Flying from the East coast to Alaska?

Old Jul 12th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Flying from the East coast to Alaska?

Hi - we are planning a cruisetour with Holland America in 2007. We need to fly from the Boston area to Fairbanks and then from Vancouver to Boston. I have miles and points I would like to utilize and am looking for info on the best flights for this trip. We are really trying to keep the connections to a minimum. Any thoughts on this? Thanks, sue
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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I have miles and points I would like to utilize and am looking for info on the best flights for this trip.

It will help if you indicate the airline with which you have miles/points.
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Check airline websites for flight durations. We paid extra to go MHT to Detroit to ANC to get the shortest flight. It would have been cheaper to add Denver to the itinerary but it also added several hours. Since you are flying out of Boston your best deal is probably going to be Alaska Airlines. We figured arriving and departing ANC in the early evening was a great flight but figure your return is going to be a red eye. A neighbor with family in Fairbanks found it cheaper to fly to ANC and rent a car. (But its a long drive.) You might look into a final leg from ANC to Fairbanks on a commuter flight. I was surprised but United checked our bags thru to our final destination in Kenai. Of course, it depends on who you have air miles with.
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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I have miles mostly with American right now but also have points on a credit card that I can use for any airline. Just need to figure the quickest way there and back. sue
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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The fastest routings to FAI are on Northwest via Minneapolis - they have a nonstop to Fairbanks, while all others will involve a change in Seattle or Anchorage. Alaska Airlines has nonstops from Boston to Seattle and Seattle to Fairbanks; however the quickest BOS-SEA-FAI itinerary (a couple of hours longer than the NW flights) is a red-eye. If you add a stop in Anchorage, then there are many more choices of airlines, routes and timing.

Your AA miles won't do you any good on NW but would on Alaska. Of course by next year there are likely to be schedule changes and/or dead/wounded airlines, of which NW is a potential candidate.

Look also at flying home from Seattle instead of Vancouver. Fares tend to be cheaper and there are nonstop flights. Getting from Vancouver to Seattle is relatively easy.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 11:37 AM
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for the Boston-Fairbanks route:

NW: BOS-MSP-FAI, via Minneapolis, the shortest way
AS: BOS-SEA-FAI, via Seattle
DL: BOS-SLC-FAI, via Salt Lake City
AA: you have to add a second transit point like Chicago:
BOS-ORD-SEA-FAI, or BOS-ORD-ANC-FAI

for the Vancouver-Boston route:

UA: YVR-ORD-BOS, via Chicago, the shortest
AS: YVR-SEA-BOS, via Seattle
AA: again you have to add another transit point, like Chicago: YVR-SEA-ORD-BOS, or YVR-DFW-BOS

you have to compare the travel times with the miles points you need for each solution, before you choose.. !!
Sometimes longer journeys are cheaper...

it seems you might use AS for the whole journey and I would focus on that, first !

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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Make certain you bring snacks. Several years ago I flew with a woman who had just spent 12 hours flying in from Alaska and all they had given her was one tiny package of graham crackers.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Any thought on going in a bit early to Seattle and enjoying a day in Seattle before traveling on? It would eliminate problems with layovers, long travel days, etc. I spent 3+ hours at the gate waiting for a connection into Juneau. If I do it again, I'm going in early and enjoying time in Seattle before continuing on to Alaska.

Good idea to pack snacks and water.

BTW, I had a nice visit getting to know the others traveling to Juneau as we all waited at the gate. Everyone was planning to return on different days. Imagine my surprise when all were checking in for my return flight out of Juneau. Turns out Juneau had been "socked" in for several days and the weather finally cleared to let the flights take off.

Seattle and surrounding area is just so wonderful. Consider at least an overnight in Seattle and then continue on to Fairbanks the next day.
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