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Thread: Air Ticketing to Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Air Ticketing to Alaska

    If you are a Lower 48 or international visitor to Alaska you should already be reserved and ticketed. If you haven't made up your mind for the 2010 season you need to act now or it may be too late. The summer cruise ship industry fills many air carriers in the Lower 48, and your flights need to be made at the earliest opportunity.

    It's even tougher if you plan on using credit card air miles for free trips. They are capacity controlled and the later you try, the harder to find a
    free seat.

    My summer assignment came in late, and I almost didn't make it in flying for free. Everything from my gateway city was filled, and that was for a trip six months from now. I made it, but in order to do so I had to pay out of pocket to another gateway. (I paid $200 and saved $800 as compared to conventional ticket buying and no travel voucher use)

    Interestingly enough, as I used the web and paid for the flight, a promotional opportunity for a free round trip flight popped up for this carrier and came in the way of a new credit card application. If spend $750 on that plastic, a free round trip comes my way, and I took that in a heartbeat.

    I've been flying back and forth to the Great Land since 1988 and I live in Florida. I have not paid for flight north in over 15 years. What I can do, you can do.

    Six months from now I'll be in the Bristol Bay drainage in behalf of an owner of two lodges on a split assignment. If I had not followed my own advice, I never would have made it.

    Good luck to all of you...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  2. #2

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    Great advice...........
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    Thanks, Bernard! I bought your book 3 years ago and use it as my pre-Alaska checklist. I bought the tickets yesterday. Discount fare for me and $50 companion fare for the wife. I'll use my Alaska Airlines CC miles for my Trout/Dolly trip in September and I''ll still have enough miles left over for another trip!

    Great advice and even better book!!!

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    Yep, after I read the book I've gotten 10 or 12 free tickets.
    brad g.
    So Cal, USA
    Visit my Sporting Clays website
    http://www.ysr-racer.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    Thanks, Bernard! I bought your book 3 years ago and use it as my pre-Alaska checklist. I bought the tickets yesterday. Discount fare for me and $50 companion fare for the wife. I'll use my Alaska Airlines CC miles for my Trout/Dolly trip in September and I''ll still have enough miles left over for another trip!

    Great advice and even better book!!!
    John, you work in building planes, why don't you just build your own?

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    Hi Bernard, I took your advice and booked my transatlantic flight last November for my trip this July, using my free airmiles. Even then I was not able to get the dates I wanted. Unfortunately, I had to pay for my flight from Seattle to Anchorage with Alaska Airlines.

    I would be interested to learn which of your credit cards give these super deals, although I probably would not qualify living here in England. Any info would be appreciated.

    From the "Cor blimey, Limey!"

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    Thanks, Bernard! I bought your book 3 years ago and use it as my pre-Alaska checklist. I bought the tickets yesterday. Discount fare for me and $50 companion fare for the wife. I'll use my Alaska Airlines CC miles for my Trout/Dolly trip in September and I''ll still have enough miles left over for another trip!

    Great advice and even better book!!!

    Carrie and I do the same deal John. We each have an AA Visa in our own name so we get two companion tickets per year. Now $100 though since the price went up. But still, one regular price ticket, one for $100, is pretty darn good. That lets us take two trips per year to Alaska, using one companion ticket each trip. Saves us lots of dough. Especially when you factor in a good itenerary from D.C. to Kotz or Dilly is about $1,200. D.C. is our closest AA hub if you are wondering why we fly out of there. It is just 5 hours north of us. So we each fly for $650 essentially.


    Not sure how you fly FREE to Alaska "for the last 15 years" but I would welcome a PM from Bernard on that
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Credit card inducement...

    I find nothing amiss about taking advantage of credit card opportunities.
    In the circumstance of this thread, as I was paying for my reservation made through Alaska Airlines, their home page had a pop-up for an Alaskan Airlines credit card. I recognized the reward inducement, read the fine print, and applied.

    Airlines sometimes do this, working in association with the financial institution that regulates the card usage. Traditional annual fees are also waived for one year, as was on this offer. You then you pay for annual use a year later if you continue the card.

