In an era when airlines keep cutting perks and charging for everything, Alaska Airlines has some good news for its passengers. Earlier this month the carrier announced that its Visa Signature cardholders can now check their first bag free of charge.
“You’ve been earning miles for everything from submarine sandwiches to scuba lessons. Now we’re rewarding your loyalty even more with a free checked bag,” Alaska Airlines explained on its website.
Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airline’s vice president of marketing, said that the free checked bag perk is a benefit that customers have been clamoring for. “We’re thrilled to announce that our Visa Signature consumer cardholders and their friends and family traveling in the same reservation with them will enjoy one free checked bag with every flight,” Woerner said in a statement.
Up to seven passengers traveling on the same qualifying reservation get the perk. Qualifying reservations must be on flights marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest or PenAir.
Alaska first featured the free checked bag promotion in January for all Mileage Plan members. In February, the promo was extended to its Visa Signature cardholders.
Visa Signature cardholders are entitled to a bevy of benefits. Upon card approval, accounts are credited with 25,000 miles. Cardholders earn one mile for every dollar spent on retail purchases, and they earn three miles for every dollar spent with Alaska Airlines. They also get a companion fare bonus every year. With the purchase of a round-trip ticket, a friend can tag along for as little as $121.
For the eighth consecutive year, Alaska Airlines was ranked highest in customer satisfaction among traditional airlines in North America, according to a J.D. Power study released in January. It’s things like Alaska Air’s on-time bag pledge that place it at the top. The carrier holds the unique distinction of being the only airline with a 20-minute bag guarantee, which is extended to all flyers.
Since 2010, Alaska Airlines has offered a $25 discount for use on a future flight, or 2,500 Mileage Plan miles, if a passenger’s bags are not at baggage claim within 20 minutes of arrival. Oversize items, including pets, golf clubs, surfboards, skis, firearms and assistive devices, do not qualify.
Passengers opting for the mileage will see the miles posted to their account within three days. Just speak with a customer service agent at the airport, contact Alaska via Twitter or call the airline’s customer service center if you don’t get your bags on time.
Sounds like it’s a good time to visit the Last Frontier, and relish its vast beauty and solitude.