Alaska Airlines is officially on my MAJOR pet peeve list. I hear people complaining about them all the time and I had no doubt they operate like an company with a monopoly. In many places in Alaska we have no other airline to rely on. For the most part I take their gouging without putting too much thought into it. What’s the point? Besides, we don’t travel that often.
But recently something happened that changed my complacency. A friend of mine (and spouse) have to travel to Seattle to have open heart surgery performed on their 5 month old baby. They are going through some tough times as one might imagine, both with leave usage from their jobs and travel expenses. As anyone with major medical issues know, it all adds up fast. I donated some leave to her and then Chris mentioned donating miles. What a great idea, I thought. He has miles he almost lost recently because he doesn’t have much activity on his account so we volunteered to donate 25,000 miles for their travel. They were thrilled to have the miles, they have to buy opened ended tickets because their return depends on how well the baby is doing so air miles were definitely needed. Imagine my surprise to learn it costs a lot of money to donate miles!! $10 for every 1000 miles, to be exact, and then a $25 fee for processing. So the cost of donating 25,000 miles came to $275. For miles that I earned, that were MINE!! (Well, actually they were Chris’ but still……) One might think the $25 processing fee would suffice…..why they have to charge for transferring miles from one account to another is beyond me. It just goes to show their loyalty and appreciation for their patrons. And how they really do gouge you at every turn.So in conclusion…….BOO, HISS AK Airlines. You are no friend of mine.