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.

  1. Unclesam said,

    Actually, as per my calculations if you make use of the 20% purchase bonus and then 20% transfer bonus on initial purchase of 50k points you will in the end get an approx rate of 1.5 cents per us air mile which is not bad, especially of you redeem it for south pacific at 110k in business class.

  2. Paul said,

    “Or get on those Alaska Airlines redemptions, you have a number of hours remaining.” Are they not going to be redeemable in a few hours?

  3. marathon man said,

    I am wondering if they pulled this deal because they saw so much about it on blogs?

  4. Gary said,

    @marathon man – you really have no other thoughts you might share? Did YOU know about it before it was posted by Jared at Online Travel Review?

    * this wasn’t a secret it was a published deal.

    * it lasted for weeks after being posted on tons of blogs

    * Jared was in regular contact with the manages of the Icelandair program, there was nothing under the radar about it and the program kept doing its best to provide continuing good customer service to help folks take advantage of it

    * the ‘secret’ forums got this deal from blogs.

    I imagine that the exposure that this deal got meant that many many people took advantage of it, are flying first class to hawaii who would never otherwise have been able to.

    And that extra demand made Icelandair realize the implications of its offer. Great offers like this never last long, this one lasted longer than anyone might have expected.

    I really do do my best to take deep breaths before posting, but I will offer in this case an exasperated “grow up.”

  5. Gary said,

    @Paul the point of this post is that after 8pm Eastern it is expected that you will not be able to redeem Icelandair miles on Alaska (until some unknown point in the future, and then likely at a new less favorable rate)

  6. Jamison said,

    first class is amazing, but I will just look out for deals from LAX/SAN/SFO – Hawaii for $330 or less and rely on upgrades instead ;) – Thanks for posting this Gary

  7. Eric said,

    Anyone who hasn’t already had the miles posted to their account is likely too late to make anything happen tonight, based upon the reported lengths of time many people are having.

    I’d agree with MM – to say that the publicity on blogs didn’t kill this is living in fantasy land. Icelandair is now halting all AS redemptions for some length of time to devalue their chart for AS. For those who had never thought about Icelandair before, no big deal.

    But for regular Icelandair Saga members who earn on Icelandair and do, or were intending to, redeem on AS (for coach, first, whatever) they’ve now had a good value take out from under them.

    And yes some of us did know about this before it was blasted from the rooftops. Believe it or not there were Saga Club members before any of this came about!

  8. Paul said,

    Had just been parking my icelandair miles for a while now, but given the big devaluation, I booked for a july trip to Honolulu. Never been to hawaii, but figure HNL was as good an airport as any for a first timer.

    Probably will book using Priority club or marriott points for the hotels.

    How difficult will it be to change outbound airport or dates on these tickets?

  9. Gavin said,

    Gary, I read somewhere last week where one of your readers asked if you had a “block” or “delete” button in your blog… perhaps now’s the time to make use of it…

  10. HuskySwede said,

    @marathon man & @Eric Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it. It’s 2012, news travels fast, and the bloggers will point you to 10 deals you didn’t know about for each one of your “super secret” deals they clue us poor folks who have better things to do than scan FlyerTalk all day into. Love the blog Gary!!

  11. DBest said,

    Love the blog too, but disagree that the bloggers are absolved of ANY responsibility for ‘killing the deals’. Every person that learns of and uses a deal brings it closer to its termination, no matter where they discover it. Gary absolutely helped more people fly to Hawaii, but by doing so he also intrinsically contributed to the offer’s demise. Whether it’s better that more people get less flights, or less people get more flights, is what all the fuss is really about…

  12. Gary said,

    @Dbest you’ve offered no evidence to suggest there’s linear increase in risk rather than there being some threshold at which exposure ‘kills a deal’. All great deals end eventually, which is why you should take advantage of them while they’re available and then move onto the next one. You set up an impossible standard, since of course every good deal will eventually end… so if it was blogged it’s the blog’s fault. That’s a logical fallacy (“post hoc ergo propter hoc”).

