ala1
Photo Courtesy: Alaska Airlines website

In the last several years of traveling, we have somehow not had the opportunity to fly Alaska Airlines. And despite years of planning, we have not visited the Pacific Northwest, either. An area that remains, sadly, unexplored by our family. This year, we decided to end the drought. We now have family that lives in the Seattle area and what better reason (if ever we needed one) to book a trip than that!

Sonny JJ, Mr. JJ and I are booked on an upcoming trip to Seattle, on Alaska Airlines. Although we have never traveled this airline before, Mr. JJ and I have frequent flyer accounts with them. I was able to successfully add our Precheck numbers to our accounts.

Next, I tried to set up an account for Sonny JJ, to take advantage of his Precheck status. Once I input his birthdate, however, the system wouldn’t allow me to create one. The Mileage Plan website states:

Children under 13 are not eligible for a My account profile, but may be enrolled in Mileage Plan by calling us at Alaska Airlines 1-800-252-7522 (TTY: Dial 711 for Relay Services) 5:00 a.m. – midnight PT, daily

I remember coming across this message last June when we traveled to Iceland. I wanted to credit his Iceland Air miles to Alaska but got this same message. I had planned to call Alaska after returning home and see what could be done but did not get around to it.

Nearly a year later, I had not made any progress. I created a companion profile for him under Mr. JJ’s account as they are on the same reservation. and added his Precheck number. However, I couldn’t be certain it would be transcribed correctly since there was no account to link it to.

ala2
Photo courtesy: Alaska Airlines website

I finally called Alaska customer service and after a few minutes of dealing with the automated systems, was able to reach a knowledgeable agent. Once I detailed my predicament, she explained that for safety reasons, Alaska doesn’t allow minors 13 and under to set up online accounts. One can be opened for them but only by talking to Customer Care.

Then she got our confirmation codes and linked our reservations (we were on two different ones). Then she added our Precheck numbers. Although I had added them previously, she said it did not default to a Precheck status for either of us. She explained that we needed to add letters TT before the number (for Trusted Traveler) and was able to get us squared away.

Next she set up an account for Sonny JJ and linked his Precheck number with it. Once done, she called the IT department at Mileage Plan and had them set up a user name and password for Sonny JJ’s online account access. Again, since he is a minor, this had to be set up through their department. And it worked like a charm! I was able to log in with their username and password and access his brand new account.

It took us almost 35-40 minutes to get all of this sorted out. By the end, we had all of the loose ends neatly tied up. Through all of this, Patricia remained courteous and helpful and took the initiative to guide me. At a time when there is one bad news after another about the airline industry, this lady was a ray of charm and positive attitude. A big shout out to her, for going above and beyond what she needed to do.

So, if you are looking to set up a child 13 and under with an Alaska Mileage Plan account, its possible to do that. Just not online. Call Alaska Customer Care and they will do it all for you.