Alaska Airlines Extending Mileage Plan Elite Status

Filed Under: Alaska

In the past couple of days we’ve seen Delta SkyMilesUnited MileagePlus, and Air Canada Altitude announce plans to extend current elite status for members by 12 months (and more), and now Alaska Mileage Plan is joining the club.

Alaska Mileage Plan extends status by 12 months

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is extending all status that’s set to expire on December 31, 2020, by 12 months. That means all active Mileage Plan status will be valid through December 31, 2021, hopefully well after Alaska Airlines joins oneworld.

Members will receive all the usual tier benefits for 2021 as well, including confirmed upgrade vouchers for MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members.

The only benefit that won’t be awarded again in 2021 is 50,000 bonus miles for being an MVP Gold 75K, though in the coming weeks Alaska will reveal info on how MVP Gold 75K members can earn additional bonus miles for travel this year.

Alaska Airlines is extending elite status by 12 months

Alaska Mileage Plan elite miles will be rolled over

Any Mileage Plan elite miles earned between January 1 and April 30, 2020, will be rolled over to 2021. That will make it easier for members to earn status next year, for the 2022 qualification year.

Alaska companion certificates extended as well

All companion certificates (issued through Alaska’s co-branded credit cards) will be extended as well. You’ll now have until December 31, 2020, to purchase new travel, meaning you can travel as far out as November 26, 2021.

Alaska Airlines is extending companion certificates

Is Alaska adjusting elite status requirements for this year?

For those who don’t currently have Mileage Plan status but who want to earn it this year, is Alaska adjusting elite requirements? Alaska is saying “not at this time,” but is telling members to look for more information over the coming weeks on ways to earn additional elite qualifying miles.

For example, Mileage Plan is currently offering 50% bonus elite miles, and I imagine this promotion could be extended.

What about if you’re currently doing a Mileage Plan status match challenge?

Alaska Mileage Plan offers status match challenges, which require flying a certain amount over the course of 90 days.

Those who enrolled in status match challenges between December 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, will have their status trial extended through the end of 2021… wow!

Bottom line

Alaska Mileage Plan is the latest program to extend status by a year. Not only that, but MVP Gold members and above will even receive confirmed upgrades for 2021 as if they qualified the hard way.

Well done, Mileage Plan! Now we’re just waiting on American AAdvantage…

Comments
  1. Lucky (above): The only benefit that won’t be awarded again in 2021 is 50,000 bonus miles for being an MVP Gold 75K, though in the coming weeks Alaska will reveal info on how MVP Gold 75K members can earn additional bonus miles for travel this year.

    Alaska Airlines (mass email): For our MVP Gold 75K members: we’ll provide additional opportunities to earn your annual 50,000 bonus miles reward.

    Interpretation: So maybe Alaska will award the 50,000 miles.

  2. I’m MVP Gold and the email I received from Alaska also states that EQMs earned Jan 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020 is also being rolled over to 2021 so it counts towards requalifying for the 2022 year.

  3. Alaska Airlines (mass email): Any elite-qualifying miles earned between January 1 and April 30, 2020 will be rolled over to 2021 to give you a head start on earning status for 2022.

    Possible sub-optimal interpretation: Any elite-qualifying miles earned for the later part of 2020 (May 1 to December 31) won’t count for 2022 status.

    Possible favorable interpretation: Just unclear prose. What they mean is that you have between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 to fly enough to earn elite for 2022 or you will remain elite if you are already elite.

  4. From the points rolling over from 1/1 to 4/30, is that assuming you don’t qualify for additional tiers? So let’s say I’m MVP in 2019 and I qualify for MVP Gold this year. Do I still get a head start in 2021 with the qualified miles rolling over for status in 2022?

  5. Great news! That’s why #iflyalaska and will continue to do so after the pandemic settles.

  6. I made the mistake of finally paying to join the Alaska lounge in mid-January for a year. I wonder whether they are extending those memberships because I’m certainly not using it these days and I can’t imagine others are either?

  7. @Peter SFO. It seems like 1/1/2020 to 4/30/2020 flights can be added with your 2021 flights to qualify for 2022 status.

    So it seems like:
    2020 status: you either have it or you can earn it by flying enough.
    2021 status: you can earn it. If you are elite now, you will be for 2021 even with no flying. To be promoted to a higher level, you have to fly enough.
    2022 status: you have to earn it but the qualifying period to fly is 1/1/2020 to 4/30/2020 and all of 2021.

  8. @Bobo The Alaska Airlines mass email that I got said that Alaska Board Room (lounges) membership is being extended 6 more months. However, all of them are closed except one of the Seattle lounges

  9. If you enroll a status match now, is there any chance they will let you keep it till 2021 to complete the challenge?

  10. Very happy with AS solution to the issue. The rollover for miles flown already is a welcome surprise.

  11. @Derek
    Thanks, I hope so. I did quite a bit of travel in Jan/Feb for training for my new job. If the miles travelled earlier in the year will count for status for 2020 and 2021, I might have a chance at 75K for 2022 with flying on Oneworld carriers and assuming reqs stay the same

  12. I’ll say it again – looks like American Airlines will be the last to the party – if they show up at all. Something tells me that AA is not going to be nearly as generous as the other majors. Seems like a good time to bail on AA once and for all!! Going For Great!!

  13. @lucky are you sure about the status match component? My wife had her three months end 3/31 and her status went from MVP 75K to MVP so unless they haven’t processed this change it doesn’t fit. My match expired 2/29, which makes me think I was enrolled 12/1 but I can’t confirm as I don’t have the email. I have no status now. Would appreciate getting 75K.

  14. Aren’t there one or two airlines outside the USA and Canada? Any word on non USA/CAN airlines extending status likewise?

  15. I have the same question as derek. I’m currently MVP. So flights that I fly between May 1st and Dec 31st of this year will not earn any elite qualifying miles? Seems odd to only give credit to flights that happened in the first 4 months of the year but not the rest. I actually had a bunch of travel planned later in the year on Alaska, but it seems now there is no incentive to do so (aside from regular mileage earning).

  16. I’m glad to hear about these extensions, but here’s what’s missing:

    – Minimally, extending vouchers for all customer canceled flights through end of 2021 (or beyond)

    – Or better… Offering customers the option to cash out vouchers if they canceled while obeying stay-at-home/travel advisory/etc guidance from Fed, State or Local gov’t. (Obviously they won’t do this without government intervention, which hopefully will be forthcoming.)

  17. @Brendan Lazarus, my 75K match expired on 31 March and the status was gone few days later. Now its’ back.

  18. I wish there was another way to earn elite status since I won’t be flying much this year, for obvious reasons.

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