‘Fly Alaska, Ski Free’: How to Maximize This Promotion

Do one better than cheap lift tickets: Ski for free by showing an Alaska boarding pass at participating resorts.
Nov 29, 2021

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Once again this year, Alaska is partnering with ski resorts to allow its flyers to “Fly Alaska, Ski Free.” You can ski for free at qualifying resorts just by showing an Alaska boarding pass. Some participating resorts offer a free day of skiing on arrival, while others let you ski for free on the day you're flying out.

If you really want to maximize your savings, use miles to fly in and points to pay for accommodations. Here’s how to maximize this promotion.

Fly Alaska, Ski Free participating resorts

For the 2021-22 ski season, Alaska Airlines is partnering with eight resorts where you can ski for free by showing your boarding pass:

Of the participating resorts, two are in Canada: RED Mountain Resort and Marmot Basin. So you will need to bring your passport and meet the entry requirements to Canada to take advantage of these options.

Alyeska Resort (near Anchorage)

The Alyeska Resort is about an hour outside of Anchorage. From Jan. 4, 2022, to April 24, 2022, visitors can ski free on their day of arrival by showing their Alaska Airlines boarding pass. This offer is good only on weekdays and excludes Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and March 4-11, 2022.

Anchorage is one of Alaska Airlines’ hubs, meaning there are plenty of Alaska Airlines routes with direct service to Anchorage. However, about half of these routes are intra-Alaska. Airports in the “lower 48” with direct service to Anchorage include Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle.

How to visit Alyeska Resort with points and miles

The number of Alaska Mileage Plan miles you need for a flight into Anchorage depends on the route and the date, but is often around 10,000 to 12,500 miles each way. The route from Seattle to Anchorage is the cheapest at a consistent 10,000 miles each way.

If you want to stay close to the Alyeska Resort, book a stay at the Alyeska Resort & Hotel. Nightly rates start around $201 during ski season. Otherwise, you’ll find plenty of hotels available for points in Anchorage.

Bogus Basin (near Boise)

Bogus Basin is located just 16 miles from downtown Boise. Through the Fly Alaska, Ski Free promotion, skiers can show their Alaska Airlines boarding pass to ski for free on their day of arrival. This offer isn't valid on Saturdays or Sundays before 3 p.m. or on blackout dates:

  • Nov. 25-28, 2021.

  • Dec. 26-31, 2021.

  • Jan 1 and 15-17, 2022.

  • Feb. 19-21, 2022.

Alaska currently offers flights to Boise from 13 airports:

  1. Austin.

  2. Chicago O'Hare.

  3. Dallas-Ft. Worth.

  4. Everett.

  5. Los Angeles.

  6. Portland.

  7. Pullman-Moscow.

  8. Sacramento.

  9. San Diego.

  10. San Francisco.

  11. San Jose.

  12. Seattle-Tacoma.

  13. Spokane.

How to visit Bogus Basin with points and miles

You can book flights into Boise for just 5,000 Alaska miles each way nonstop during peak ski season.

Alternatively, cardholders with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for the same Alaska Airlines flight for less than 4,000 points each way.

Since Bogus Basin is so close to Boise, you can use your points to stay right in town. Here are some solid points options:

  • Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown: This hotel will cost you around 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night and includes a free hot breakfast.

  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Boise Downtown: Around 40,000 Hilton Honors points per night, this new property is located right in the heart of Boise and offers free breakfast each morning before you hit the slopes.

  • Marriott offers 11 Category 3 properties in Boise: Award nights at these properties range from 15,000 to 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night for stays booked through March 2022. Book the SpringHill Suites to get a suite with a kitchenette and free breakfast.

Eaglecrest Ski Area (near Juneau)

Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Juneau, the Eaglecrest Ski Area offers adult lift tickets for an affordable $62 per day. But with the Fly Alaska, Ski Free promotion, you can get a free lift ticket the same day that you arrive at Juneau on an Alaska flight.

Nerdy tip: Eaglecrest typically only operates from Wednesday through Sunday, with daily operations over Christmas break, spring break, MLK Day and Presidents Day.

Most of Alaska Airlines’ routes to Juneau are intra-Alaska flights. Travelers who aren’t based in Alaska will need to connect through Anchorage or Seattle to get to Juneau.

How to visit Eaglecrest Ski Area with points and miles

Alaska-based travelers have plenty of award options costing just 5,000 miles each way. For those in other states, award flights generally cost 12,500 miles each way.

Most of the hotels in Juneau aren’t affiliated with major brands, so you may want to use your flexible currency points — like Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards — to book a local hotel.

The main points hotel option in downtown Juneau is the Four Points by Sheraton. As a Category 6 Marriott hotel, stays here range from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night for stays booked through March 2022. That’s a steep award rate for a hotel that can cost just $181 per night including taxes and fees.

Red Lodge Mountain (near Billings)

Back in 2013, Business Insider dubbed Red Lodge, Montana, the "Coolest Ski Town You've Never Heard Of,” and it’s continued to live up to that nickname. Located just over an hour outside of Billings, it’s accessible via Alaska Airlines and a short drive.

Unlike most other resorts in this Alaska Airlines promotion, Red Lodge offers Alaska flyers free skiing on the day of departure. So, you’ll want to fly out of Billings as late as possible.

Although Alaska operates just two nonstop routes from Billings — Portland and Seattle — there are 83 one-stop routes from Billings.

How to visit Red Lodge Mountain with points and miles

Whether you're flying on a nonstop or a connecting flight, award flights into Billings range from 7,500 to 12,500 miles each way.

