If visiting Alaska is on your bucket list, Alaska Airlines is hoping to spur you into action.
The carrier has rolled out a sale for up to 21% off flights to its namesake state this summer. And in fact, this may be the best summer yet to visit Alaska without as many visitors as usual due to the pandemic’s impact on the state’s summer cruise season.
This flight deal covers flights between Alaska and all of Alaska Airlines’ destinations in the 48 contiguous states, but — as always — there’s some fine print.
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Save 21% on flights to Alaska
The 21% off discount for 2021 travel applies to base economy fares for Alaska Airlines flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for travel from May 1 through June 30. Flights on other days are eligible for 10% off. First-class fares also receive 10% off during the sale, which ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday, April 4. The Alaska city of Prudhoe Bay is excluded from the offer.
To take advantage of the deal, customers must visit Alaska Airlines’ website and enter the code BUCKETLIST at the time of booking. Additional fine print can be viewed on Alaska Airlines’ website. The fare displayed in your search results will be the discounted rate, assuming you selected an eligible fare and utilized the promo code.
Increasing competition to Alaska
More broadly, Alaska’s 21% off sale comes during what appears to be an escalating turf battle with rival Delta.
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The carriers already are fierce competitors in Seattle, where Delta once was a partner of Alaska before deciding carve out its own hub there. That led to a tit-for-tat expansion there, though that seemed to have cooled in recent years.
Now, as all of the big U.S. airlines have increasingly looked to add service to leisure outdoor-focused destinations during the pandemic, Alaska and Delta are battling in Alaska.
More: 4 tips for visiting Alaska, The Last Frontier, in 2021
In March, Delta added a slew of new and expanded routes to Alaska, boosting flights to Anchorage (ANC), Fairbanks (FAI), Juneau (JNU), Ketchikan (KTN) and Sitka (SIT) from a variety of its hubs across in the lower 48. The routes, timed to capture summer travel, represented a big expansion into one of Alaska Airlines’ top markets.
One week later, Alaska responded with its own move – adding its first-ever summer seasonal route between Anchorage (ANC) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). The move was widely viewed as a retaliatory shot at Delta, which operates a large hub at MSP.
For Alaska, which says plans for the sale were already in the works before the recent route announcements, the promotion is a way for it to reinforce its presence in the market.
More: Alaska Airlines defends its home turf in newest spat with Delta
“By nature of our brand and our strength in the state of Alaska, we don’t market it very often. So this will be one of the first times that we’ve done it,” Natalie Bowman, Alaska Airlines’ managing director for marketing and advertising, told TPG. “It was really in reaction to the decline in the cruise business, which is a critical piece of business for state of Alaska tourism. We wanted to do something that helps the state and gets more people up to Alaska.”
Bowman said the carrier is targeting those beginning to travel again and who — post pandemic — may be thinking about “that bucket list trip that they’ve been thinking about for 10 years and never did it, and now they want to do it. We feel like state of Alaska accomplishes that in a lot of ways.”
Bowman said its possible that Alaska could repeat the bucket-list them for sales to other destinations in the future. But, for now, the sale featuring Alaska will run through Sunday.
Contributing: Zach Griff, TPG
Featured photo by Zach Honig, TPG.
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