Alaska Air PFD sale: Deconstructed

In Airfares, Consumer, Uncategorized by scott

Alaska Airlines has announced their annual PFD air fare sale. As usual, there are good and bad points to the sale.

Good: For Alaska’s rural communities, these often are the best prices of the year. Almost all destinations are included (Adak, Dutch Harbor, Nome, Barrow, Hawaii, Mexico). Fares are zone-based, so little towns like Redding, CA and North Bend, OR have the same fare as Portland, for example. Also, more cities are included as Alaska’s routes expand, including Atlanta, Houston and Austin.

Bad: For Anchorage travelers, there actually are price hikes over peak summertime travel rates. Fares are trending up, up and away.

Ugly: More blackout dates. No travel permitted on Fridays or Sundays. From Alaska, no travel is permitted Nov. 20-21, 25, 28-30, Dec. 16-23, 2009 or Mar. 4-9, 2010. To Alaska, no travel is permitted Nov. 20-21, 25, 28-30, 2009 or Jan. 1-7, or Mar. 11-16, 2010.  Change fees are higher. PFD travel not applicable to Seattle-Hawaii flights or to Anchorage-Maui nonstop.

Silver Lining: Alaska’s mileage program is one of the best. I’m a big fan of the airline as a whole, even if their fares are “North of Expected”. Plus, I flew on a r-e-a-l-l-y nice day between Juneau and Anchorage (actually, I started in Ketchikan and stopped in Wrangell and Petersburg as well….an all-day affair!). I made a slide show:

From Anchorage to:

–Seattle $199 ea. way or 418 roundtrip, all-in.
–Honolulu (nonstop) 209 ea. way or 438 rt all-in
–Portland 229 ea. way or 478 roundtrip, all-in.
(includes all destinations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho including Klamath Falls, Lewiston, Walla Walla…plus Arcata, CA and Redding, CA)
–Chicago (nonstop) 239 ea. way or 498 roundtrip, all-in
–San Francisco 249 ea. way or 539 rt all-in
(includes Reno, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Fresno)
–Billings, MT 249 ea. way or 539 rt all-in
(includes Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell)

All other destinations (Newark, Orlando, Houston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, etc.) also are available–but the prices are higher. Check the website.

From Fairbanks to:

–Seattle $249 ea way or $539 rt all-in
–Honolulu (via Anchorage-Honolulu nonstop) 259 ea way or 557rt all-in
–Portland 279 ea way or $600 rt all-in
(includes all destinations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho…plus Arcata, CA and Redding, CA)
–San Francisco 298 ea way or 638rt all-in (includes Oakland, San Jose, Reno, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Fresno)
–Billings 299 ea way or 638rt all-in (includes Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell)

From Juneau/Sitka/Petersburg/Wrangell  to:

–Seattle $179 ea way or 397rt all-in
–other cities in WA, OR, ID (plus Arcata, CA and Redding, CA): 460rt all-in
–Bay Area (SFO, SJC, OAK, SMF, RNO, STS, FAT): 498rt all-in
–Montana (BIL, BZN, FCA, GTF, MSO, HLN): 498rt all-in
–Southern California (LAX-area airports, SAN, Palm Springs): 539rt all-in

Check the website for departures from Bethel, Kodiak, Cordova, Nome, Kotzebue, Barrow, etc.

Purchase tickets by Nov. 2, 2009. Complete travel by Aug. 25, 2010. This is a developing story. Please stay tuned for updates.

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