Yesterday I wrote about Alaska’s Cyber Monday Sale, which is one of the better fare sales I’ve seen in a while. I’ve just completed an utterly crazy mileage run to Brazil, and with that I’m now an MVP Gold 75K with Alaska. Obviously I’d like to requalify (assuming I stay on the west coast), so I’m starting to look at ways to leverage the Cyber Monday sale to get a head start on 2014 flying.

One potentially lucrative opportunity is to combine the Cyber Monday sale with Alaska’s double miles promotion (both elite qualifying and redeemable), which they’re offering in several markets through May 31, 2014. That promotion is obviously to compete with Delta’s huge expansion and double miles promotion that they’re also offering out of Seattle.

So in looking at fares, Alaska is charging $137.80 for roundtrip travel between Seattle and Los Angeles for many dates during the promotion period. You can potentially do two roundtrips in a day.

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Itinerary one

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Itinerary two

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Cost per itinerary

Each $137.80 roundtrip would net you 3,816 elite qualifying and redeemable miles. If you’re an MVP Gold or above you earn a 100% bonus on redeemable base miles, for a total of 3,816 elite qualifying miles and 5,724 redeemable miles per roundtrip. That means you can potentially earn 7,632 elite qualifying miles and 11,448 redeemable miles for a $275.60 roundtrip. As an MVP Gold that comes out to 3.6 cents per elite qualifying mile and 2.4 cents per redeemable mile.

The alternative would be to fly something like Seattle to Philadelphia roundtrip in a day, where you can net 4,741 elite qualifying miles and 9,481 redeemable miles for $197.80. That comes out to 4.2 cents per elite qualifying miles and 2.1 cents per redeemable miles.

Alaska-Cyber-Monday-Sale-6

Alaska-Cyber-Monday-Sale-7

It’s interesting because due to the double miles promotion to Los Angeles you’re getting a better deal to Los Angeles on a cent per elite qualifying mile basis, while you’re getting a better deal to Philadelphia on a cent per redeemable mile basis.

That being said, I’d probably still go with the two roundtrips to Los Angeles in a day, since you’re ultimately knocking out more than 1.5x as many elite qualifying miles in a day. The beauty of being an MVP Gold is that you can lock in some trips speculatively, and if you decide not to take them you can deposit the value of the tickets into your Alaska “wallet.”

Which mileage run would you take? Anyone else plan on using the Cyber Monday Sale to take advantage of the double miles promotion?

  1. December 2nd, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Andrew yvR said,

    It is a darn shame Vancouver (YVR-LAX) is priced at 310 (Lowest) even with this fare sale

  2. December 2nd, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Tao said,

    Hi Lucky,

    Did you happen to know how many miles I have to fly in order to keep the MVP Gold status that I matched with AS? Thanks.

  3. December 2nd, 2013 at 11:42 am

    lucky said,

    @ Tao — You have to fly either 40,000 miles on Alaska OR 50,000 miles on Alaska and their partners to requalify for MVP Gold.

  4. December 2nd, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Kelly said,

    Lucky, if my calcs are right, if I’m traveling ex-PDX (via SEA) on the LAX itineraries you mentioned above, then I would earn 7,724 rdms and the fare (albeit higher) would be $235.60, resulting in 3.05 cents per redeemable miles and 4.9 cents per eqm, right? Still worth it? It really is the double eqm promo ex-SEA that makes that difference because using the cyber-Monday sale promo ex-PDX direct, results in 8.2 cpeqm and 4.1 cprm.

  5. December 2nd, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Ivan Y said,

    For some inexplicable reason, Houston is not one of the options in the drop-down list (even though Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are there). However, I did a sample search for 1/8-1/15 IAH-SEA flight and it’s available for $196 RT.

  6. December 2nd, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Viva said,

    “Mileage runs always seem more glamorous/justifiable in theory

    I’ll say it now — this will be my last crazy mileage run ever. At least I’m saying that now, in a state of exhaustion as I literally dream of a bed. Sadly there’s some aspect to this hobby that’s totally OCD/addicting, and my guess is that a day after I get home I’d do it all over again.”

    Are you even home yet?

  7. December 2nd, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Kelly — Yep, math sounds right to me. Is it worth it? Guess it depends what you’re after. You can buy redeemable Alaska miles for less than what you’d pay even through the fare sale, but if it’s status you’re after then I’d say that’s a pretty great fare.

  8. December 2nd, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    derek said,

    Does the double mile promotion apply to one-ways too?

  9. December 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    lucky said,

    @ derek — Yes, it sure does.

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