Alaska Upgrade to First Class

Alaska Upgrade to First Class is the most generous program when it comes to the class of service upgrades. It offers its elite passengers a chance to upgrade to First Class without any hassles. 

Also, thanks to its codeshare agreement with American Airlines, some American Airlines Reward Members can also be eligible for an upgrade on Alaska Airlines. Even if American Airlines passengers are not eligible for an upgrade, they still have a chance to get extra legroom and other comfortable seats. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the First Class upgrade process. Whether you request the upgrade as an elite member or choose to redeem your miles or cash, let’s take a note of this comprehensive guide about the Alaska Airlines to upgrade to First Class eligibility, priority, and more. 

Alaska Upgrade to First Class

Conditions and Restriction for Alaska Air First Class Upgrades

Passengers can switch from Economy Class to Business or First Class in exchange for the Alaska Airlines change fee, and the fare difference, if it is applicable. Let’s understand the applicability and the pre-conditions/restrictions on the Alaska Airlines class of service – 

  • The Alaska upgrade to First Class applicable on Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class reservations.
  • Passengers can change from Economy Class to First Class, which means jumping by two Cabin classes, subject to Alaska Airlines change fee and the applicable fare difference.  
  • No Child, Senior Citizen, or Bereavement discount allowed on Alaska Air’s first-class upgrade.
  • The lounge facility at the airport is eligible for Alaska First Class passengers only. 
  • The First Class upgrade is non-transferable, non-reusable, non-refundable, and cannot be transferred to another passenger. 
  • The First Class upgrade is applicable on the flights operated by Alaska Air only and is applicable on specific flights.
  • The facility to upgrade to First Class at the airport will open 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure for the international flight and 2 hours prior to the domestic flights. 
  • The upgrade at the airport is subject to the availability of seats.
  • Server fares especially booked in X class of service are not eligible for Elite Upgrades. 

Alaska Airlines First Class Upgrades 

Alaska’s Mileage Plan offers an unlimited complimentary upgrade to First Class as a benefit of the elite status. To be eligible for the complimentary upgrades, the Mileage Plan account number must be in the reservation, and the flight miles must be credited to the Mileage Plan. Here are the fares that are eligible for the First Class Upgrades request  – 

Fares That Qualify for Alaska Air First Class Upgrades

Certain Alaska fares are eligible for instant upgrades to First Class, provided that the space is available. To ensure that you are booking a fare that must qualify for the First Class upgrade, click the ‘Upgrade Type’ preference selection filter on the advanced search booking page. 

If the passengers purchased the qualified fares from the table listed below, the upgrade space would be available as passengers can immediately request Alaska Upgrade to First Class. 

If there are no upgrades available, passengers will be placed on the upgrade waitlist and cleared in the order of tier and fare class booked, subject to the availability of the seats in the First Class. 

Elite Level
MVP membersY or B fares
MVP Gold membersY, B, H, or K fares
MVP Gold 75K membersY, B, H, K, or M
Alaska Air First Class

Upgrade Time Window for Discounted and Non-Refundable Fares 

If passengers have purchased one of the discounted fares that do not qualify for the immediate upgrade, the request will be placed in the queue. When the ‘Class of Service’ window opens, the elite tier groups have the upgrades cleared in the order of the fare class booked. If there are no upgrades available for your flight, passengers will be placed on the upgrade waitlist in the order of the fare class booked. 

Below is the list of the Upgrade windows for discounted fares booked by the Elite members. Within the Upgrade Window list given below, if there is an First Class upgrade available, passengers’ flight would be rebooked immediately on the desired class. 

Elite levelMVP membersMVP Gold membersMVP Gold 75K members
Upgrade time windows48 hours prior to departure72 hours prior to departure120 hours prior to departure
Fare class orderH, K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, G, TM, L, V, S, N, Q, O, G, TL, V, S, N, Q, O, G, T

If there are no upgrades available, passengers will be placed on the upgrade waitlist and cleared in the order of tier and fare class booked, subject to the availability of the seats in the First Class. 

How to Get Upgraded To First Class In Alaska?

When it comes to securing an upgrade, the Alaska Air First Class Upgrade policy is very explicit. Knowing how you can redeem or earn an upgrade on your booking is vital information that you need to know. 

Upgrade to First Class with Elite Status

  • Obtaining top Mileage Plan elite status is the most common way to receive complimentary Alaska Airlines upgrades.
  • When purchasing flights, look for flights with first-class upgrade availability under Upgrade pricing type to enhance your chances of receiving a First Class Upgrade.
  • Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed for premium cabin flights with Alaska and its codeshare or interline agreement partners.
  • Upgrade to first class on Alaska Airlines with your American AAdvantage Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro elite membership.

Upgrade to First Class without Elite Status

  • Passengers can request Alaska First Class upgrades for as little as 250 USD at check-in, at airport kiosks, or at the departure gate.
  • You can purchase a First Class upgrade by redeeming at the lowest 15000 Alaska Air miles by calling Alaska Airlines customer phone number at +1-877-311-7484.
  • The Money and Miles option saves you up to 50% on your ticket: 10,000 miles equals 50 USD off on the base fare, while 20,000 miles equals 100 USD off.
Alaska Airlines First Class Upgrade

Alaska Airlines Mileage Upgrade to First Class

If there is an inventory available in the First Class cabin, the Alaska Mileage Plan members can use miles to upgrade their flight tickets. Here are the best way to redeem Alaska Air miles to upgrade to First Class – 

Alaska Airlines Upgrade to First Class with Miles

Alaska Air does not publish any mileage chart for its flights. Rather, passengers can use the Miles Calculator on the Alaska Air online platform to price First Class upgrades. 

