I’ve been on the phone with Iceland Air for most of the morning (yeah, thanks Jared!) and here’s what I’ve found out while booking a ticket on Alaska Airlines using 30,000 Iceland Air miles & $370 from San Jose to Maui in Hawaii!
You essentially buy 25,000 Iceland Air miles for 37,500 Kronas or $330 and get a bonus of 5,000 miles (up to September 28, 2012) for a total of 30,000 Iceland Air miles. These points posted instantly in my experience.
Jared also mentions a way to share miles and bring the cost down.
You then call Iceland Air at 1-800-223-5500 (prompt 2) and redeem either 25,000 miles for a RETURN coach flight or 30,000 miles for a first class flight to Hawaii on partner airline Alaska Airlines.
There are some restrictions which don’t make this a great deal for folks on the East Coast or those who have to stay overnight and then fly on a connecting flight the next day. But this is great for folks on the West Coast to have a return First Class flight to Hawaii for ~$370!
Please read the risks associated with buying Iceland Air miles to redeem on Alaska Airlines to the US, Hawaii, Canada, or
- You will NOT get your miles refunded back to your account if you change your plans, though you can change the dates on your tickets for up to a year for a fee
- This deal depends on the ability to buy Iceland Air miles for cheap and the Iceland Krona is currently at record lows against the US Dollar which makes this currently lucrative
- This deal also relies on Iceland Air continuing to redeem miles for travel on Alaska Airlines from all Alaska Air departure cities, and not just those on the Iceland Air website. I agree with Lucky that Iceland Air could suddenly allow award tickets only to the cities mentioned on their website
- Only Alaska Air Super Saver seats (Fare Bucket “A” for First Class & “W” for Coach on Expert Flyer) on Alaska Air flights only are bookable using Iceland Air Miles
- The tickets don’t price out if you have an overnight stay in Seattle and then connect the next morning to Hawaii. Iceland Air will charge you for two tickets if you have to overnight or take many connections
- Iceland Air miles expire in 4 years
I paid $38 in taxes and fees in addition to the $330 for buying the miles.
I noticed that this is a great for travel from California (San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, & San Diego) to Hawaii, for travel along the West Coast, certain flights to Hawaii from Portland, and certain flights to Alaska.
I didn’t see much award availability from the East Coast, and couldn’t book any flights from Kansas City to Hawaii, though I could book flights from Kansas City to Seattle.
How I Booked a First Class Ticket to Hawaii Using Iceland Air Miles
Step 1 – Sign Up for Saga Club
I signed up for the Iceland Air Saga Club frequent flyer program.
Step 2 – Purchase Saga Club Miles
Actually, you may want to identify your destination and see if Iceland Air can see the same award seats before buying the miles which post instantly.
I then purchased 25,000 Saga Club miles for 37,500 Kronas or ~$330. There is a 20% points bonus up to September 28, so I got 5,000 extra miles which posted instantly to my Saga Club account.
Step 3 – Identify Your Destination
While this is a cheap way to get to Hawaii, you can also fly on Alaska Airlines to
Mexico, Alaska, or Canada which also have high fares.
Here’s a list of destinations which Alaska Airlines flies to, so check to see if your airport is listed. If Alaska Airlines doesn’t serve your home airline, you’ll have to get to an Alaska Airlines departure city separately.
Here is the Alaska Air route map, but it didn’t list all the destinations for Kansas City, so I didn’t rely on it.
Also note that you may have better luck booking flights which are non-stop or which have only 1 connection which is not an overnight connection. Iceland Air tried to charge me for 2 tickets if I had an overnight stop and then took the next flight out in the morning.
Step 4 – Finding Alaska Airlines Low Level (Super Saver) Awards
Iceland Air appears to be able to only book Alaska Airlines Super Saver awards. Here’s how to find Alaska Airlines Super Saver Awards BEFORE you call Iceland Air!
Step 4 A
Go to the Alaska Air website and enter your departure and arrival cities along with your dates of travel. Don’t forget to:
- Click the box to “Use Miles“
- Click the box to see the “Award Calendar“
- Select First Class or Coach Class
Then click “Find Flights”
Step 4 B
Click on “ ” and click “Continue”
Step 4 C
First Class Super Saver awards are shaded in green and cost 37,500 miles in First Class and 20,000 miles in coach.
You can NOT book Alaska Air flights using Iceland Air miles if they cost more than 37,500 miles for First Class or 20,000 miles in coach on the Alaska Air website.
Note that this price is the prices which Alaska Air charges. If you have Iceland Air miles, you pay the rate which Iceland Air charges (25,000 in coach and 30,000 in First Class), even if you redeem their miles on Alaska Airlines
I select my departure dates of April 3 and return on April 12, 2013 and then press Continue.
Step 4 D – Check Flights
Note that not all segments may be in First Class even though the calendar indicated that there was First Class availability. So check to make sure that all segments are in First Class.
Step 5 – Write Down Information
I then either write down the flight information or keep the window open to refer to when I call Iceland Air to book the ticket.
Step 5 – Call Iceland Air to Book
Call Iceland Air at 1-800-223-5500 (prompt 2) to book your award flight on Alaska Airlines.
The reps are very polite, but appear to be a bit stressed out today (thanks again, Jared – I kid, I kid!). They will ask you for your first and last name, telephone number, email address, and your Iceland Air number.
Tell them our departure and destination cities and they should be able to see the same availability for Alaska Airlines Super Saver flights.
Don’t forget to ask them for the Iceland Air record locator. Surprisingly, they weren’t able to give me the Alaska Air record locator, but I was able to pull up my flight on the Iceland Air website, but it was still processing and didn’t have an e-ticket number yet.
I still haven’t got an email confirmation, but was told to expect one by the end of the day when they bookings are processed. I will then call Alaska Air to confirm my booking.
Step 6 – Gloat
Thank Jared and gloat at paying $380 for a $1,353.40 First Class ticket. Or leave angry comments that I wouldn’t really pay $1,353.40 for a First Class ticket so I didn’t really save anything. 🙂
Bottom Line: This could be a way to have Big Travel with Small Money from the West Coast to Hawaii or other locations which have good Alaska Air Super Saver awards. But I wouldn’t expect this to last very long so don’t buy miles today for use later on. And Iceland Air could change the amount of miles required without notice.