Alaska Airlines, American Airlines

You Can Now Book Virgin America flights (as Alaska) with American AAdvantage Miles

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With the last step in the Virgin America merger process complete come April 24th, we are now seeing the ability to book the Virgin America (soon to be Alaska) flights under their new AS flight codes on AA.com.

In short, this means that you can now book flights currently operated as Virgin America using your American Airlines miles as Alaska is a AAdvantage partner. I don’t see availability right at that start date, but I see plenty in June and later on the NY-LA route. I’d been looking for availability for a while and in an exchange with Benji Stawski on Twitter, we found it is live (again, apparently).

Note that, importantly, this gives Newark area locals the ability to use AAdvantage miles to fly directly from EWR to the West Coast. Previously, you’d have had to connect from EWR to LAX or make the trip to JFK as AA only flies its own metal from JFK-LAX/SFO.

And while EWR locals can fly United, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this post a couple of weeks back:

Here’s June availability on the JFK/EWR – LAX routes. These are all non-stop so the 32.5k boxes mean there is AA availability (and I’m actually quite surprised how many of those there are!) and the 25k boxes mean Virgin/Alaska flights.

 

Flights will cost 12,500 American AAdvantage miles each way in coach and 25,000 miles each way in First Class.  The Virgin America First Class seats are not lie-flat, but are extremely comfortable recliner seats with great service and food. Alaska has said they will be retrofitting the cabins with more (but less luxurious) First Class seats in the near future, but I’m not quite sure how soon that means. They will match the rest of the Alaska fleet. It will mean less luxury but more chance at an upgrade, because as of April 25, Alaska elites should have full access to complimentary First Class upgrade on these routes when on a revenue Alaska Airlines ticket.

Virgin America (soon to be Alaska Airlines) First Class

For now, with American’s own transcontinental Business Class product pricing at 32,500 miles each way and with extremely limited sAAver award availability, this represents a great way to use your AAdvantage miles in a  transcontinental premium cabin.

It’s also currently very easy to get 120,000 AA miles just by applying for both the personal and business versions of the Citi American AAdvantage credit cards (60,000 miles each way) and even more if you go for the Barclaycard Aviator products.   I keep links to airline credit cards offers at this link – Travel Rewards Credit Cards – and greatly appreciate you using the links if you enjoy my content as they are what keep the lights on. I, of course, may receive a commission if you are approved for offers you find through my links.

Will you be booking these Virgin America Alaska Airlines flights with your AAdvantage miles?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

New to all of this? My new “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your WIldest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.