Fairbanks on the Cheap, Thanks to Icelandair and Alaska Airlines

the twitters and blogs were abuzz a week ago on the news that you could get a cheap seat on alaska airlines by buying and using icelandair saga points (due to the low value of the króna, purchase bonus, and low award redemption value). i quickly bought 20,000 (well, 20,400 due to the way the bonus worked out) miles and after a couple of tries, i got my ticket!

the attempts

the first time i called, i was told there was a 10-day waiting period to redeem travel on a new account, but later learned that rule was done away with. i called the next day (icelandair has really odd hours, especially for people on the west coast) and got really close to getting a ticket issued, but was told they couldn’t get me certain flights because they were a codeshare with american (why they even appeared at all to pick from, i don’t know). i called again today and voilà, either space opened up or this person had some ninja skillz (i didn’t change anything, though i did try to book from SJC and we came close, but couldn’t confirm for some reason, so back to SFO it was).


but yes, as of now, i am going SFO-SEA-FAI and back, for about half the cost (or less) of a normal ticket:
the 20,400 miles cost me $231.93 (my new bank, simple, does not charge an international transaction fee!), and the taxes were about $116 (i think she said, ouch, quite a chunk of change — will know for sure once the ticket is issued), for a total of less than $350. doing a quick kayak search shows DL/AS for $784, AS alone for $939.

*crossing my fingers for northern lights* (bucket list!)

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