UPDATE: This redemption option is no longer available. It sure was fun while it lasted.
It is rare that buying miles is a good value. Maybe a thousand here or there to top off an account or something like that, but buying a whole award’s worth outright is not usually a smart idea. Then again, the Icelandic economy did collapse a couple years ago thanks to unfortunate arbitrage plays so maybe their airline is just trying to catch up on the fun. Reading OnlineTravelReview this afternoon it seems that a very interesting opportunity has arisen to play games with the exchange rate between the Icelandic Krona and dollars or Euros as well as the redemption rate of Saga Club points for travel on Alaska Airlines.
The gist of it is that 30,000 Saga Club points is enough for a first class return ticket on Alaska Airlines metal. Anywhere they fly. And from now until September 28th you can purchase points in the Saga Club program and get a 20% bonus. The cost to purchase 25,000 points – netting 30,000 with the 20% bonus – is only about USD $328. That’s a tremendous bargain. Assuming availability (I’m a bit less inclined to book from the East coast because of that) a trip to Hawaii in first class is going to run you roughly $370. That’s not bad at all.