How to Get Cheap Flights on Alaska Airlines

Credit card points and perks are your strongest tools for cutting costs when flying on Alaska.

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Whether you’re an Alaska Airlines elite loyalty member or flying the airline for a single flight, there are some ways that you can save money flying on Alaska. There are a few strategies to save, including searching other travel dates, using credit card benefits or by buying certain fare classes.

Here's how you can find cheap flights on Alaska Airlines.

Ways to get cheap flights on Alaska Airlines

1. Use Google Flights to track your flight and see cheaper flight options

This strategy applies to almost any flight you book, regardless of airline. One of the easiest ways to save money is by doing your research and being flexible with your travel dates.

Google Flights is a great tool for finding cheap flights on Alaska Airlines. There are two features that can help the most — “Track prices” and “Date grid.”

To “Track prices,” toggle it on (by sliding it to the right) and you’ll receive e-mail updates when the price of your trip changes.

With the “Date grid” feature, Google Flights will show you if there’s a cheaper flight within a few days, and it also gives you a more detailed account of prices on other days of travel.

Using both of these Google Flights features will help ensure that you’re paying the lowest price for your Alaska Airlines flight.

2. Use a Companion Fare

Alaska’s Companion Fare, which allows you to purchase a roundtrip companion ticket at a discounted price, is offered as an annual benefit with the following credit cards:

If you’re the primary cardholder, you’ll have a code automatically added into your Alaska Mileage Plan account and you can use it on eligible flights with a family member or friend. Although you’ll pay full price for the first ticket, the second ticket will cost $99 plus taxes and fees.

The airline's Companion Fare is a great way to save money on Alaska flights if you’re traveling with two people on the same itinerary.

3. Book a Saver fare

Another way to save money on your Alaska flight is to book a Saver fare, which is essentially the airline's version of basic economy. Saver fares are generally the ones advertised during Alaska’s regular sales.

An example of how you save by purchasing a Saver fare: You’d save $30 buying a Saver fare from Portland to San Francisco on this example one-way flight.

Although Saver fares cost less than the main cabin, keep in mind that these fares come with restrictions, including:

  • Most Saver fare seats are assigned at check-in (so you may not be able to pick your seat and there’s no guarantee you’ll be seated next to your travel companions).

  • No refunds are allowed beyond the first 24 hours after ticketing.

  • No changes are allowed.

  • Saver fares are nontransferrable.

Given the limitations, you'll want to purchase Saver fares only if you are 100% sure that you won’t need to change the day or time of your flight. Otherwise, you could lose the full amount that you paid for the ticket.

4. Use credit card benefits to your advantage

You might have another way to get Alaska flight discounts, even beyond the co-branded airline credit card. Using credit card benefits on your general travel card can help reduce the cost of your flight.

Some travel cards come with perks that you can use to reduce the cost of your Alaska flights, including:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: $250 annual airline fee credit, which can be applied toward incidental fees such as checked baggage, seat selection and in-flight refreshments. You’ll have to designate Alaska Airlines as your airline of choice to qualify for the statement credit. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: $300 annual travel credit. Simply pay for your Alaska flight using the card and you’ll receive up to $300 back, which will appear as a statement credit in your Chase account.

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be applied toward incidental fees such as checked baggage, seat selection and in-flight refreshments. You’ll have to designate Alaska Airlines as your airline of choice to qualify for the statement credit. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: $300 annual travel credit for travel booked through the Capital One Travel portal. To get this credit toward an Alaska flight, you would have to find and book an Alaska flight within Capital One’s portal.

Because the AmEx cards’ airline fee credit only covers incidental charges, such as WiFi, food or preferential seats in your cabin, you won’t be able to save directly on your plane ticket. However, you can book a cheap Saver fare, then use one of these credit cards to reserve a better seat in Alaska's premium classes.

For instance, by booking a Saver fare, then using an annual airline credit to pay to sit in Premium Class, you not only get to purchase the lowest fare available, but you also get the following benefits included:

  • 4 inches more of legroom.

  • Priority boarding.

  • Free beer, wine and cocktails on flights over 350 miles.

The bottom line

There are a number of ways you can get cheap Alaska flights: You can use tools offered on Google Flights, take advantage of credit card benefits, use the Alaska Companion Fare and book Saver fares. Before booking a Saver fare, be sure that you understand the restrictions.

Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines.


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