There’s just one hotel here that’s part of a major loyalty program: the Quality Inn Red Lodge. A reward night here costs from 16,000 to 20,000 Choice Privileges points this winter.

Alternatively, there are other independent hotels in Red Lodge for under $100 per night available through the Chase travel portal.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort (near Spokane)

Just across the Washington-Idaho border from Spokane, Schweitzer Mountain Resort boasts the “best skiing in Idaho” and views of three states, plus Canada. Alaska flyers can ski free on their day of arrival by showing an Alaska Airlines boarding pass.

You can fly Alaska Airlines nonstop into Spokane from Boise, Everett, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle-Tacoma.

How to visit Schweitzer Mountain Resort with points and miles

Depending on your departure location, Alaska Mileage Plan award flights into Spokane generally are priced from 7,500 to 12,500 miles each way. Nonstop award flights from Los Angeles are available on many dates for just 7,500 miles.

There are just three hotels in Sandpoint, Idaho, bookable with brand name hotel points. One with Wyndham Rewards points and two others are Best Western properties.

  • Days Inn Sandpoint: This hotel will run you 15,000 Wyndham points per night.

  • Best Western Plus Ponderay Mountain Lodge: Stay at this mountain lodge for just 20,000 Best Western Rewards points per night.

  • Best Western Edgewater Resort: If you want to be closer to Sandpoint, book this Best Western for 20,000 points per night.

Steamboat Ski Resort (near Steamboat Springs/Hayden)

Known as "Ski Town, U.S.A.," Steamboat Springs is located a few hours outside Denver. But, it's accessible by a nearby regional airport: Hayden/Steamboat Springs.

Alaska flies to Hayden/Steamboat Springs nonstop from two airports, Seattle and San Diego, with fares starting at $99 each way. Or, you can connect from dozens of airports through these two airports to get to Steamboat with one stop.

You'll want to plan to fly out of Steamboat as late as possible. That's because you can show your Alaska boarding pass to get a free day of skiing on your departure date.

How to visit Steamboat Resort with points and miles

Use Alaska Mileage Plan miles to fly into Hayden/Steamboat Springs for as few as 12,500 miles each way from Seattle or San Diego.

Steamboat is one of the larger Colorado ski resorts. So, you can use points and miles from a variety of loyalty programs:

  • Marriott Bonvoy has three Category 5 hotels in Steamboat Springs: Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Residence Inn Steamboat Springs and Fairfield Inn & Suites Steamboat Springs. For stays booked through March 2022, you'll pay 30,000 to 40,000 points per night for stays at these properties.

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton-Steamboat Springs: Book this all-suite hotel with free breakfast from 50,000 to 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Steamboat Springs: Stay right between downtown Steamboat Springs and the ski resort for just 42,000 to 50,000 Hilton points per night.

  • Holiday Inn Steamboat Springs: Get easy access to the ski resort via the resort's shuttle bus when booking this Holiday Inn for around 27,000 to 34,000 IHG Rewards points per night.

  • Quality inn & Suites Steamboat Springs: Use 20,000 to 30,000 Choice Privileges points per night to book a stay at this hotel located just one mile from the Steamboat Ski Resort.

RED Mountain Resort (near Spokane)

Located just over the U.S./Canada border, RED Mountain boasts that it's both the oldest resort in Western Canada and one of the top 10 largest resorts in North America. Check it out for free when you fly into Spokane on Alaska. Just show your boarding pass and an ID to get a free adult lift ticket anytime from Dec. 11, 2021, to April 4, 2022. No blackout dates.

Fly Alaska Airlines nonstop into Spokane from Boise, Everett, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle-Tacoma.

Alaska cash rates into Spokane can be quite affordable, sometimes making it cheaper to buy a flight into Spokane than buying a day pass of skiing at RED Mountain.

How to visit RED Mountain using points and miles

In addition to check cash fares, you can use Alaska miles to fly into Spokane for as few as 7,500 miles each way. On peak dates and on flights from further destinations, award rates can climb to 12,500 miles each way.

Only one loyalty program offers hotels near RED Mountain: Best Western Rewards. Stay at the Rossland Red Mountain, Columbia River Hotel or Crown Columbia Hotel for around 30,000 points per night.

Marmot Basin (near Edmonton or Calgary)

If you want to get to higher elevation, check out Marmot Basin near Jasper, Canada. The resort claims the highest base elevation of any major ski area in Canada, meaning you can enjoy fresh powder from mid-November to early May. The downside is that Marmot Basin is a 4 to 5-hour haul from Alaska's nearest airports: Edmonton or Calgary. And Alaska only flies nonstop to Edmonton or Calgary from Seattle.

You don't need to worry about rushing up to Marmot Basin. By flying Alaska Airlines into Calgary, you'll get the choice of either a free full day lift ticket or a three-day lift ticket for the price of a two-day lift ticket. You can redeem this offer anytime within 21 days of arrival in Calgary between Dec. 1, 2021, and April 30, 2022.

How to visit Marmot Basin using points and miles

Award flights on the nonstop from Seattle to Calgary start at just 10,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles each way. Longer connecting flights can price from 12,500 to 20,000 miles each way.

Jasper has just one hotel that can be booked with hotel points. Travelers can use Accor Live Limitless points at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. As the ALL program is a revenue-based redemption program, the number of points that you'll need for a night will depend on the cash price of the night.

The bottom line

Skiing can be an expensive pastime, but you can drastically reduce your out-of-pocket cost by flying Alaska Airlines to a participating Fly Alaska, Ski Free resort using miles and then redeeming points for your stay.

Timing your arrival and departure is key to maximizing this promotion.


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