Act fast: Book Alaska Airlines flights for up to 40% off — including first class

Dec 17, 2020

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Alaska Airlines is back at it again with another flight deal — or in this case, two deals.

For a limited time, Alaska Airlines is offering a friends-and-family discount of 30% off flights. This discount is available for travel for most of 2021 and even includes first class.

However, it gets even better than that. Some Alaska Airlines email subscribers are being targeted for 40% discounts.

These discounts are available for flights nationwide, including to Hawaii. To give you an idea of how big these discounts are, you can book cross-country flights for as low as $37 in Saver (basic economy), $55 in standard economy and $170 in first class each way. On shorter flights, we’re seeing first-class seats for as low as $65.

Here’s everything you need to know to unlock these savings.

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Alaska First Class
Book Alaska Air first class for 30% off. (Photo by Katherine Fan/The Points Guy)

Alaska Airlines 30% off friends-and-family discount

Through Dec. 19, 2020, Alaska Airlines is offering 30% off all flights between Jan. 5 and Aug. 31, 2021. This includes Saver (basic economy) fares, Main (standard economy) fares and first class and there are no blackout dates.

The discount applies to one-way or round-trip travel and is valid for up to seven travelers at a time when booked and ticketed on the same reservation. It does not apply to government-imposed taxes or airport fees.

Anyone can take advantage of this “friends-and-family” discount. Simply head to alaskaair.com, click “use discount or companion fare code” in the flight search box, fill out your itinerary details and enter any of the following discount codes:

  • BEANSNBYTES
  • BOOKNOW
  • CARELINE
  • FLYWITHME
  • MEATBALL
  • PANCAKES
  • QUEENJEAN
  • TAKEMEAWAY
  • WHEELSUP

There’s no difference between these codes. The reason there are so many is because Alaska gave every staff department a different code to distribute.

Related: The best credit cards for airfare purchases

Here’s a sampling of some deals you can book:

Seattle (SEA) to Portland (PDX) in July from $37 in Saver, $51 in Main, $65 in first class:

Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO) in August from $37 in Saver, $48 in Main, $65 in first class:

Alaska Airlines flight deal

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX) in February from $42 in Saver, $63 in Main, $170 in first class:

Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Newark (EWR) in February from $65 in Saver, $79 in Main, $184 in first class:

Seattle (SEA) to Anchorage (ANC) in July from $97 in Saver, $118 in Main, $198 in first class:

San Francisco (SFO) to Maui (OGG) in August from $107 in Saver, $132 in Main, $240 in first class:

New York-JFK to Maui (OGG) in May from $135 in Saver, $184 in Main, $439 in first class:

Alaska Airlines targeted 40% off discount

If you’re an Alaska email subscriber, you may have received a unique discount code for 40% off your next flight. While you can save more with this promotion, it’s a lot more restrictive.

For starters, you must book by 11:59 p.m. PST on Dec. 17, 2020. The discount is valid for travel from Jan. 5 through May 19, 2021 and the following blackout dates apply: Feb. 11-22; March 20, 27; Apr. 3, 10, 17, 2021.

Travel is valid Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays, meanwhile travel to/from Hawaii is only valid Mondays through Thursdays. Furthermore, the discount is only valid for basic economy and main cabin tickets and only for travel in the U.S. and Canada.

Despite these restrictions, there are still savings to be had. For instance, taking the February Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles example from above, we’d be able to book this flight for just $37 in Saver or $55 in Main. That’s an extra $5 off in basic economy or $8 off in standard economy compared to the other promotion.

Just remember, your discount code is unique to you and can only be used once for a single purchase, although you can book up to six travelers on one reservation (and the purchaser does not have to be among the travelers).

Alaska 40% off

Important things to know

There are some important things to keep in mind if you plan on taking advantage of either of these promotions. To start, Alaska is offering flexibility to those who take advantage of these promotions. Regardless of what type of fare you book, you’ll be able to change or cancel your ticket free of charge.

Unfortunately, Alaska only allows you to use one discount code at a time, so you can’t stack these promotions with the Companion Fare benefit offered by the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. Additionally, the terms indicate that the discounts are valid for new ticket purchases only and can’t be applied toward existing reservations. However, you may be able to get around this by canceling your ticket, deposit the funds into your account wallet and then using those funds to repurchase the flights.

On the flip side, you will still earn miles for your flights as per usual. Alaska is one of the few airlines that still issue miles based on flight distance, so these super-low fares can greatly boost your Mileage Plan account balance. Also, keep in mind Alaska is making it easier to earn elite status next year.

Related: How to earn top-tier Oneworld status for $1,400

Although Alaska is currently blocking middle seats, it’s only planning to do so through Jan. 6, 2021. The promotions discussed above are for travel beginning Jan. 5, so you may not have an open seat next to you on your flight. That said, a number of studies, including one from the International Air Transport Association and another conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, suggest empty middle seats are less important as long as everyone is wearing a mask — which Alaska Airlines requires.

(Photo by Katherine Fan/The Points Guy)

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel; starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amextravel),  Citi Premier® Card (3x on travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases).

The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Screenshots courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Featured image by Michael Rosebrock/Shutterstock.

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