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How to upgrade on Alaska Airlines
Enjoy first class cabins without using money.
Loyal Alaska Airlines customers are often first on the list to get complimentary upgrades. However, even if you only occasionally fly Alaska Airlines, you can still get an upgrade using miles.
How can I get an upgrade?
To move up to Alaska Airlines first class without using money, you need to join Alaska Airlines’s Mileage Plan frequent flyer program. Then you’ll start earning miles every time you fly. Earn even more miles by spending with the airline using an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card.
Also, frequent flyers who earn elite status get a complimentary upgrade to first class. They also get to earn more miles on their Alaska flights, which can be redeemed for award flights.
Who gets upgraded?
Alaska Airlines’s upgrade wait list is simple: Mileage Plan elite tiers get the upgrade priority, while everyone else can get an upgrade after the elite members.
Alaska Airlines upgrade with miles
To get an upgrade on Alaska Airlines using miles, your ticket must be booked in a certain fare category. Typically, these fares are Y, S, B, M and H.
There’s also the option to check whether you can upgrade your fare at alaskaair.com. On the website, select Mileage from the Upgrades box and the fares that qualify for an upgrade will appear with a U next to the fare.
Alaska Airlines upgrade chart
Alaska Airlines first class upgrade is available for purchase with miles. However, if you want to upgrade without joining the Mileage Plan program, you can upgrade using money.
|First class upgrade on a one-way trip||Cost|
|Award upgrade||15,000 miles|
|2,101 miles and more||$199|
Data obtained April 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
How to use a credit card to get an Alaska Airlines upgrade
Getting an Alaska Airlines credit card won’t get you an upgrade directly. However, you can use your card to purchase airfare and earn accelerated miles. You can then use these miles to move up to first class, or you can use miles to get an award flight.
You’ll also get a chance to earn a companion certificate every year on your card anniversary. If you often fly Alaska Airlines, this could be a useful perk to have.
Compare credit cards that can help earn an upgrade
Compare airline credit cards
You might not be able to earn an upgrade on Alaska Airlines with these cards, but there’s a wide selection of airline credit cards with similar perks to choose from.
How to use miles to upgrade on an Alaska Airlines partner flight
Unfortunately, you can’t get an upgrade on Alaska Airlines partners. But you can get an award flight using miles on these airlines:
- Aer Lingus
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air
- Latam Airlines
- Ravn Alaska
- Singapore Airlines
Getting an upgrade on Alaska Airlines is easy. If you’re a member of the Mileage Plan reward program, you can upgrade without using money. Otherwise, you can purchase your upgrade out of pocket. Only the Mileage Plan elite tiers get a complimentary upgrade to first class.
If you fly infrequently with Alaska Airlines, check out other airline credit cards and compare your options.
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