I’ve mentioned it enough – I had a pretty tedious time finding award space from NY to Seattle for the first weekend of August, so I decided to allow myself a full day in Vancouver since award space there was wide-spread.
I knew it would be easy to hop down to Seattle from YVR, and I considered a number of options, including flying, Amtrak, and even the new BoltBus.
Since flying was the fastest option of the 3 (and most enjoyable), I decided to redeem 4,500 Avios for a flight with Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines awards with British Airways Avios have to be called in; if you’re not familiar with that process, you can check out my recent post about booking Alaska Airlines flights here
The only problem was that I didn’t exactly have many flight options. The only award space was a flight leaving YVR at 8:15 pm, which would put me into SEA way later than what I was hoping for.
Usually in situations like this, since I hold top-tier status, I’d book the available/cheaper less-desirable flight and then do a free same-day change with United or free standby with American to a flight that works better. I’ve had nearly 100% success with that tactic.
The first thing I did with this particular example was get myself familiar with Alaska’s flight change/standby policy. I will also add that I do not have any status with Alaska Airlines.
From the information I found, it seemed like a pretty seamless and simple process: pay $25, and if a seat is available, you could get yourself a hassle-free confirmed seat if you make your request within 6-hours of your desired flight.
Since YVR-SEA is a popular route, I knew there would be many earlier flight options to choose from on the day of. I judged my chances based on how empty the seat map looked. Soon enough, I had my heart set on a flight departing at 2:25PM.
If all went well, I wouldn’t have to worry about missing my one of my favorite part’s of miles and points get-togethers – the opening night happy hour.
I went ahead and booked the 4,500 Avios flight with intentions of changing it to the flight I really wanted. I felt pretty confident that I would be successful.
On the morning of my flight, I called Alaska Airlines promptly at 8:25 am (the start of the 6-hour window for my new flight), and I had myself a boarding pass for my new seat in under 4 minutes.
Overall, I think the Alaska Airlines same day flight change policy is extremely generous, especially for the average traveler without any MVP status like myself.
Compared to other major airlines, who generally charge $75+a difference in fare, for a same-day change for customers without status, paying $25 to Alaska Airlines won’t leave me huffing and puffing.
In the end, I got my gambling fix, my glass of wine, and most-importantly, my desired flight. I consider that a win!