HomeAirline LoyaltyAlaska Airlines Changes How Elite Status Is Earned & Announces Oneworld Status...

Alaska Airlines Changes How Elite Status Is Earned & Announces Oneworld Status Levels For Mileage Plan Elites

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Alaska Airlines is set to join the oneworld alliance from 31 March 2021 (it had originally hoped to join in 2020) and today has seen the airline confirm the oneworld status levels that each of Mileage Plan’s elite tiers will be receiving once the airline’s membership of oneworld is complete. Today has also seen the airline make a small (and positive) change to how elite status is earned.

Earning Alaska Mileage Plan Status In 2021

Historically, Alaska required Mileage Plan members to credit more elite qualifying miles to their accounts (to earn status) if some of those miles were flown on partner airlines. From next year, that requirement will be gone.

From 2021, these are the Mileage Plan elite status qualification requirements*…a screenshot of a computer…and both Alaska Airlines and partner airline flights will earn the same credits towards elite status. Most importantly, Alaska Airlines has kept the lower status requirements from the old system.

*Mileage Plan members must fly a minimum number of segments on Alaska Airlines to earn or retain status. 2 for MVP, 4 for MVP Gold, 6 for MVP Gold 75K


Alaska Airlines Maps Elite Status To Oneworld Tiers

If you’re a Mileage Plan elite this is the news you’ve probably been waiting to hear and the good news is that you probably won’t be disappointed or surprised at what the announcement had to say. This is how the Mileage Plan status tiers will be mapped to the oneworld tiers:

  • MVP Gold 75K => oneworld Emerald
  • MVP Gold => oneworld Sapphire
  • MVP => oneworld Ruby

Click here to see what the various oneworld status tiers offer.

What’s interesting here is that this news follows an earlier announcement from American Airlines in which it confirmed that holders of its Platinum Pro elite status (which, like Alaska’s MVP Gold 75k status, requires 75,000 elite qualifying miles) will also be receiving oneworld Emerald status from early in 2021.

a long wooden table with a chandelier in the middle of it
When life finally gets back to normal, Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K elite will enjoy access to lounges like the Pier in Hong Kong

With American Airlines’ relationship with  Alaska Airlines now getting closer and closer (they’re partners in oneworld, they have a partnership outside of oneworld, and they’re about to offer reciprocal upgrades), and with American Airlines pegging its top-tier elite status level at 100,000 elite qualifying miles, I wonder if today’s Alaska Airlines announcement opens the door for Alaska to add a new top-tier status level that will require 100,000 elite qualifying miles when it inevitably tinkers with its loyalty program next year.

Whether that happens or not, what today’s announcement means is that as long as Alaska Airlines continues not to have a minimum spend requirement for elite status, and as long as it continues to offer elite qualifying miles based on the distance traveled, the airline’s Mileage Plan program will almost certainly offer the cheapest route to oneworld Emerald status – that’s definitely something worth keeping in mind if you’re still undecided as to which airline loyalty program to use in 2021.

Bottom Line

Alaska Airlines has now announced how the oneworld elite status levels will be mapped to its Mileage Plan elite status levels once the airline joins the oneworld alliance on 31 March 2021. The good news is that there are no nasty surprises in the announcement today but following an earlier announcement by American Airlines, the possibility of a new, higher status tier for Mileage Plan looks a little more likely.

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