    Morever, this airlines offers a companion ticket for $99.00 if you stay in renewal. That's good only if you buy a ticket, but then again, suitable for some.

    Whether you renew is your choice as a consumer. The most import venue with any credit card is to manage your money and pay your balance in less than 30 days and never pay interest. Using anyone's money in your behalf, and not paying for it, is excellent consumer spending. If you can not do this, then plastic will turn on you and you will be paying high interest for money borrowing and it the worst consumer spending you'll ever encounter.

    Is it offered internationally? All you have to do is call to find out, and that's always toll-free.

    It's the money game. Learn it well. Play it well. Reap the rewards...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  9. #9

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    Bernard, I bought and read your book a couple of months ago. I ended up paying full price for my tickets ($800 each) for my mid-summer trip.

    Frankly, I did not put much stock in your claim that I could get the tickets with free air miles. If you know of any credit cards currently offering such rewards, please let us know.

    By the way, I think you did a good job explaining the differences among the 5 types of salmon. Coming from the South, we don't encounter salmon, except in fancy restaurants. Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Bernard,
    Almost everybody I know up here has a pair of Alaska Airlines cards. I use one for myself and one for a business. We've been using them since the mid 90's. The benefits are slowly going away. The card came with two first class upgrades, companion ticket, and lounge membership. Each few years seems to find a loss of some of the benefits. Now, you get mileage with purchases and a $99 companion ticket.

    It still beats a sharp stick in the eye.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Default Variables...

    I recognize the issues posted, and they do differ. So do the regulations for the issuing financial institutions differ. So do the airline partners of the institutions differ. They all fluxate and they all change.

    So do annual fees. I've seen them go from $25 to $100 per annum.

    Flying free means you take the card for free for a year and then not renew. You make the qualifying purchases, recieve the premium, and then cancel. It's a consumer option.

    In 2009, Southwest gave a free one way for any credit card usage. In 2009, Air Tran gave a free one way for any credit card usage. Alaska Airlines is now giving a free round trip for $750 usage. Like I said, it all changes.

    When I was a teacher in 1987 my wife and I volunteered to give up our seats on an overbooked Delta flight and we were given two sets of free round trip tickets anywhere in the Continential USA including Alaska and we wound up there in June of 1988. That one trip was all it took for me to find ways to return.

    Surrendering your tickets is yet another way to score free trips, though lately the carriers issue monetary vouchers that are less in value than free anywhere use vouchers. This too, has changed.

    Nowdays I simply charge everthing on a single card, never write a check, never pay in cash, and always pay on time. Though the card might cost me $75 a year in fees, the return in flights is well worth it. My completely free flying has come from surrendering and inducements.

    There are more variables, I'm sure. All I can say is that I do my homework, I read the fine print, and I share it with others...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    John, you work in building planes, why don't you just build your own?
    I haven't worked at Boeing for over 20 years and now I just fix'em not build 'em. Very funny, Davie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    I haven't worked at Boeing for over 20 years and now I just fix'em not build 'em. Very funny, Davie!
    Fix 'em? When they break don't they fall out of the sky and break into a gillion pieces when they hit the ground?? ??
    How long do they take to fix?? ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    How long do they take to fix?? ??
    Hopefully not very long
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard R. Rosenberg View Post

    There are more variables, I'm sure. All I can say is that I do my homework, I read the fine print, and I share it with others...

    Rosenberg/Florida

    Fair enough, I will pay more attention to card offers. Thanks, and thanks for writing the book (which I found through this site).

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    Just an FYI, using miles to fly First Class to Florida and back gets you enough miles to fly coach the next time free.

    I've got about 400k Alaska Miles and only use them when I can earn more. Safeway and the telephone company offer miles, as does Christmas shopping through the Alaska Airlines partners. This Christmas earned us another free ticket's worth of miles. A lot of decent restaurants offer miles as well.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Default buy your tickets with you AK Air Card too...

