To earn top-tier status with Alaska Airlines a flyer is currently required to credit just 75,000 elite qualifying miles to their account. From 2022 that will no longer be the case as, in a move that was reasonably easy to predict, Alaska Airlines has just told members that it will be creating a new elite tier level next year.
On 1 January, Virgin Atlantic published a new award chart for all Delta award bookings that did not include non-stop travel between the US and UK. Shortly after publication, it became clear that the people in charge of the award chart had no idea what they were doing and that the information being supplied was wrong. Those mistakes have now, finally, been corrected.
Virgin Atlantic has launched a new promotion with a view to persuading BA's Executive Club elites to test the water on the other side of the fence. For a limited time only, Virgin Atlantic is offering status matches to British Airways Bronze, Silver, and Gold elites who have a Virgin Atlantic booking made on or before 28 February 2021.
United is back with another mileage sale and this time it's offering MileagePlus members an impressive-sounding 100% bonus on purchases of 40,000 miles or more but it has also brought back the 7.5% federal tax which had been absent for most of 2020 so the cost per mile in this sale isn't quite as good as the price we saw United charging in December (when it also offered a 100% bonus).
Virgin Atlantic has been doing a serious amount of tinkering with its Flying Club loyalty program in the past few months (there's been good news and bad news) and today sees the airline launching a bonus Virgin Points & Tier Points promotion that's designed to tempt the Flying Club membership back into the skies and to get people buying tickets for travel in 2021.
The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program has launched a milestone rewards program that sees members earning bonuses as they earn more and more Elite Miles in a calendar year. At the lower levels the bonuses aren't particularly exciting, but once you earn 20,000 Elite Miles things start to look a lot more interesting and the bonuses start to have some actual value.
At the beginning of March last year, Alaska Airlines was the first airline to introduce any kind of incentive with regards to elite status earning when it announced that it would reward flyers with 50% more elite qualifying miles on travel taken through 11 April 2020. Since then, the qualification period was extended to cover flights taken by the end of May 2020 and then extended once again to cover all flights taken by 31 December 2020. Now this promotion has been extended for the third time.
Virgin Atlantic used the cover of New Year's day (a day when a lot of people aren't paying attention to the miles & points world) to cynically increase the cost of a significant number of awards for travel with Delta without any notice whatsoever. Now, it would appear as if Virgin may be about to backtrack on some of the changes and that we may see entirely different award costs (for some routes) appear at some point this week.
Qatar Airways has launched a very good Qmiles sale in which it's selling its loyalty currency at a 50% discount. Historically, Qatar Airways mileage sales haven't been particularly interesting because award costs have been sky high, but now that some awards can be booked for almost half of what they once cost, sales like this one start to look attractive.
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.