The good, the bad and the ugly of PFD flight deals

Alaskans have grown with the Permanent Fund’s dividend and the travel deals that come with the annual payment.

This year is no different, apart from the fact that PFD checks were distributed a few weeks earlier.

The great deals come from Alaska Airlines. But this year, for the first time, Delta is introducing year-round discounts at its three Alaska gateways: Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. Delta only offers flights from Juneau on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter.

Alaska Air, meanwhile, is offering special fares from all jet ports except Prudhoe Bay. In addition to offering deals on flights to the lower 48 states, Alaska also offers discounted fares for domestic travel. Kotzebue to Anchorage is $126 one way. Fairbanks to Bethel is $164 each way.

Delta offers discounted fares to most, but not all, destinations in the lower 48. From Rochester, New York to Birmingham, Alabama and Duluth, Minnesota, Delta offers a PFD fare.

Whether flying Delta or Alaska, you must plan at least 21 days in advance. That’s really not a problem, though, as many of the destinations aren’t available until early December.

Many travelers are ready for airfares that fall from skyrocketing summer fares. Reviewing both companies’ PFD rates, there are some good, bad, and ugly traits.

Okay

Alaska Airlines is resuming non-stop flights from Anchorage to Hawaii. Non-stop travel to Honolulu begins November 18, but fares are high until January 9, 2023, when tickets go on sale for as little as $177 each way.

Alaska’s non-stop Anchorage-Maui route will resume service in mid-December. However, the offers will be implemented when Alaska Air introduces daily service on January 9th. Tickets are cheap at $159 each way.

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Alaska Air also flies daily non-stop from Anchorage to Kona between January 9th and March 16th. The special PFD is $159 each way.

Delta’s twice-weekly flights between Juneau and Seattle this winter are enough to keep prices down. The airline charges $79 each way between Juneau and Seattle. But travelers from Juneau can fly to New York for $165 each way. Or to Phoenix for $140 each way.

Delta’s daily flight between Fairbanks and Seattle keeps prices low in Golden Heart City all winter long. Many tariffs, such as B. Fairbanks-Seattle for $99 each way, are the same as Anchorage fares. That’s a win for Fairbanks commuters, who are used to paying a lot more for air travel. Another “common” destination is San Jose del Cabo at the tip of Baja California. Whether you’re flying Alaska Airlines from Anchorage or Fairbanks, fares start at just $199 each way. Round-trip fares cost more: starting at $249 each way.

Alaska Airlines is bringing additional firepower to its PFD sale this year. The airline is giving away a pair of Holland America cruises (including airfare) and two sets of Alaska Air tickets in a PFD giveaway. No purchase necessary.

Delta has resumed its offer of two complimentary bags for Alaskan residents. To qualify, you must be a SkyMiles member at least 24 hours prior to check-in.

Since both Delta and Alaska offer PFD fares, there are great deals available for many cities that aren’t normally available. This includes Alaska PFD offerings to all Alaska destinations (except Prudhoe Bay and seasonal service to Gustavus). For Delta, it includes destinations such as Des Moines, Iowa, Fargo, ND, Memphis, Tennessee, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Charlotte, NC

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Poorly

If you’re looking for a good deal, keep your connection time in mind. Airlines display fares with two stopovers or 8-hour stopovers. For example, on November 1, Delta is offering a flight from Anchorage to Los Angeles for $158 each way. Alaska offers the same fare, but in Seattle there is an eight-hour layover.

All prices listed here are for Delta Basic Economy Saver tickets. This means you cannot change your ticket. Preassigned seating is very rare on Alaska Air and specifically not included on Delta. One-way flights at Delta do not earn SkyMiles credit. The Main Cabin surcharge ranges from $30 to $60 each way.

Delta does not offer a dedicated PFD for three of its most popular hubs: Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. But Alaska does offer promotional fares to these cities. Delta offers a good price of $198 each way between Anchorage and Detroit.

Ugly

power outages. You can’t find a PFD class on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Spring Break. These flights are usually packed with school children, their parents and their teachers.

Alaska Air blockout dates are complete: November 17-28 (Thanksgiving), December 15-January 1. March 8, 2023 (Christmas) and March 10-21, 2023 (Spring Break).

Delta’s blackout dates list is more complicated: Jan. 18-29. November 16-18 December, 20-24 December and December 26-January. 3rd–6th March 9th-13th, 16th-20th, 23rd-27th March and March 30–March 3 April. 6th-10th April 13-16, 21-23 April.

There are other important facts about selling life jackets. All tickets must be purchased before September 29th. All travel to Alaska Air destinations must be completed by May 17, 2023. However, some Delta destinations end earlier. For example, Delta travel to Memphis is available for $198 each way and must be completed by March 8, 2023.

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Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly between Alaska and most destinations in the lower 48 states.

Prices and restrictions are subject to change without notice. They’ve already changed since they were unveiled earlier this week. They’ll likely change again before the sale ends on September 29th.

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