Online Travel Review has played point on the amazing deal of purchasing Icelandair miles and redeeming those miles for first class awards on Alaska Airlines anywhere in the US and Canada including Hawaii and Alaska — for under $350 per ticket.
Now Jared reports that Icelandair is finally pulling the deal — that at 8pm Eastern this evening they will be pulling Alaska Airlines redemptions.
Their Alaska partnership continues, so presumably redemptions will return, but one imagines that those redemptions will be at a much higher mileage rate.
The deal was a combination of the weak Icelandic Krona, a 20% mileage purchase bonus (which runs into September, but which isn’t necessary to have made this a good deal), and inexpensive redemption pricing on Alaska Airlines flights.
From the beginning I had recommended finding Alaska Airlines award availability first before buying the miles, since mileage purchases in most cases post instantly and there’s not a ton of good in accumulating Icelandair miles otherwise. If you are stuck with Icelandair miles, remember that you can redeem points for hotel stays at a non-crazy rate you can at least get the value of your purchase back at higher-end properties. And you can transfer via Points.com to US Airways with about 45% devaluation (meaning it’s not much worse than buying US Airways miles with the regular 100% purchase bonus). Or get on those Alaska Airlines redemptions, you have a number of hours remaining.
This was always an amazing opportunity from the West Coast to Hawaii, and from the Midwest, Texas, and Mountain states even. But getting award availability from the Northeast in first class on Alaska is always a challenge, it’s sometimes possible to get Washington DC – Los Angeles space but almost never does one find DC, Newark, Boston, Philadelphia or recently even Atlanta to Seattle in first class as an award. And timing matters, you can’t have more than one connection longer than 4 hours on an Icelandair award.
But there’s still an opportunity here, especially for folks starting out in California or Seattle.