ANCHORAGE — JetBlue's $117.40 one-way fare between Anchorage and Seattle has caught the attention of other air carriers. Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are each dropping their prices -- at least some of them -- for flights between May 16 and Labor Day, 2013.
Not coincidentally, that's the very same time frame that JetBlue will be flying its summer-only Anchorage-Seattle run.
The low price for a summertime Anchorage-Seattle flight on the Alaska Airlines website on Monday was $116.70. That's compared to around $800 one-way for peak holiday flying times for the next couple of weeks and $271.70 after things settle back down in January.
The summer ticket on Alaska jumps up $10 for Thursday-Saturday flights and for flights after June 26. The cut-rate tickets must be purchased by Dec. 21, said company spokesperson Marianne Lindsey.
Bill Beck of Alaska Travel Source in Anchorage noted that Alaska Airlines is knocking down its low summer fare to $107 if purchased by Dec. 21. A reporter was unable to find that deal at the airline's website.
"United Airlines just matched the fare too," Beck said. United lists two flights a day to Seattle in the summer; Alaska has 20-some. JetBlue will have a single daily flight, at 12:30 a.m., and that departure time is important for those looking to get the cheapest seat.
"The low fare on Alaska (Air) only applies to flights that depart around the same time as JetBlue," Beck said.
So on June 17, for example, the low price is available on Alaska flights leaving at 12:30, 1 and 1:15 a.m. At 1:30 a.m. it bounces up to $321.70.
There are exceptions. Though no JetBlue flight leaves during the afternoon or evening, Alaska's website also offers the $116.70 fare for the flights at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on June 17.
JetBlue's last scheduled flight of the summer will depart on Sept. 3, by which point the advertised low fare to Seattle for it and its competitors is around $127. The next day, the cost for the same flight will more than double, $271.40 on Alaska and $272 on United.
"It's amazing how that works," said Beck.
Reach Mike Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4332.