Today, the Alaska Airlines mileage plan generally only offers status challenges and not direct status matches. However, for a limited time, the program will offer direct status matches. This is not only happening at a time of greatly reduced travel requirements, but also shortly before Alaska Airlines will join the oneworld alliance, which takes place on March 31, 2021.
Elite requirements for the Alaska Mileage Plan
Alaska Airlines has three elite tiers – MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. Here are the requirements to qualify for the status, which have been adjusted from 2021:
In the past, requirements were different depending on whether you earned miles for travel with Alaska Airlines or with partner airlines. Now, regardless of the airline you fly, the requirements are the same, although it requires two to six flights to Alaska.
Also note that Alaska Airlines will be introducing a new 100K elite tier, although we don’t know the details about it yet.
Limited Time: Alaska Mileage Plan with Status Matches
Alaska Airlines is offering a direct status match for those who register by April 15, 2021, although there are some conditions:
- This only applies to those who have status with Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus
- The status of the mileage plan is valid for the remainder of 2021 (until December 31, 2021). Earn 50% Bonus Elite Miles on every Alaska Airlines flight through the end of the year, making it easier to maintain status
- To qualify, you must have earned 2020 or 2021 status by flying rather than credit card activity, points transferred, or other promotional offers
- This offer is available to residents of the United States and Canada only
Alaska Airlines is currently offering a direct status match
Standard Alaska Mileage Plan Status Challenge
If you don’t take advantage of the above, Alaska Airlines will offer a Standard Status Match Challenge. This is how it works:
- They can be matched against MVP, MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K for a period of 90 days
- To maintain status beyond that, you must fly the following number of miles in Alaska within this 90-day period (travel with partner airlines does not qualify):
- You must fly 5,000 miles to maintain MVP status
- You must fly 10,000 miles to maintain MVP Gold status
- You must fly 20,000 miles to maintain MVP Gold 75K status
- Status matches apply only to those who have achieved elite status through actual airline miles or segments in another program, and not to those who have achieved status through credit card activity, points transferred, or other promotional offers
- Status Match challenges are only available to US and Canadian residents
- Wait up to four weeks for your status match request and approval to be reviewed
- If a Status Match Challenge is initiated before July 1, 2021, it will only be valid until December 31, 2021. If a Status Match Challenge is initiated between July 1 and December 31, 2021, it will be valid until December 31, 2022
Alaska Airlines offers a standard status match challenge
Benefits of the Alaska Mileage Plan Elite
Here is a table showing the benefits of each elite tier in the mileage plan:
Even more, here’s what’s special about the Alaska Mileage Plan:
- The mileage plan will continue to award miles based on distance flown rather than the amount of your expenses, with no income required
- Alaska Airlines has a great same-day flight change policy
- All Mileage Plan elite members receive unlimited free upgrades, and MVP Gold members and above receive four upgrade certificates that they can use to pre-confirm an upgrade
- The mileage plan offers great mileage bonuses – MVP Gold members receive a 100% mileage bonus, while MVP Gold 75K members receive a 125% mileage bonus and 50,000 bonus miles when they re-qualify. That means, if an MVP Gold 75K member flies 75,000 miles to qualify for status, they will actually receive 218,750 miles, which is ~ 292% of the distance flown
- Alaska has great airline partners with industry leading mile earning rates. Hence, it can be profitable to fly their partner airlines and then credit miles towards the Alaska Mileage Plan. This will be even more the case when Alaska joins oneworld
Alaska offers excellent miles for travel with partner airlines
While the Alaska Mileage Plan has long provided a standard status match challenge, the program currently offers a direct status match for elite members of Delta, Southwest, and United.
This could be a great opportunity for anyone looking to earn airline status. This could be particularly useful for MVP Gold 75K status as this is mapped to oneworld Emerald status. Also, keep in mind that Alaska and the Americans plan to introduce mutual elite upgrades soon.
Will anyone use an Alaska Mileage Plan status match before the airline joins oneworld?