Alaska Airlines’ Free Ski Season Is Here Again
Winter is here again, and with it, so is Alaska Airlines’ offer to ski for free in one of their twelve ski resort partners. Here’s how to take advantage of this recurring promo.
Did you know your tickets can get you free ski passes every winter if you fly on Alaska Airlines to your ski destination? Well, now you know. If you’re one of those people who thoroughly enjoys the cold, crisp weather of a mountain slope as you descend from it at high speeds (AKA not me) then you might be interested in saving yourself some money this year (presumably, to get me a hot cocoa once you’re done).
As in previous years, Alaska is once again offering their Fly Alaska, Ski For Free promo, which lets you take advantage of freebies at some large ski resorts on the West Coast, as well as some other fringe benefits to help you get to destination much happier.
How It Works
Since these are offers extended by the twelve resort partners, each of them offers something different and it’s worth going through them one by one, and group them by state. They all require that Alaska Airlines be your airline of choice when flying into any of their ski destinations detailed below, but it’s worth noting that any connecting flight ending on those select airports will do the trick.
There’s only one ski resort partner in Alaska, Alyeska Resort, in which you can present your same-day boarding pass to Anchorage witch a matching ID and ski for free. Note that they will only honor this deal Monday through Friday starting January 7th until April 19th and they do have some blackout dates around Spring Break, MLK and President’s Day.
Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows is the only partner when you’re flying into Reno/Tahoe in California. If you present your same-day boarding passes on Alaska and a matching ID, you can get either a complimentary afternoon lift ticket or a full-day lift ticket valid from 9am to 4pm. Yes, you read that right, the information between Alaska’s Blog and Alaska’s website lists two contradicting pieces of information, plus a third version on the resort’s website itself. Do check in advance before being disappointed on arrival.
Steamboat Ski Resort near Steamboat Springs/Hayden offers a free day of skiing on your departure date*. Yes, there is an asterisk up there without any reference on the page, so again you might want to check what it means before you book.
You can ski free the day you arrive when you present your Alaska boarding pass at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, and you can learn more by following yet another dead link.
Sun Valley, close to Sun Valley/Hailey offers two options when you present your Alaska boarding passes:
- Free sport package rental at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports the day after arrival
- 50% off adult group lesson the day after arrival
Your options are to fly into Billings for Red Lodge Mountain, or head to Kalispell for Whitefish Resort.
Red Lodge let’s you present your boarding pass on your departure date for a free ticket for your stated day of departure (one free ticket per boarding pass presented, not to be combined with any other offers and has no cash value).
Whitefish let’s you ski free by simply presenting your boarding pass on your day of departure for a ticket to ski for free on that stated day of departure.
Mt Bachelor Ski Resort, if you fly into Redmond/Bend, will allow you to hit the slopes on the same day as your flight with a free Mt. Bachelor lift ticket, in addition to a sport ski or snowboard equipment rental package. There are restrictions, apparently, but do let me know if you find them listed anywhere.
Snowbasin, which you can easily get to if you fly into Salt Lake City, will give you a free lift ticket if you fly in between Monday and Wednesday and register at SkiOgden.com. By far the longest conditions, so I’m copying them here: “You must present your boarding pass, VisitOgden.com confirmation email, and photo ID at Snowbasin Resort within 24 hours of arrival for a free single day lift ticket. The offer is valid December 3-13, 2018, January 7-April 11, 2019. You must fly Monday-Wednesday and redeem the ticket for same day use on Tuesday-Thursday, the day following your flight.”
If you’re instead a big international skier and decide to shred some Canadian powder instead, you have three options. You can visit Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, Ski Marmot Basin near Edmonton or RED Mountain Resort if you fly into Spokane.
Big White Ski will offer a lift ticket on them when you present your same-day Alaska boarding passes and a matching ID.
Ski Marmot Basin has probably the best offer, where you can opt for a same-day free full-day lift ticket or the option to purchase a 3-day lift ticket for the price of a 2-day ticket instead. Restrictions apply, and their link to the restrictions is a dead link, so make sure to check with the resort before you book.
If you’re flying into Spokane and want to check RED Mountain Resort, they will offer a free adult lift ticket valid from December 8th, 2018 to April 7th, 2019 with no blackout dates. From their website: “Please note that boarding passes must be dated between Dec 8, 2018 to April 7, 2019. Sorry – no diggin’ in your trash can for that last flight to Spokane in June to visit your grandma. But tell your grandma hi for us. She bakes a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies.”
One of the greatest benefits of flying Alaska as a skier has got to be their very generous bag policy. They will let you pack all your ski or snowboard equipment and they will consider it as just one piece of luggage, hence saving you money on additional bag fees. This includes:
One pair of skis with poles OR one snowboard
One boot OR helmet bag
This DOES NOT include any other piece of gear, and if you do add extras, they will not consider these a bundle and charge you separately.
It’s also worth noting that even though it is considered standard baggage, they allow ski and snowboard equipment to exceed 62 linear inches, but no more than 115 linear inches (length + height + width), without incurring an oversize fee.
Reminder: Alaska Credit Card holder get their first checked bag free of charge, and that includes ski and snowboard equipment. Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K members, however, get two pieces of free checked baggage per person if they’re on the same reservation as the 75K member.
I’m not a skier, and I don’t much care for the extreme cold so this promotion has never quite appealed to me. I do see, however, how the savings can blow up and make this an extremely attractive opportunity if you’re a family of skiing enthusiast or like bringing your friends along on your ski trip.
I would suggest -in case I wasn’t clear throughout the post- to read the conditions of each partner very carefully, as well as checking your flight arrival/departure times. It does sound like if you get free-same day skiing but your flight arrives at 6pm, you might not want to make a decision about your destination based solely on this promotion.
Taking advantage of this promo will save you potentially hundreds of dollars, if you factor in some of the juiciest offers by these resorts allowing you to save about $100 in tickets to ski, equipment rental, plus Alaska not charging excess baggage fees on your equipment. For example, each person on a group of four with a 75K is saving the $65 for the ski lift at Alyeska Resort, plus the $100 savings by not incurring an oversize or overweight bag fee with Alaska when checking their equipment. This means a potential savings of $660 for this ski trip. That is undoubtedly a win.
Are you planning on hitting this slopes and taking advantage of Alaska Airlines Ski Free promo this year? Let us know!