Picture the travel version of an all-you-can eat buffet: a Las Vegas jaunt here, a beach vacation there, all for a monthly fee you pay along with your Netflix bill. Alaska Airlines just announced its new Flight Pass to bring this dream into reality—just not for its hometown of Seattle.
The Flight Pass is the first of its kind in the United States, but it's not exactly like Netflix; you can't endlessly binge. The monthly subscription fee comes with credits redeemable for flights, in packages of 6, 12, or 24 total round-trip flights per year. The basic version, which starts at $49 per month, requires booking two weeks in advance. The one at $199 per month allows same-day booking. So maybe it's more like Hulu with ads.
Most notably, the Flight Pass only works within a small circle of airports: some 13 California airports from Sacramento to San Diego, plus Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and Phoenix. No love for Seattle, where Alaska Airlines is based.
A rep from Alaska's public relations agency, when asked about the lack of hometown advantage, said via email that the novel nature of the pass led them to launch it in a limited capacity and Alaska "has the capability to expand." In other words, no biweekly trips to Disneyland for us yet. (What we do get: Lounge upgrades at Sea-Tac totaling $7 million in 2022 and 2023, including an overhaul of the 40-year-old Concourse D lounge.)
While no other pass of its kind currently exists in North America, Jet Blue had an All You Can Jet Pass more than a decade ago, running $699 for 30 days of unlimited travel—but it was for a specific 30 days in the fall of 2010. Air Asia, a Malaysian airline, had a version as recently as last year. The granddaddy of them all, the Eurail Train Pass, still exists.
So where would we want an unlimited Seattle flight pass to go, should it ever come into being? I'd pay $50 per month for endless access to, say, Bozeman, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, and Belize. Make it happen, Alaska.