Here’s How to Get a Free Ski Pass at Select Resorts (Easily Worth $100+) Thanks to Alaska Airlines

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As we roll into January, this is the perfect time to strap on the skis and hit the slopes.  Whether you live far away from the mountains or are looking for a change of scenery this year, Alaska Airlines is offering free lift passes at participating ski resorts when you fly with them!

This is an awesome promotion that skiers can save big money on.  It really is as simple as it sounds, participating ski destinations will offer you free lift tickets or other perks when you show them your Alaska Airlines boarding pass.  But each resort has a different offer.  So be sure to reach out to them and research the individual terms and dates before you plan your trip.

Since ski passes at some of these destinations can easily run $100 a day, this can justify the cost of a flight for a fun winter getaway.  

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Ski for Free With Alaska Airlines
Ski For Free at 12 Ski Resorts in the US and Canada When You Present an Alaska Airlines Boarding Pass.

Ski for Free With Alaska Airlines

There are a total of 12 ski destinations currently participating in this offer.  They are all focused on the west coast and rocky mountain region (sorry east-coasters).  But then again, this is Alaska Airlines’ primary flight presence.

Most of these include a free ski pass on the day you arrive by presenting your boarding pass.  However, this is usually up to the discretion of the people at the ticket counter.   The actual offer varies for each resort, some offer different perks instead of a lift pass.

The one time I used this (for Snowbasin in Utah) they weren’t that strict about it, and let me use it 3 days after I arrived in Utah, even though it was supposed to only be the day AFTER you arrive.  Your experience may be different when taking advantage of this offer, but usually, people that work at ski resorts are pretty care-free in my experience and might offer you some flexibility.

Here are 12 ski resorts where you can ski for free with Alaska Airlines.

Alaska – Alyeska Resort (Fly into Anchorage)

Steep terrain and deep snowpack in the glacier-carved valley surrounding Chugach State Park.  This is a bucket-list destination for me.  Present your boarding pass and matching ID for a free lift ticket the day you arrive.  Weekdays only January 7 to April 19, 2019.  Blackout dates apply on MLK Day, Spring Break (March 11 to 15, 2019), and President’s Day.

California – Squaw Valley (Fly Into Reno/ Tahoe)

Squaw Valley is a very popular resort in California and a destination for many folks all over the US.  Enjoy a complimentary full-day ski pass on the day you arrive when you present your boarding pass and matching ID.  Although there is some conflicting information on the Alaska Airlines website

Canada, Alberta – Ski Marmot Basin (Fly Into Edmonton)

The highest base elevation of any other major ski area in Canada, meaning you can expect constant fresh snow, even on the shoulder seasons.  And you’ll have 91 runs to explore plus 3 terrain parks.  You might want to stick around a while longer.

Present your boarding pass and matching ID for a free full-day lift ticket.  Or instead, you can opt to buy a 3-day pass for the price of a 2-day pass.

Canada, British Columbia – RED Mountain Resort (Fly into Spokane)

On the border of Canada and Washington state is RED Mountain Resort.  It is the first stop on Canada’s famous Powder Highway.  A secret getaway for serious skiers looking for amazing powder who want to avoid the crowds. 

Enjoy the Heights and Views of Canada's Powder Highway at RED Mountain Resort. Just Over the Border from Washington State.
Enjoy the Heights and Views of Canada’s Powder Highway at RED Mountain Resort. Just Over the Border From Washington State.

Really lax rules on this one.  Just present any Alaska Airlines boarding pass for a free adult all-day lift ticket with no blackout dates.  Redeem whenever, as long as the boarding pass is dated between Dec 8, 2018, and April 7, 2019 (and you redeem by April 7, 2019).

Canada, British Columbia – Big White Ski Resort (Fly Into Kelowna)

Rated the “Best Snow in North America” by Condé Nast Traveler for its dry and loose powder.  Take a 45 minute shuttle from the Kelowna International airport to enjoy your full-day lift ticket on the day of your arrival.  Just show your boarding pass and matching ID.

Colorado – Steamboat Springs Ski Resort

This is one of America’s top ski resorts, but is usually hidden from the popular ski destination lists.  It is often overlooked because of nearby world-famous Vail.  But this is the choice ski training grounds of 98 Olympians.

Enjoy a free day of skiing on your departure date when you show your Alaska Airlines boarding pass from Steamboat Springs/ Hayden Airport (HDN).

Idaho – Schweitzer Mountain Resort (Fly Into Spokane)

This is the largest ski resort in Idaho or Washington.  Amazing terrain and famous tree skiing.  This massive resort and relatively uncrowded slopes will give you plenty of elbow room to enjoy the soft powder.

