- Advertisement -
TravelAlaska Airlines starts $5-per-month subscription service for deals and more — here's...

Alaska Airlines starts $5-per-month subscription service for deals and more — here’s what you get

Alaska Airlines just launched an unusual new subscription service that is going to require a $5-per-month payment to get early access to Alaska fare sales and a bit more. The Seattle-based airline is calling it “Alaska Access” and is saying it gives advanced alerts to some of its biggest sales of the year.

Alaska Access welcome page. ALASKA AIRLINES

Alaska said subscribers will be notified the night before a sale is announced via in-app notifications, giving them the ability to book those deals before they are shared publicly.

“You get a personalized link with our best live flight deals sent straight to your inbox, available whenever you’re ready for takeoff,” according to the carrier.

Alaska Access page explaining some benefits. ALASKA AIRLINES

The subscription will also get you a $5 monthly voucher to use for onboard Wi-Fi. Alaska inflight Wi-Fi usually starts at $8 per flight.

Additionally, subscribers will be able to personalize a fare page to view some of the lowest fares to the more than 500 destinations the carrier serves by money and by Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.


“Alaska’s new subscription product seems like a well-conceived idea, but the devil is in the details,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research, told TPG. “The $5-per-month fee is reasonable, and the immediate payback — discounted Wi-Fi — is good. But the real value will be in receiving priority access to fare sale alerts and being able to share and track airfares to preferred destinations.”

Related: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award chart changes are now live

Alaska Access sign-up confirmation. ALASKA AIRLINES

I signed up for the new service and already found some interesting deals via the personalized fare page.

Alaska Access’ personalized deal page. ALASKA AIRLINES

For example, Alaska is showing flights for as low as $134 each way from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), my home airport, to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). It’s also showing flights from JFK to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting at $159 and from JFK to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) starting at $139. I’ve seen those prices from Alaska before but not in one easy place like I can now with Alaska Access.

Daily Newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts

The real test will be getting advance notice of deeply discounted fares.

One detail to keep in mind is that Alaska Access is powered by Recurly, a subscription management and billing platform, instead of being directly handled by Alaska. This means you may not get bonus miles for travel-related charges for the service, depending on which credit card you use.

Harteveldt said he likes that it isn’t a credit card-based subscription.

“By offering the subscription outside the boundaries of its loyalty program and credit card, Alaska’s new subscription product may appeal to a wider audience,” he said. “I’ve no doubt that Alaska will then target customers with offers to sign up for its Mileage Plan program and its co-branded credit card as well.”

Harteveldt pointed out something else interesting as well. With Alaska’s proposed merger with Hawaiian Airlines, Harteveldt noted that if it is approved, “the appeal and utility of the Alaska Access subscription could become quite compelling.”

Alaska Airlines acknowledged this proposed merger in its press release about Alaska Access.

“We know time is valuable for our guests who are busy balancing a lot in their lives,” said Shane Jones, vice president of business development at Alaska Airlines, “and we kept that in mind when we developed Alaska Access.”

Related: Why the Alaska-Hawaiian merger could be a win-win for frequent flyers

Bottom line

The undeniable trend of companies using subscription models has firmly found its way to the travel realm, with Alaska Airlines being the latest to try them out.

Personally, I’m curious to see if getting advance notice of sales through Alaska Access will result in better prices or at least better seats for some of my future Alaska flights.


It will also be interesting to see if I can maximize the Wi-Fi credits. I don’t take as many Alaska flights as I used to, so determining how much value I can squeeze out of that perk will be interesting.

Only time will tell if this latest subscription model from Alaska Airlines is worth investing in. I’ll report back as I explore the features of Alaska Access more.

Related reading:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today





Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article

- Advertisement -