Alaska Airlines has quietly introduced dynamic pricing to American Airlines awards on flights with the U.S. So far, this seems to be a phased process with Alaska implementing changes incrementally without much fanfare.

Bear in mind that most of the information gathered here is through data points. Alaska has still not updated its award charts for AA flights within North America. Currently, the chart shows all economy class flights starting at 12,500 miles one way and all first-class awards starting at 25,000 miles one way.

When it comes to economy award pricing, it seems that Alaska currently prices American Airlines awards at one of three levels:

  • 7,500-mile flights.
  • 10,000-mile flights.
  • 12,500-miles flights.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER photographed May 24-25, 2016 by Chad Slattery.

American Award Flights That Cost 7,500 Alaska Miles

American Airlines ultra short-haul awards (flights under 500 miles) currently price at 7,500 miles plus taxes and fees. An example of this is the classic quick hop between Boston and New York — which will now set you back 7,500 miles plus $19 in taxes and fees.

Alaska Mileage Plan award search between Boston and New York on American Airlines

American Award Flights That Cost 10,000 Alaska Miles

It looks like Alaska is introducing mid-tier pricing. Again though, it is difficult to identify exactly which routes qualify. Currently, it looks like routes that are between 500- and 700-miles will now set you back 10,000 miles plus taxes and fees.

An example is a flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia (a distance of 666 miles) will set you back 10,000 miles plus $19 in taxes and fees.

Alaska Mileage Plan award search between Atlanta and Philadelphia on American Airlines

American Award Flights That Cost 12,500 Alaska Miles

Longer flights within North America are still pricing up at the old price threshold of 12,500 miles one-way plus taxes and fees. It is still unclear whether Alaska will end up increasing the price of these longer flights or not.

An example is a relatively short flight (but over 700 miles) from Atalanta (ATL) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). This will still set you back 12,500 miles plus $19 in taxes and feesAlaska Mileage Plan award search between Atlanta and Dallas on American Airlines

First Class Awards Remain Unchanged

So far, first-class awards have not changed — regardless of distance. Every flight seems to be priced at 25,000 miles one-way plus taxes and fees. Whether this remains the case, we will have to wait and see what Alaska does in the long run.

Our Take

If Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan leaves things as they are, these changes are excellent news. Some awards have gotten substantially cheaper, and none have become more expensive. Only time will tell if this remains the case — or whether Alaska will increase the cost of longer distance awards and make any changes to its first-class pricing.

For now, we are happy with the changes. If you have travel plans that you were planning on using a partner award for, you are probably best served by booking them early in case Alaska increases the cost of American Airlines awards.

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