Do you fly Alaska Airlines? Do you have the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card? Do you ever pay to check your bag when you fly Alaska Airlines? Something strange happened to me recently when I flew Alaska Airlines, and I just figured out what happened! For years I flew on Alaska Airlines, and if I checked a bag, I was charged a checked bag fee and paid for it. Then for a few years, I had Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status and got used to not paying for checked bags. That was nice! After those status days ended, I had a few flights where I got charged for checked bags and paid the fee. However, for my last five flights where I’ve needed to check a bag, I wasn’t charged a fee. I had no idea why, and I almost didn’t want to know :)
But recently, I put the pieces of the puzzle together and I want to make sure you’re in the know too! You see, I’ve also had the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card for years, and because everyone focuses on the Companion Fare benefit, it’s easy to forget, as I did, that the card also comes with one FREE checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation.
BUT, and it’s an important but, only if your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number is linked to your credit card! That may seem obvious. I don’t think it is, and that’s how I got stuck paying bag fees. A few years ago, Bank of America didn’t automatically put your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number on the credit card. But since Bank of America started issuing chip and signature versions of the credit card, your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number should be printed on the front of the credit card. I talked with Alaska Airlines about this and they said that was the case. They also said that if you had your Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card with you and showed it when you checked in, you wouldn’t be charged a checked bag fee either. But who brings their Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card when they travel? I certainly don’t.
So please, make sure your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number is linked to your credit card. If you have had the same Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card for many years and your Mileage Plan number is not shown on your credit card, call Bank of America and ask for a replacement credit card. All the credit card information will stay the same, but you will receive a new credit card that has chip and signature technology and your Mileage Plan number shown on the front of the credit card. I’m not going to put my math hat on to add up the checked bag fees I paid that I shouldn’t have – I know it’s at least a few cappuccinos :)
If you have anything to add or want to commiserate with me, please leave a comment below. Thanks!