Travel

A half-off airfare deal for Alaska residents arrives as Hawaii welcomes visitors once more

There’s good news from the Land of Aloha. Gov. David Ige has officially rolled out the red carpet, extending a warm welcome to tourists to once again visit Hawaii.

Back in August, Ige publicly asked tourists to stay away from the islands due to high COVID-19 infection counts and pressure on hospitals.

Alaska Airlines offers nonstop flights from Anchorage to Honolulu, Maui and Kona. And those flights are on sale. This sale is a little different from the sale last week, or the week before.

Alaskans who want to visit Hawaii must either be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid a 10-day quarantine on arrival.

[Hawaii governor invites vaccinated tourists to start coming back on Nov. 1]

Travel to Canada finally is a two-way street. While vaccinated travelers now are allowed to drive into Canada, Canadians were not allowed to enter the U.S. by road. That’s changing on Nov. 8, when the U.S. will allow road traffic from Canada (and Mexico).

In addition to international travel, the Canadian government is mandating that travelers be vaccinated on domestic flights and trains.

As travel slows down between Alaska and the Lower 49 (including Hawaii), airlines keep coming up with fare sales. It’s a little tough when some of the fares already are super-low. That includes routes like Anchorage to Fort Myers, Florida ($102 one-way on Delta), or New York ($116 one-way on Alaska Airlines).

Alaska Airlines has a sale right now that offers 49% off the total price of two tickets when you’re traveling together. The sale is to commemorate 10 years of their “Club 49″ program. It’s open only to Club 49 members.

It’s free to belong to Club 49, but you have to live in Alaska. The most popular feature is that members get two free checked bags when traveling to or from Alaska.

To take advantage of the 49% discount, sign in to your Alaska Airlines online account. On the left-hand side of your “account” page is a link to “discount and companion fare codes.” That’s where you’ll find the discount code. Click on the box that says “shop” and you can start shopping for tickets.

I’ve heard from several travelers who have been members of the Club 49 program since it started — and they didn’t receive a code. For a variety of reasons, some names were deleted from the Club 49 roster. All you have to do is call Alaska Airlines to be re-added to the list. Everyone I’ve spoken with either called or used the “chat” function on Alaska’s website to get re-enrolled and to receive the discount code promptly.

As is often the case, there are lots of rules and restrictions. You cannot get the discount over Thanksgiving, Christmas or spring break. Some destinations, like Hawaii and Belize, are only available on certain days.

The discount code that Alaska Air sends to you is good for two people traveling on the same itinerary, similar to the Visa card companion fares. Travel is valid between now and May 15, 2022.

Alaska’s hot new destination is Belize, so I plugged in my one-time-only code to see how much it costs. Traveling Dec. 2-9, my wife and I could fly in “Saver” seats for $740, or $370 per person.

If you’ve got Hawaii on the brain, take advantage of Gov. Ige’s offer of “aloha” as the days get shorter. Fly nonstop from Anchorage to Maui on Alaska’s nonstop. Fly Dec. 8-15 for $512 round trip, or $256 each. It’s even cheaper to fly from Anchorage to Honolulu: $430 round trip for two, or $215 each (in Saver seats).

Phoenix has the sun, but not the beach. Fly on Alaska’s nonstop from Anchorage Jan. 9-15 for a total of $350 round trip, or $175 per person.

If you want to go to Seattle, keep in mind that King County has a strict vaccination policy for many public venues. According to King County’s website, “King County will require verification of full vaccination status or a negative test to enter outdoor public events of 500 or more people and indoor entertainment and recreational establishments and events such as live music, performing arts, gyms, restaurants, and bars.”

The price for two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines between Anchorage and Seattle using the discount code is $228 round trip, or $114 each. Or, if you just want to travel one-way, it’s $57.

If you are counting your frequent flyer miles to get your elite MVP or MVP Gold status, Alaska Air is offering a 50% bonus through Dec. 31. If you’re traveling to Seattle (2,880 miles round trip), Alaska would award you a 1,440-mile bonus. The bonus miles can’t be redeemed for free tickets — but it does give you an extra boost to your next elite-level tier.

Sponsored