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At the beginning of March, 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. Since then, the qualification period was extended to cover flights taken by the end of May and, now that’s it’s increasingly obvious that people won’t be returning to the skies in big numbers for some time, Alsaka Airline has extended the qualification period for its promotion once again.
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:
- Registration is not required.
- Travel on any Alaska Airlines flight through 31 December 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).
Alaska Airlines has already extended all elite statuses by 12 months so this is an offer targeted at flyers looking to earn status with Alaska for the first time or looking to improve on the status they already have. Unless the airline brings back its offer to rollover elite qualifying miles into 2021 (an offer that was available briefly earlier this year) this isn’t something that will entice top-tier elites to fly more.
Having said that, for everyone else this is good news. 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.
Still, before anyone gets overly excited about the prospect of earning “easy” top-tier status I should point out that a large part of the West Coast (Alaska’s main area of operations) is showing no great signs of hurrying to open up and Alaska Airlines is still only flying a fraction of the flights it was flying this time last year.
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.
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 in any Mileage Plan shakeup, so that’s the status level to go for before it’s too late.