    You get an additional 1000 mile bonus everytime you buy tickets online with your AK Air card, plus double miles for the cost of the ticket. Buy tickets for your friends too that you trust to reimburse you! AK Airlines has by far the best online service too, like picking your own seats (try to get seats online at NW sometime..). Nope, neither I nor any of my family or friends work for AK Air or have any other connection.

    On top of that, their partner Horizon Air give you free PWN micro brew and wine on their connection flights!

    The best advice of all here was to pay your card off every month and never pay interest or carry a balance, unless life deals you a tough situation and you have no choice.

    My family of 4 has been flying to Alaska free every year for a long time on this card...a sweet deal! OK...a small annual fee and now we have to pay a few bucks for luggage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Fix 'em? When they break don't they fall out of the sky and break into a gillion pieces when they hit the ground?? ??
    How long do they take to fix?? ??
    We prefer them to break on the ground. They're a little easier to repair that way. Nice post for air ticketing thread. Actually air travel is the safest mode of transportation, but I'm sure you knew that.

  19. #19

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    Very good information on this thread. As a avid fisherman and airline employee i'll add some things

    DON'T BOOK THROUGH ONLINE DISCOUNT SITES like expedia, travelocity etc... when traveling to out stations such as kodiak, valdez, king salmon or pretty much anywhere but anchorage! Reason being weather and the fact that they are basically an online travel agent which means if your flight cancels due to weather you have to change through them and will probably pay some sort of fee even though it's weather related. Can't tell you how many customers have come up to the counter here in kodiak to rebook only to be told they have to call expedia or travelocity which they do and end up on the phone for 2 hours and had to pay hundreds of dollars. Those sites get those tickets cheap a lot of times by booking through several airlines, say you have 4 segments one with era, one with alaska, one with delta and one with united, which makes rebooking a lengthy process. They also don't recognize weather a lot of times because of the way the book it so you can pay for something u couldn't control! there was a bear hunter up here last spring who was on the phone for 4 hours and payed expedia 400 bucks because his flight cancelled due to fog. Trust me pay a little more through the airline!

    Remember many types of milage tickets with alaska are only good on alaska. So if say your in kodiak and the afternoon alaska flight cancels and there are 4 more era flights your out of luck till the next day.

    When on mileage tickets make sure your on time! seems simple but many fisherman show up late and act like it's no big deal until we deny them and tell them there are no more milage seats for a month so you'll have to wait till then or pay an upgrade which quiete easily could be 500 to 700 per person dollars if your traveling back east! so make it easy on yourself, your bags and me and show up early!

    all meat must be in a wet lock box or cooler that will not leak

    Guns must be in a hard lock sided case that can't be pried open, seems obvious but many people show up with the plastic one with only one lock on one side which means you can easily pry open the other side and remove the gun.

    IF your taking a float plane ride to a remote location give at least a day between you commercial fligh be it alaska, era alaska, grant or pen air! this gives us time to get you your bags before you fly off. If you fly off without your bags or rods you may not see them for your week long lodge trip. If your lodge is near a village with a regular scheduled flight from a bush plane company then we'll put in on the next flight to that village. However many lodges are in the middle of nowhere and in that case the airlines will not charter a plane to deliver bags and most of the time the lodge won't come back just for bags.

    some types of fishing gear is considered hazmat like aquaseal or bug dope so don't put those in your carry on or checked baggage

  20. #20
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    Default Komando advice...

    Excellent! He is definitely in the know.

    There is nothing casual about Alaska air transit. The better informed any traveler is, the better the planning, and the better the trip. Nevertheless, expect surprises.

    I was on a Era flight in the 90's, seated before takeoff in Anchorage enroute to Kodiak, and an agent came on board and announced that not all baggage would be put on board because the airplane had reached maximum weight capacity for the flight. When the chechako (that's AK slang for being a greenhorn) seated ahead of me publicly announced "that's not acceptable" the locals just roared with laughter!

    Alaska ain't New York City, so get your mind right. The bottom line is that it's all about adventure and it comes in many ways.

    Check out the $.99 suitcase when you pick up your luggage. It's a garbage sack stuffed with belongings, wrapped with duct tape, and invented in Alaska...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


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