Alaska airlines award surprises – free stopovers, Emirates availability and free cancellation

So I'm in the process of booking my first (!) Alaska Airlines award today and I'm amazed:

– Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan allows free stopovers (this one I knew)

– Alaska Airlines award can be cancelled free of charge 60 days before departure

What kind of fees are associated with an award ticket?
Award travel is subject to applicable taxes and fees. For travel within the United States, this is generally limited to the September 11 Security Fee of $2.50 per enplanement. For international travel, taxes may be significantly more.

Service Fees – you may be also be subject to one or more of the following:

$15 Nonrefundable Call Center Booking fee – for new awards booked over the phone.
$25 Nonrefundable Partner Award Fee – applies to all awards using one of our airline partners
$125 Change/Cancellation Fee* – applies to changes/cancellation made within 60 days of travel.

* Change/Cancellation Fees are waived for when change/cancellation is made at least 60 days before travel.

– Emirates award availability is awesome and you can book Johannesburg to Los Angeles for just 77,500 miles with minimal taxes/fees

This price is valid for all of Africa, India and the Middle East. This includes Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Uganda, Nairobi and many more destinations Emirates flies to.

Just to put this in perspective:

American does not easily allow you to route via the Middle East (Qatar/ Etihad) to Africa incurring a second award.

United charges 80,000 miles one-way now (and availability is a big issue).

I'm tempted to finally try out Emirates' A380 on the Dubai – Los Angeles route. What you think?

Picture courtesy of planespotters.net

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