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Alaska Air Downgrades Upgrades with Bag Fees

Alaska Air Downgrades Upgrades with Bag Fees

Beginning on July 10, upgrades on Alaska Airlines flights — whether they’re paid for with miles or purchased with cash at the gate — will come with one fewer associated perk.

Currently, whether you paid for a first-class ticket or were upgraded from coach, if you’re flying up front, the fees for the first and second checked bags are waived. That’s not just Alaska’s policy — it’s standard industry-wide.

But beginning next month, if you upgrade from coach, either with miles or with cash, you’ll be charged $20 for each of the first two checked bags. The waiver? Waived.

The bag fees will continue to be waived for those buying first-class tickets, with miles or cash, and for those granted upgrades on the basis of their Mileage Plan elite status.

As with so many consumer-unfriendly policy changes, this one isn’t a game-changer. Alaska is still a fine airline. And Mileage Plan remains a solid mileage program.

But it’s another example of an airline choosing to boost revenue at the expense of loyalty program perks, another devaluation of a frequent flyer mile.

Reader Reality Check

How would you feel if your mileage program followed Alaska’s lead on this?

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