Alaska Airlines offers new program (Will not replace Club 49)

Whew! That was a close one—for now.

Alaska Airlines’ new program, “Alaska Access,” will not replace Alaskans’ cherished Club 49 Alaskans-only free program for now. Club 49 includes two free checked bags, as well as for anyone else on the same ticket when traveling to and from Alaska; Travel Now 30 percent travel discount; and “Freight for Less” discounted cargo shipping within the state.

Alaska Access is touted to offer the benefit of less time finding member-only fares, early access to sales and a monthly Wi-Fi voucher to stay connected when in flight, for $5 a month.

“We know time is valuable for our guests who are busy balancing a lot in their lives and we kept that in mind when we developed Alaska Access,” said Shane Jones, vice president of business development at Alaska Airlines. “Our new subscription service allows you to discover some of our best deals of the year right at your fingertips, in just minutes.” 

The program promises participants personal access to their desired routes with advanced alerts of the airline’s biggest fare sales of the year. Subscribers are notified the night before a sale is announced to take advantage of the savings and seat selection. There is also a calendar view of the lowest fares tailored to your favorite destinations.

The small print:

“The Alaska Access subscription is for a minimum period of one year, with payments billed monthly. If the subscriber wishes to cancel, the cancellation will be effective at the end of the then-applicable one-year subscription period. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to cancel, unless otherwise requested, the Alaska Access subscription will continue to renew each year and continue to be billed monthly. Alaska Airlines reserves the right to increase the price of an Alaska Access subscription, and will notify customers prior to implementing the higher price and provide the customer with an opportunity to cancel.”

Also: “Mileage Plan members will not earn miles for purchasing Alaska Access, but our award-winning mileage program allows you to earn miles with us, oneworld® Alliance member airlines and our Global Partners, experience award travel, and gain MVP elite status sooner than you think.

“Alaska Access is a fixed price of $5 per month including taxes and fees. Miles and wallet funds are not an available payment method for Alaska Access.”