Alaska Airlines is Adding a $125 Change Fee for Paid and Award Tickets, Even for Changes 60+ Days Before Departure. The changes will take effect for tickets purchased or reissued June 5, 2018 or later. Alaska Mileage Plan is currently the most generous when it comes to U.S. based frequent flyer programs, as there is no fee for changes to awards (or paid tickets) when the changes are made at least 60 days before the departure date. Here's the current change fee chart, valid until June 4, 2018:
As of June 5, 2018, the only exceptions to the $125 change fee will be:
- Change/cancellation fees do not apply to refundable fares, whether purchased, award, or Money & Miles.
- MVP Gold and Gold 75K Mileage Plan members: same service fee waivers that currently apply
- Change fees do not apply to travel wholly within the state of Alaska on purchased or Money & Miles tickets. Standard cancellation fees apply. Note: Standard change/cancellation fees do apply to intra-Alaska award travel.
While I personally don't collect or redeem much with Alaska Mileage Plan any more, due to the lack of Cathay Pacific First Class and JAL First Class award availability compared to AAdvantage, let alone Cathay Asia Miles, some of my Award Booking clients have definitely appreciated the free changes using Alaska Mileage Plan up until 60 days before departure. In fact, I changed some clients' Mileage Plan tickets from Europe to the U.S. just recently, and there was just a $3 charge to account for a difference in taxes. In the future, a change such as this will incur a $250 charge for the two award tickets, in addition to any change in taxes.
If you're planning to book an award with Alaska Mileage Plan miles and the award calendar is already open for your dates, you may want to book as soon as possible, and before June 5, 2018. You should then be able to make a complimentary change to the ticket, as long as it's >60 days before departure, but note that if you make the change on or after June 5, 2018, this is the one complimentary change you'll get, since tickets reissued June 5, 2018 or later will be subject to the new $125 change fee on all changes.
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