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Earlier this month Alaska Airlines was the first airline to introduce any kind of change or 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. Now, as it’s increasingly obvious that most people are grounded and not going anywhere, Alaska has extended the qualification period for its promotion.
Alaska Mileage Plan Status Earning Requirements
Alaska Mileage Plan has three distinct elite status levels and there are the requirements needed to earn each:
If you want to know what benefits are offered at each level take a look at this Alaska Mileage Plan page.
Earn Bonus Elite Qualifying Miles
The extended promotion couldn’t be simpler:
- Register your Mileage Plan number prior to your first qualifying flight (here)
- Travel on any Alaska Airlines flight by 31 May 2020.
- Earn 50% more elite-qualifying miles on all eligible flights.
- Eligible flights booked before this promotion was announced will earn the bonus elite qualifying miles.
The bonus elite miles are only offered for flights that are booked through Alaska Airlines and flown by Alaska Airlines or Horizon Airlines. Flights taken on partner airlines will not earn 50% bonus elite qualifying miles (even if booked through Alaska).
With Alaska Airlines planning to join the oneworld alliance in 2021 Mileage Plan status earned in 2020 (which will be valid through January 2022) should be even more valuable than it already is.
Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t have minimum spending criteria and its elite qualifying miles are based on the distance a passenger travels so you really can earn status just by flying around a lot (Dr. Carmichael will not like this one bit!).
Still, before anyone gets overly excited about the prospect of earning “easy” top-tier status I should point out that most of the West Coast (Alaska’s main area of operations) has various “shelter in place” orders in effect and, just yesterday, Alaska Airlines announced a 70% cut to capacity, so there’s not much flying going on right now.
Thre’s an outside chance that we may see things pick up a little in May (if a few travel restrictions are lifted) in which case there may be a small window of opportunity for anyone who wants to make the most of this to get some flying done…but I wouldn’t count on it. I fully expect our current situation to continue into the summer (at least).
A lot of people are expecting Alaska to devalue the Mileage Plan program before it joins the oneworld alliance in 2021 and, as part of that devaluation, the expectation is that status will become harder to earn and possibly become less generous so if you’re going to use this promotion to aim for Mileage Plan status I suggest you aim for the very top….assuming you’re even allowed to fly!
The benefits of MVP Gold 75k are likely to be hit the least in any devaluation but MVP Gold 75k is also likely to be the status level that sees its qualification criteria increased the most so that’s the status level to go for before it’s too late.
Right now, however, I can’t see very many people being in a position to take advantage of this offer and, even if you are one of the lucky few, you probably should be doing your bit to stop the virus from spreading by not traveling if you don’t have to – earning bonus elite qualification miles shouldn’t be a big priority.