Alaska Airlines “Coast To Elite” Status Challenge

Filed Under: Alaska, Alaska Mileage Plan

Alaska Mileage Plan has just introduced a new promotion that makes it easy to earn MVP or MVP Gold status. With this promotion you can earn MVP status after just two roundtrips, or MVP Gold status after just four roundtrips.

This promotion is valid for travel between March 6 and May 31, 2019.

As you might expect, there are some further restrictions:

  • Registration is required prior to your first qualifying flight
  • This is only valid for residents of California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or District of Columbia (as shown on your Mileage Plan account)
  • The status earned will only be valid through the end of 2019 (ordinarily status earned now would be valid through all of 2020)

The biggest restriction is that only nonstop travel in the following city pairs qualifies:

West Coast departures between:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington-Dulles (IAD), or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Diego (SAN) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Newark (EWR), or Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO) and Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Raleigh (RDU), Washington-Dulles (IAD), or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Jose (SJC) and New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR)

East Coast departures between:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), or San Jose (SJC)
  • Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), or San Jose (SJC)
  • Baltimore (BWI) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Orlando (MCO) and San Diego (SAN), or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Reagan (DCA) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)

For context, MVP status ordinarily requires 20,000 flown miles on Alaska, while MVP Gold status ordinarily requires 40,000 flown miles on Alaska.

So if we assume that the average US transcon is 5,000 flown miles roundtrip, you essentially need to fly 10,000 miles for MVP and 20,000 miles for MVP Gold. That’s a significant shortcut, though you have under three months to complete the travel. Furthermore, the status will only be valid through the end of this year rather than through the end of next year.

Bottom line

This is a pretty generous promotion on the part of Alaska, if you’re someone who ordinarily flies between these city pairs and lives in one of the eligible states. Do note that Alaska is also generous when it comes to offering status matches, which is another way to get status with them.

Lastly, note that if you complete the challenge you’ll earn the higher status, but you won’t earn the EQMs associated with it. In other words, this won’t help you get a fast track to MVP Gold 75K.

Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this Alaska status challenge?

  1. If I already have MVP, can I earn MVP Gold doing this? Don’t See anything in terms prohibiting it

  2. Again Alaska is ignoring their main hub of Seattle. First we could not use the Buy one Get 1 Free deal a few weeks ago, now we are excluded from this. I actually would have qualified too.

  3. It’s interesting that Seattle and Portland are excluded. They must figure they have enough loyalty already in those markets, and they’re trying to gain loyalty in California.

  4. @Lucky are you saying that they don’t earn EQMs at all, or just that you don’t only need to get 25k more EQMs to hit 75k? It would make sense that you’d have ~20k EQMs at the end of this.

  5. @ Alex — Sorry if that was confusing, you just earn the usual EQMs, but not the full EQMs associated with MVP or MVP Gold.

  6. Do you know if you can buy a saver ticket to qualify for this challenge or do you have to buy a main cabin ticket and above?

  7. If airlines keep handing out shortcuts to get elite status (SW companion passes included) they’re just going to devalue what makes status worth trying for to begin with. If everyone can be elite within a FF program, then no one is elite.

  8. For a status challenge will I get the 100% bonus on flights during the qualification period, even if in the end I don’t make the 4 flight cutoff? (i.e. will I get double miles if I sign up for the challenge and wind up with one round trip ticket to Hawaii?)

  9. Oh WTF. I’m leaving in 20 mins for an AS mileage run and I’m not in one of the qualifying states.

    I’ll make 75K in another 2 months anyway but this promo might have helped me get added miles (not EQMs, I get it).

    Oh well.

  10. Thanks for this info!

    I’m booked on an LAX-EWR RT leaving 4/7 on the $150 companion fare, so I lucked out twice! YAAAAY!!!

  11. They don’t need Seattle or Portland. Not to mention the number of elites who live there are probably high enough.

  12. If one applies for the personal and business card on the same , should one apply for the personal or the business card first or it doesn’t really matter ?

  13. Would it be better not to register for this challenge and instead just fly 20K miles with Alaska and get MVP for the remainder of 2019 and all of 2020 rather than just till the end of this year?

  14. I’m looking forward to their next promotion for double eligible miles from partner airlines.

  15. Question. Can I book Alaska flights through the chase portal and have it count for this status challenge?

  16. Can you connect onto a flight as long as you do a qualifying coast to coast segment. For example I fly from Reno>SJC>JFK>SJC>RNO. That still counts?

  17. Do you know if there are fare restrictions? Do saver fares count if they are between qualifying airports?

  18. I like Alaska lounge alright for some peace of mind vs sitting in the waiting area with screaming kids, crying babies, unruly teens and rude adults. I don’t g there for fancy food, fancy drinks, shower, etc. I travel frequently and while their lounge is nothing compared to Cathay pacific’s, it’s ok for domestic fliers. I have been to Admirals Club plenty of times when I fly American, and even the DFW one gets boring after a couple visits. Let’s face it,it’s a place to keep my sanity and I don’t expect that to be a royal experience.

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