My newfound award travel love is Alaska Airlines. Recently, I gave several reasons why Alaska MileagePlan miles are worth collecting. The award redemption rules and rates are good, and their co-branded credit card through Bank of America offers good churning value.
But the pluses of the program don’t end there. Alaska Airlines offers what it calls “intra-state awards”. These price out at a mere 7,500 miles for a one-way saver award, compared to the typical 12,500 miles within the continental U.S. and Canada. For someone who lives in rural Alaska, these could be put to great use. A flight from Juneau to Dutch Harbor prices out at 7,500 miles plus the typical $5.60 in fees, even though it normally costs over $600! Talk about incredible value.
For some strange reason, I found that the same pricing applies to flights between Arcata, California and Portland, Oregon. PenAir, a partner of Alaska Airlines, began offering two daily ACV-PDX flights this past spring, and when this route is searched at alaskaair.com, it receives the intra-state pricing. Last time I checked, we don’t (quite) live in Oregon. I am left wondering: was this intentional when someone entered the flights into the pricing system, or did someone with Alaska Airlines accidentally enter Arcata as an Oregon airport? I am very curious.
Flights from Portland to both Bend and Medford (both in Oregon) receive the intra-state pricing, but I cannot find another California airport that does. We appear to be unique. Not that I am complaining. 🙂