Deal Alert! Many Low Fares to Alaska, Even <$50 Net Round Trip East Coast to Alaska!
Deal alert for $ or points fares to Alaska!
I saw a TPG post from yesterday that showed round trip flights to Alaska for <$200 (escalating as the clock ticks & flights are booked), although I actually found an option for <$50 net ($133 -$88 in points) from DC to Alaska flying Frontier, & <$55 net flying NYC-Alaska flying Alaskan Air, which is the cheapest net cost for multi-leg round trip flights to Alaska from the mainland I can remember. Discount Den members can get it even cheaper. If you'd like a paid route to Alaska (or pay w points if you have exclusively fixed value points available), now's a good time to book.
"Airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and United. Routes: ORD/MCO/MSP/EWR/BOI/SEA/IAH/PHX/DCA/PDX/BNA and others to FAI/ANC. Cost: Starting at $161 round-trip for select routes.
Dates: Book for travel from October-December, excluding Thanksgiving."
"You could depart from 100 cities collectively to either Anchorage (ANC) or Fairbanks (FAI), including the below round-trip routes (mostly are higher already by at least some degree):
Seattle (SEA) to Fairbanks, starting at $163 for a nonstop flight.
Kansas City, Missouri (MCI), to Anchorage, starting at $161.
Boise (BOI) to Fairbanks, starting at $171.
New York (JFK) to Fairbanks, starting at $179.
Phoenix (PHX) to Fairbanks, starting at $180.
Chicago (ORD) to Anchorage, starting at $191.
Orlando (MCO) to Anchorage, starting at $199.
Philadelphia (PHL) to Anchorage, starting at $199.
Newark (EWR) to Fairbanks, starting at $234.
Minneapolis (MSP) to Anchorage, starting at $276 for a nonstop flight."
At this point I'm seeing some slightly higher prices when looking at some of those routes, but while Caroline Tanner w/ TPG mentioned options starting at $161, I actually noticed a DC to Anchorage option for $136.50 ($133.40 if using the promo code Autumn)
while earning 7750 mi (TPG valuation of 1.1 cents per mile)
for a net cost of $51.25, which is the cheapest I can remember from the East Coast round trip. Buy it with the Amex platinum (5 points per dollar on flights directly w airlines) & you're down to $48.03.
That said, the option I found for <$50 net RT is with Frontier, & with them you get a personal item but not even a carry on (which would be $92 RT), much less a checked bag ($82 RT) (while both together bundled with reserved seating, priority boarding, & flight flexibility would be $174, which still isn't bad for Alaska when considering the miles you'd get in return to bring the net cost down to close to $200, which is better on that route at least than the options with carriers where you can get a free checked bag with a credit card since they appear to start in the low 300's even when shifting dates). Getting the Frontier credit card won't help you at all with bags, but $200ish including a personal item & 2 bags or $50 with a personal item is solid. That said, cheap isn't everything, and with Frontier you'd be looking at a lower quality flight experience (worse than Spirit according to TPG) than most carriers and even the low 300's aren't bad either on carriers like Alaska.
Like Frontier, with Alaskan you can also earn 1 base mile per mile flown typically (& more if you have status or do a non-saver fare). That kind of earning rate can drastically reduce your net costs as well, on a carrier that TPG ranks #4 above for best domestic US economy seats.
In a NYC-FAI example, $195.60 for a round trip flight would be offset by $141.91 (7884 miles) if you're getting the 1.8 cents in redemption value (TPG valuations) on a future flight.
All together that's $53.69 net including a carry-on, which is much cheaper than the Frontier example with a carry-on. If you have the means to get a free checked bag such as via status or the Alaska Airlines credit card, it sweetens the deal even further. Frontier does not have an option to get a free checked bag via a credit card perk.
Here are some route examples with options found & imagery included from Google Flights: