The Guide to Alaska Airlines’ Cancellation Policy


Understanding Alaska Airlines’ cancellation policy can ensure that your disruption is minimized and that you receive all the benefits to which you’re entitled if your flight is canceled.

Why are Alaska flights canceled?

There’s good news for Alaska flyers: Alaska Airlines has the smallest percentage of canceled flights of the 10 largest U.S. airlines by passenger miles, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics arrival data analyzed by NerdWallet in 2023.

In 2023, only 0.81% of Alaska flights were canceled (compared with 2.1% of JetBlue Airways flights, 1.4% of United Airlines flights and 1.02% of Delta Air Lines flights).

Even though Alaska Airlines has a good track record, there are several reasons that your Alaska flight might be canceled, including:

  • Air traffic control issues.

What to do if Alaska cancels your flight

If your Alaska flight is canceled, follow any steps the airline communicates by text, email or at the gate, which may include an option to rebook a later flight.

Know Alaska’s policies on canceled flights

Alaska has a customer service commitment that covers delayed and canceled flights, which provides the following benefits if your flight is canceled:

  • Rebooking. Alaska will rebook you on the next available Alaska flight at no additional charge. If the cancellation was caused by something within Alaska’s control and the next available Alaska flight isn’t until the next day, Alaska will rebook you on a partner airline if it has seats available in the same cabin.

  • Accommodations. If your Alaska flight is canceled for reasons within Alaska’s control, resulting in an overnight stay at an airport that’s 100 miles or more away from your home, Alaska will either provide a voucher for a hotel or reimbursement for reasonable hotel and round-trip ground transportation costs.

  • Meals. If your flight is canceled and you need to wait three hours or more for a new flight, Alaska will offer a reasonable meal to each ticketed guest at the airport. Specific options will depend on airport vendor availability.

  • Other benefits. If your Alaska flight is canceled and you need to wait three hours or more for a new flight, the airline will give you the option of receiving either a discount code of at least $50 toward a future flight or 2,000 Mileage Plan miles.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Recent NerdWallet analysis on the value of Mileage Plan miles determined each mile is worth 1.4 cents a piece, making the 2,000 miles option worth a value of $28. You’re better off taking the straight $50 cash.

If your flight is canceled due to air traffic control, bad weather, a passenger’s illness or a “force majeure” circumstance beyond Alaska’s control, you will not be entitled to any of the benefits above.

Understand your rights under federal law

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final rule in April 2024, which is set to go into effect around October 2024, in which you may qualify for an automatic refund if your flight is canceled.

Under the new rule, passengers will be entitled to an automatic refund (paid either in cash or back to the original form of payment) if their flight is canceled and the passenger does not accept alternative transportation or the travel credits offered.

One way to make the most of this new rule is to rebook yourself on a new flight if it’s less expensive than your original fare. For example, if your Alaska flight was canceled and the next Alaska flight isn’t for three hours but there’s a Delta flight available that leaves in an hour, you could simply reject Alaska’s offer to be moved onto the next Alaska flight, receive a full refund and book the Delta flight.

How to get a refund from Alaska

If your Alaska flight is delayed or canceled, you can elect to receive a refund for your ticket rather than being rebooked.

You can take the following steps to cancel your flight and get a refund:

  • Call Alaska. If you purchased your flight from Alaska but do not see an option to cancel online, you’ll need to call Alaska customer service at 800-252-7522.

  • Contact a third-party booking company. If you purchased your flight from a third-party booking company, such as Expedia, you’ll need to contact that company directly. 

Refunds will be posted to your original form of payment, generally within seven to 21 business days for credit card purchases and within 20 business days for cash purchases. If you’re having any issues with your refund, call 206-392-7722 or email [email protected] for help.

Check your credit card policies to take advantage of flight cancellation benefits

We recommend booking your Alaska flight on a credit card with travel insurance benefits. Before your flight, you should become familiar with your credit card’s flight cancellation benefits, which may include a right to be reimbursed for nonrefundable travel expenses, like hotels and tours.

Below are a few cards that have travel insurance included as a benefit:

Top cards with travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NerdWallet Rating
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

NerdWallet Rating
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

NerdWallet Rating

on American Express’ website

Rates & Fees

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating

Travel protections (not a comprehensive list)


• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 6 hours.

Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger. Terms apply.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

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If you do have a credit card with travel insurance included, try to make a habit of booking your flights on that credit card so you can take advantage of the travel cancellation protections.

Consider travel insurance

You can also opt to purchase travel insurance as a stand-alone policy. Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, there are a variety of travel insurance policies from which to choose.

Alaska flight cancellations, recapped

If your Alaska flight is canceled, be sure to follow the steps provided by the airline so that you’re rebooked on the next available Alaska flight. Additionally, make sure you know Alaska’s flight cancellation policies and your rights under federal law, to ensure you get all the benefits you’re entitled to for a flight cancellation.

Finally, if you have a credit card with travel insurance, book your Alaska flight with that card and learn (and take advantage of) the flight cancellation benefits that come with the card.

(Top photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

Insurance Benefit: Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

  • The maximum benefit amount for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Insurance Benefit: Trip Delay Insurance

  • Up to $500 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Insurance Benefit: Baggage Insurance Plan

  • Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g., plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

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