Making First Class upgrade better, the airlines do not charge fuel surcharges anymore. 

For travel to and from the United States, Alaska Air divides the travel route into East Coast zone and West Coast zone. Depending upon the flight distance between point A and point B, the redeemable miles from the West Coast is significantly higher than the East Coast. Regardless of the flight distance, it takes 15000 miles each way to request Alaska Upgrade to First Class. 

Cash + Miles

Alaska Air launched a Cash + Miles program where passengers can use a minimum of 1000 miles, and every 5000 miles translates to a 50 USD discount to upgrade to First Class.

Alaska Airlines Upgrade to First Class at Check-in

You can use Alaska Reward Miles at the time of check-in. Price starts at 20000 miles and varies with the flight distance and the ticket type. 

Economy Saver fares changed to First Class up to 6 hours prior to the scheduled departure. 

The upgrade from premium to first-class can be requested at the time of Alaska Airlines check-in

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare Upgrade to First Class

Complimentary elite upgrades are available on the same day as departure, and some fares can be upgraded to the First Class. During the Alaska Airlines reservation process, it automatically becomes easy to look for upgradeable fares.

Although Companion fares can only be used to book flights in the Economy Class, there are still ways to use it on First Class travel.

Select the “upgrade type” option from the main menu on the home page where you entered your companion fare discount code.  Only specific Economy fares qualify, and they may not be the cheapest for that particular trip. Remember that the companion fare remains the same; just one traveler pays the additional fee.

Each Alaska Air Companion Fare Upgrade to First Class has its own set of limitations. Let’s understand the rules associated with Alaska Companion Fare Upgrade to First Class – 

  • The MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K are eligible for the Companion Fare Upgrade.
  • The Companion fare upgrade is available to the ‘U’ fare class only and is subject to availability and may not be available on all flights.
  • Tickets purchased in Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, or N are eligible for Alaska Air First Class Upgrade. 
  • The Companion Fare upgrade code is valid for one-way travel for one passenger only. 
  • Companion fare upgrades may not be used as a substitute for a complimentary upgrade offered by an elite-level member. You cannot cancel a guest upgrade to be placed on the upgrade waitlist once it has been processed.
  • Companion fare Upgrades are transferable, but they cannot be bartered, purchased, or sold.
  • The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare upgrade to First Class is forfeited if the scheduled flight is changed or canceled. 
  • The airport lounges are not available to passengers traveling on Alaska Upgrade to First Class tickets.

Cost to Upgrade to First Class on Alaska Airlines

Alaska Upgrade to First Class cost as low as 100 USD. First Class paid upgrade would be available within 24 hours prior to scheduled departure through online check-in. 

Alaska Upgrade from Premium to First Class costs as low as 200 USD. Premium Class upgrades are available anytime prior to the scheduled departure through online check-in. 

Service/fee typeStandard feeFirst Class (purchased) passengerFirst Class (award) passengerFirst Class (upgrade) passengerMileage Plan MVPMileage Plan MVP Gold or 75K
Premium Class paid upgradesStarting from 200 USDplus applicable taxes350 USD300 USD250 USD200 USD150 USD
First Class paid upgradesStarting from 100 USDplus applicable taxes250 USD200 USD150 USD100 USD75 USD

Alaska Upgrade to First class – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes! Both First Class and Premium Class will share a single waitlist. Members on the queue will be moved to First Class first, then Premium or Business Class. (If you choose not to upgrade to First or Premium Class during the booking process, your name will be omitted.

Alaska Air First Class Upgrade will only be requested by the Elite Status level within the upgrade window time, or by the time of booking. Once you’re on the First Class upgrade waitlist, and within the upgraded time window, the airlines will look for the number of seats available in the First Class. Alaska Airlines First Class upgrade request may process until one hour prior to scheduled departure. 

The Fare classes are cleared in the following order – Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, G, T. Server Fares are not eligible for First Class upgrades.

The MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K are eligible for the Companion Fare Upgrade. Provided that both Elite Tier status travel on the same flight, included in the same booking, and booked on the same class of service. MVP Elite members receive First Class upgrades for themselves – not for companions and guests.

When purchasing a ticket, it’s simple to use your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to upgrade your journey. Only flights operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines are eligible.

Simply go to alaskaair.com and fill out the departure/destination details on the homepage.  Select Mileage from the Upgrade fare type once flights are revealed; fares marked with an “F” in a solid blue box have upgrade availability.

Alaska Upgrade to First Class request will cost you at least 15,000 Mileage Plan miles.

No. Members upgraded into First Class will not receive a discount.

Regardless of the flight distance, it takes 15000 miles each way to request Alaska Upgrade to First Class.

Elite members who have previously booked flights will be automatically added to the Alaska Air First Class upgrade waitlist. If passengers do not want an automated First Class upgrade, they can simply call the Alaska Airlines reservation at +1-877-311-7484 to request not to upgrade. 

If you do not want to be upgraded to Premium Class automatically, you can opt-out by phoning reservations.

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