This post can, and probably should, be called “Why I never stop checking the price of a flight, even after I buy it”. This is because of Alaska Airlines Low Price Guarantee. Whenever I am going to fly on Alaska Airlines, I’ll book my ticket through alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines not only lets you get a refund within 24 hours of purchase of a flight, they also have a low price guarantee. Because of this, I also don’t worry too much about the price.
There are several stipulations. The travel has to be booked on alaskaair.com for a flight on Alaska Air. If the cheaper price is found on a different site, it must be found within 24 hours of the time you booked the flight. It must be for the exact itinerary. The fare difference will be issued as a credit for use on a future flight, not a refund to your credit card or whatever you used to make the purchase. That isn’t a problem for me as I know I’ll be flying on Alaska multiple times within the next 12 months. The full details can be found here. Even though it is a claim process, if the fare is found on alaskaair.com, the result will be near instantaneous. I don’t know how long it takes if the fare is found elsewhere so feel free to let me know.
It does take some effort, but it can pay off. I have two reservations booked, one for April and another for May. I booked both of them in the last 4 weeks and I already have over $100 in credit.
In April, I am flying LAX-YVR. Usually, a good price for a round-trip ticket is about $325. I actually booked it when it was slightly less than that. I was able to do a Low Price Guarantee claim when I saw it for $43 less. It was $43 less for only a few hours when I found it, so this was either a price mistake and/or I just plain got lucky. The other claims listed above are all for the travel in May, which is for Memorial Day weekend. It’s a trip to Portland, OR which can usually be found for about $200 or less, but since it’s the holiday weekend it was quite a bit more expensive. I have been checking everyday and have done multiple Low Price Guarantee claims. It does take some work but as you can see, you can get quite a bit back from your efforts.
Once you successfully make a Low Price Guarantee claim, your itinerary is actually re-ticketed, so it may be subject to new fare rules, but it will not likely be since Alaska Airlines’ fare rules are usually standard. Keep that in mind and don’t fret when you receive a new confirmation email – your Confirmation Number will still be the same.
UPDATE: Alaska Airlines has discontinued this program for flights booked on or after September 1, 2018. The best fare guarantee policy will be missed.