I expect virtually all travel loyalty programs to make it significantly easier to earn status this year. Some programs have already announced how they’ll make it easier, while other programs are acknowledging they’ll have to adjust elite tiers, but are saying that they’re waiting to make a decision of how much. I think either approach is fair.
In early March, Alaska Mileage Plan was one of the first loyalty programs to offer a promotion to make it easier to earn elite status. That didn’t surprise me at all, as Alaska consistently does a great job with their Mileage Plan program. That promotion has now been extended.
Alaska Mileage Plan is offering 50% bonus elite qualifying miles for Alaska Airlines flights between March 7 and May 31, 2020 (initially the promotion ran through April 11, 2020):
- Registration is required prior to your first eligible flight (it’s fine if you booked travel prior to registering)
- Valid for all flights marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air; not valid for travel on partner airlines
- Only elite miles will receive a 50% bonus, and not redeemable miles
This comes as Alaska Airlines has announced plans to cut capacity by 70% in April and May, with the expectation of still seeing significantly reduced demand over the summer.
While I understand why Alaska introduced this promotion in early March, at this point the promotion isn’t very useful as such. Nobody should be flying for fun or mileage running, and encouraging people to do so isn’t helpful. My hope is that this promotion is extended far beyond the current period, to when it’s once again safe to travel.
What do you make of Alaska’s 50% bonus elite miles promo?