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Alaska is tightening their the policy on change and cancellation fees in a couple weeks.

  • As of June 5, you will no longer be able to change or cancel an award 60 days or more prior to departure for free. The only window of time you’ll have to make free changes or cancellations will be for 24 hours after booking. Any change or cancellation made after the 24 hour window will cost $125. These changes are effective for travel booked June 5 or later.
    • Exceptions: If you have MVP Gold or 75K status Alaska, purchased any kind of refundable fare, or are traveling within the state of Alaska, the new fees do not apply.
  • If you want to make any same day confirmed changes to your ticket, it will cost $50 instead of the current $25. You will, however, have the whole calendar day to make these confirmed changes instead of the current six hour window before travel.These changes are effective for travel on June 5 or later.
    • Exceptions: If you have MVP Gold or 75K status Alaska same day confirmed change fees will remain waived. If you purchased a refundable fare in F, D, Y, or Z class of service, are traveling within the state of Alaska, or are traveling between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Spokane and Seattle, or Portland and Seattle, the same day confirmed change fee will remain $25.
  • If you book you a flight within 24 hours of departure, then that 24 hour grace period for free changes/cancellations mentioned above in italics will not apply. You will need to pay $125 to change or cancel the ticket.

These new policies apply to purchased tickets as well as award bookings.

Bottom Line

Alaska has decided to pull the reigns in for free changes and cancellations to awards. While those things are currently free, as long as your are 60 days out from departure, the only time you’ll be able to make free changes or cancel as of June 5 will be within 24 hours of booking. There are exceptions for travel within Alaska and for elite MileagePlan members.

If you’re concerned with the new policies might affects upcoming Alaska award travel, check out their announcement for full details. And think about booking travel before June 5.

The placement of a change/cancellation fee for Alaska awards is a bummer. Numerous times I’ve taken advantage of the flexibility their old (and for the moment, current) policy allowed, booking an award tentatively and changing it for free when my plans firmed up. That luxury will cost you come June 5… although not as much as it would cost with

Do you highly value the ability to change plans last minute with no financial repercussions? Check out Miles With Free (or Almost Free) Change & Cancellation Fees.

Hat tip Travel Codex