Newbie here! Alaskan Airlines offer... too good to be true?


Thank you for taking the time to read this, I’m very new to this, and the information is overwhelming, but I’m determined to learn all I can.

I have a trip to the US planned for April next year. I was looking at flying Virgin Aus Business class because of their updated cabins to LA. Which got me started in Points Hacking.

So far, I’ve joined QFF and Velocity, and I’m just learning about the benefits of joining international programs.

With regards to Alaskan Airlines 40% bonus offered recently:

A return flight in Qantas Business is 110,000pts and Qantas First is 140,000pts.

If I took advantage of the current offer, and went to buy enough points for a First Class ticket, are my below sums correct? (Bonus points included in ‘Total Points’)

Item Total Points USD AUD
2 x 40,000pts pack 112,000pts



1 x 22,000pts pack 28,600pts



TOTAL 140,600pts



So, I can essentially buy a Qantas First Class Return Seat SYD-LAX for $4017.80AUD??

Surely… surely I must have missed something.

Please excuse my naivety, I am still learning. But if this is true, you have a new point-hacker for life!

Yes, you pretty much have this right - you will also need to factor in the cost of taxes/fees on the redemption as well which can be significant.

The downsides vs paid fares?

  • The general hard to find availability of points redemption seats, especially to the USA
  • The hassles and time required to research and make award seat bookings (because of the first problem)

You’ll also earn no Points or Status Credits on the flights. But yep, that’s what it’s about!

Thank you very much Keith for your rapid response.

I’ve just completed a few searches, and you’re right, it’s near impossible to snag a reward flight. First Class is never available, and Business class says the connecting flight SYD-MEL for example, is business, but MEL-LAX is economy.

I’m reading through your ‘Getting Started’ email course and it’s incredibly valuable. Thank you very much for providing it at no cost. That’s very generous.

In your opinion, how should I target my approach for SYD-LAX in April 2016? Points and Pay, or try any use points outright (QFF/Velocity)? I understand the hierarchy for one of those is disadvantageous for a newbie (with no status yet).

Many thanks again!