    For what it’s worth, deals that are posted openly on the internet clearly do not belong to anyone, arguing that I shouldn’t write what’s already being discussed online in public forums because I will deprive a small number of people continued opportunity to exploit things is pretty myopic IMHO.

  13. Paul said,

    I can’t get through on the 1-800 number, anyone else have the same problem?

  14. Justin said,

    Their 800 number is awful. I called so many times, and it automatically cut you off. Waste of time and what a scam!

  15. Justin said,

    I regret buying these miles. I was automatically disconnected calls after calls. Doesn’t even allow me to wait for an agent! Their way of doing business is like a bait and switch. Never buy or fly Iceland Air.

  16. matt said,

    Just in under the wire for my parents, originating msp. They did accept a coach segment overwater to make it happen, but a great deal for them. Thanks for the heads up.

    Always nice to achieve the “not possible” too.

  17. YVR604miler said,

    Stop it kids. The ego game, the rationale game, the “my lingo” is better game, the justification game and the sarcasm game.

    We all read this blog and other blogs for obvious reason. Com’on. Take what you have read and learned, devise it however it fits your needs.

    Although Gary, personally, I noticed lately you really have taken the time to respond rationally and cynically to comments that I consider an attack on you (eversince the 4miles on UA episode anyway).

    Why would you take time to feed the trolls really? By doing so it only shows you are trying to prove them wrong. I’ll say you have better things to do with this blog and sharing with us more deals :) while remain humble! Less drama on your blog = more respect for you.

    There’s no need for you or anyone to reassure that you do have a powerful blog. It’s a known. No need for reassurance. Leave the ego and whatever else behind.

    Let’s just focus on mileage run deals, mattress run deals, fun trip reports, new products review/experience, fair assessment on bad products and etc. But leave the ego and the DYKWIA out. It makes for a much better read.

    my 0.02cents. I appreciate your works.

  18. matt said,

    Justin:
    The line went extremely quiet for me several times, but I did not get disconnected (even though it sounded like it). They don’t play hold music, but don’t necessarily disconnect you. Maybe you just needed to be more patient?

    The call center is doubtless swamped and wait times are substantial, but the person I talked to was very helpful and friendly, once we got past the “not possibles”.

  19. joan said,

    Thanks for the heads up! Got in under the wire and booked a FC birthday trip to Alaska next May. Wasn’t able to find hawaii on any of the dates I checked, so I opted for FC to SNA instead. Still a good use of my 600-something bucks. One is out of DCA, the other ORD.

  20. matt said,

    Instant ticketing would be nice…I’d really appreciate having ticket numbers in-hand prior to the end of the day…

  21. Jay said,

    First I want to thanks Gary for re-posting the deal. I finally jumped Wednesday and bought two F tickets to OGG for my wife’s b-day. Second, I have zero issue with this kind of info being posted on blogs. Especially when the airline knew about it all the long.

    Keep up the good work Gary.

  22. BR said,

    I’m being disconnected as well. Immediately when I push 2, it disconnects me.

  23. MZT said,

    I booked a ticket yesterday morning, but I still have yet to receive a confirmation e-mail to let me know that the reservation has ticketed. Should I be worried or do you think it will ticket?

  24. Joan said,

    Try alternate selections when you call–push 3, instead of 2. Both options will work, but I think they’ll disconnect if the hold queue is too long.

  25. Danray said,

    Thanks for this update. I bought miles today, transferred points and booked 2 first class from pdx to Maui. Pints posted instantly.

  26. Bridgett E said,

    Called 2 mins before closing not having a clue on what dates we wanted and luckily using Expertflyer.com was able to find 3 flights from San Diego to Maui within minutes. The rep even rushed me by informing me they were closing. Big ups to this site for informing me of the cutoff and to expertflyer.com for making our trip possible.

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