEKEND RUN, and it is after the big Holiday!

Okay; here you go.  This is 8,654 Medallion Qualification Miles for less than $900.  Truthfully, we are approaching a 10 Cents per Mile (CPM) starting price for Mileage Runs of any real length.  So many people are flying for vacations, their own Mileage Runs and I have seen a lot of flyers these past few weeks cashing in their Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates.

I wish I had some good First Class Mileage Runs, and I will get back to searching for those after this post. Well, hopefully many of you were able to capitalize on our previous two First Class Elite Mileage Runs last week.

So, I am sending you far away to Anchorage on this Mileage Run. Let me prepare you and tell you these aircraft between Minneapolis and Anchorage are worn out planes from Northwest.  Delta still flies these since they carry so much cargo/mail.

As you can see by the posted calendar, there are a handful of dates that work in December, and the prices get so  much better in January, if you want to start the year off with another run.

The Details:

MQM’s:  8654 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Ticket Price:  $854

Cost:   10.6 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Bookable on Delta.com

(Wednesday’s Dec 26th) –  DIRECT BOOKING <-LINK

A total of four segments, here is your routing: MIA-MSP-ANC-MSP-MIA

Please LOGIN first you your Delta.com account before clicking any links. The, once you are signed into your Delta.com account then click on the desired link (Shown Below) and then choose your flights by pressing SELECT on the flights displayed that match the Mileage Run I have posted. You will then be taken directly into a Delta window where you can see the flights, the miles, and the cost. From there you can also choose “Pay With Miles” (if you have a Delta co-branded American Express card) and Purchase the ticket!

I will continue to search for you…but you need to make a commitment to do something before time runs out!  It probably will just get uglier from here on out until December 31st.  -Enjoy your travels!   – John @laptoptravel