Ski for free the day you arrive, by presenting your Alaska Airlines boarding pass.

Idaho – Sun Valley (Fly Into Sun Valley / Hailey)

Sun Valley is a remote and culture-rich ski town.  Filled with arts and great food, with amazing slopes to get lost on for days.  You will fall in love with this remote town and the skiing it has. 

I loved this area so much, that I went house shopping up there the last time I visited (no joke).

Check Out The Gorgeous Powder Mountains Just Minutes From a Beautiful Culture-Rich Sun Valley City in South-Central Idaho
Check Out The Gorgeous Powder Mountains Just Minutes From a Beautiful Culture-Rich Sun Valley City in South-Central Idaho

Unfortunately, Sun Valley doesn’t offer free lift passes, but it does offer your choice of either free Sport Package ski rental at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports, or 50% off an adult group lesson.  Both valid the day after you arrive when you present your boarding pass.

Montana – Red Lodge Mountain (Fly into Billings)

Enjoy authentic Montana skiing without the long lines and high prices you might experience from other local resorts.  Beautiful views on the slopes with unique downtown shopping experiences for night.

Ski free on the day of your departure.  Just show your boarding pass at the ticket window.

Montana – Whitefish Resort (Fly into Kalispell)

Just 35 miles away from Glacier National Park, you can experience this world-class snow and terrain of the National Park that collects over 300 inches of snow a year.

Ski for free on the day of your departure by showing your boarding pass at the ticket window.

Oregon – Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort (Fly Into Redmond/ Bend)

The largest mountain resort in the Cascades, this resort sits on Mt. Bachelor, one of Oregon’s famous dormant volcanos.  Take a lift pass up to the summit of this volcano and enjoy 360 degrees of skiing. Choose your own way down, a truly unique experience for skiers all over the world.

Take the Chair Lift to the Summit and Enjoy 360 Degrees of Skiing Down From All Sides of this Dormant Volcano
Take the Chair Lift to the Summit and Enjoy 360 Degrees of Skiing Down From All Sides of this Dormant Volcano At Mt. Bachelor

This might just be the best deal out of them all.  Enjoy a free lift ticket PLUS a sport-performance equipment rental (ski or snowboard) on the day you arrive.  You don’t even need to bring your skis!  Just remember your boarding pass.

Utah – Snowbasin (Fly Into Salt Lake City)

Offering 3,000 skiable acres and 3,000 vertical feet, Snowbasin allows you to enjoy the famous Salt Lake snow, without the lines or crowds found in the more popular Park City and Olympic Village.  This resort is north of Salt Lake about 40 mins in the town of Ogden.

Fly into Salt Lake City between Monday and Wednesday to enjoy a free lift ticket at Snowbasin the day AFTER you arrive.  You must register for the offer here.  And you’ll need to bring your confirmation email, boarding pass, and ID.

You can redeem this offer from January 7 to April 11, 2019.

Bringing Your Skis or Snowboard

Alaska Airlines flies to many of the most popular ski destinations in the world, so they are well-equipped to handle the checking of your skis and snowboard equipment.

Skis and Snowboards count as a standard checked luggage item.  This means that Alaska Airlines elite status members can use 1 of their 2 free checked bags to bring their ski equipment for free!  Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cardholders can also use their 1 free checked bag to bring along their equipment for free.  This is even more great value and savings when combined with free ski passes at your destination.

Note:   When you are packing your ski equipment you can pack 1 pair of skis or 1 snowboard PLUS 1 boot/helmet bag.  Together these will be considered 1 item of checked luggage.  This is confusing to many folks, but your boots and helmet need to be in their own bag to be considered part of your ski equipment.  Packing clothing and other personal items with your boots and helmet will result in them being considered a 2nd checked bag.

Bottom Line

This is an amazing deal that lasts all season long (generally through mid-April, exact dates vary by ski resort).  It is a great incentive to fly on Alaska Airlines over another airline if you plan on skiing at your destination.  I used this offer last year to ski at Snowbasin in Utah.  I live in Utah and Salt Lake City is my home airport.  So I actually took advantage of this deal to ski after I arrived back home from a previous (unrelated) trip.  But I showed my boarding pass for arriving in Salt Lake City, and was granted a lift pass.  So it all went very smoothly, even though I was a local to Salt Lake.

Alaska Airlines has a very generous checked baggage policy for skiers as well.  You can include your skis and boots together as 1 checked item.  This means it only costs $30 to bring your skis.  But Alaska Airlines Elite Status members or Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholders actually can bring skis for free thanks to free checked bag policies offered by these programs.

Do you plan on skiing for free with Alaska Airlines?  Which destination do you plan to visit?

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