The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has a unique program-within-a-program that is exclusively available to the 735,000-plus residents of Alaska: Alaska Airlines Club 49. Residents of Alaska can join Club 49 free of charge and take advantage of the following perks upon registering:
- Two free checked bags per flight
- Two annual one-way certificates for 30 percent off refundable economy fares when to, from or within Alaska
- Access to exclusive weekly fare sales
- Discounts and special offers
Membership is open to all Alaska residents, though those under the age of 18 will have to call the Alaska Airlines Reservations line at 1-800-252-7522 to enroll. Membership in Club 49 is valid for a year and eligibility is reevaluated on an annual basis.
After enrolling in Club 49, Alaska Airlines will determine residency by checking public records to ensure that only those who actually live in the state are given access to the program.
Free Checked Bags
By far, the most useful of these benefits are the two free checked bags on all Alaska flights, which amount to savings of up $100 per round-trip flight. The benefit applies as long as you are flying into, out of, or connecting through an airport in Alaska.
The free checked bag perk is also substantial because unlike other airlines, Alaska doesn’t offer this perk to holders of the co-branded Alaska Visa Signature credit card. The perk is exclusively reserved for Alaska Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, and American AAdvantage elite members. What’s more, the free-checked-bag benefit applies to as many as seven passengers traveling with a Club 49 member.
Aside from the checked-bag benefit, the other perks outlined above may or may not come in handy. The special offers are fairly limited, though it’s worth checking the page occasionally for deals that may be worthwhile.
Double Miles Promotion
As for promotions, this past summer Alaska offered Club 49 members a special double miles promotion on all flights. If you’re a Club 49 member and signed up to receive email notifications, you should receive an alert if such a promotion comes around again.
Alaska Airlines also advertises special events throughout Alaska that residents can enjoy. Most of these events are centered around Anchorage and involve sports. The special events page acts as a community bulletin board of sorts, aimed at reaching out to and establishing a positive relationship with local residents.
If you’re a resident of Alaska, joining Local 49 is a must. Registration is free, easy and if nothing else, it will occasionally save you $50 to $100 in baggage fees on a round-trip flight.