This Is The Ideal Time To Request An Alaska Status Match

Filed Under: Alaska

Alaska Airlines offers a fantastic loyalty program, by far the best of any US carrier, in my opinion. The issue is Alaska’s limited route network, as they operate primarily from the west coast. Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America has helped a bit in terms of their route network, but they still can’t compete with American, Delta, and United in that regard.

The other great thing about Mileage Plan is how many airline partners they have, so they’re a great program to credit to even if you don’t fly Alaska often. For example, I’ll qualify for Alaska’s top tier MVP Gold 75K status this year, even though I only flew about 5,000 miles on the airline. However, I’ll have credited flights from Condor, Emirates, LATAM, and Singapore Airlines to Mileage Plan, to help me qualify for status.

It’s also worth being aware of the status match opportunities they have, as this is the ideal time to request a status match.

Alaska’s elite status requirements

Alaska has three elite tiers — MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. Here are the requirements to qualify for status:

As you can see, there are different requirements depending on whether you’re qualifying exclusively through travel on Alaska and Virgin America, or also through travel on their partner airlines. One of the best things about Alaska is the unique partner airlines they have, and how you can qualify for status with them exclusively through partner airline travel, if you want to.

Alaska’s elite benefits

Here’s a chart with the benefits of each elite tier:

The way I see it, here’s what makes Alaska Mileage Plan special:

  • They continue to award miles based on distance flown rather than how much you spend
  • They let MVP Gold members and above cancel revenue tickets for free, and the value of the ticket is placed in their “travel bank” and can be applied towards a future ticket
  • They have a great same day flight change policy
  • All elites get unlimited complimentary upgrades, and MVP Gold members and above receive four upgrade certificates they can use to confirm an upgrade in advance
  • They have great mileage bonuses — MVP Gold members earn a 100% mileage bonus, while MVP Gold 75K members earn a 125% mileage bonus, plus 50,000 bonus miles when they requalify; that means if an MVP Gold member flies 90,000 miles to qualify for status, they’ll really earn 252,500 miles, which is ~280% of the distance flown
  • Alaska has great airline partners, so it can be lucrative to fly their partner airlines and then credit miles to Alaska
  • The number of miles you can earn for travel on some partner airlines is pretty incredible; for example, for discounted British Airways business class you earn 150% elite qualifying miles and 250% redeemable miles, and this doesn’t include the elite mileage bonus, which can be up to an additional 125%

Why now is a good time to status match to Alaska

Alaska Mileage Plan has a great status match program, as they’ll match people all the way up to their top tier MVP Gold 75K level. Alaska will match elite members with Aeromexico, Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, and United, and potentially other programs as well.

In general you can expect that they’ll match American Executive Platinum, Delta Diamond, and United Premier 1K, to MVP Gold 75K. Meanwhile mid-tier status levels generally match to MVP Gold, and so on.

The reason this is a great time to match is because it’s now October, which means if you status match now status will be valid for all of next year, through December 31, 2019. The cutoff for these matches is October 1 — that means if you requested a match on September 30 it would only be valid through December 31, 2018, while if you matched on October 1, it would be valid through December 31, 2019.

So this is a great way to get ~15 months of status with Alaska. When you status match to MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K you’ll get the four confirmed upgrade certificates. If you match to MVP Gold 75K you’ll also have the ability to nominate someone else to MVP status. However, you won’t get the 50,000 bonus miles for earning MVP Gold 75K status unless you actually earn it “the hard way.”

How to request an Alaska status match

It used to be that you had to email Alaska Airlines to request a status match, though they now have a dedicated status match website. There you’ll be asked to select the status you want to match, enter your Alaska Mileage Plan info, and a screenshot with the account info for the program you’re matching from.

Bottom line

Alaska Mileage Plan is a fantastic frequent flyer program, so it’s worth knowing when it’s the best time to status match. However, keep in mind that status matches are once in a lifetime so I wouldn’t recommend matching if you don’t plan on using the status. That being said, if status with Alaska could be useful, this is the ideal time to match.

Do you plan on status matching to Alaska?

Comments
  1. Nice that Lucky’s getting good benefit from the program, but seems off that someone taking only a couple flights a year on Alaska metal would benefit to such a degree over families who loyally fly Alaska. Generally can’t combine mileage balances. No more price guaranty. No more 60 day no fee cancel. Seriously mediocre domestic mile redemption rates. But a great program for people flying other airlines and matching status. 🙁

  2. My email confirmation for my request states only good through 12/31/18. I sent the request in today so we will see if it is only through 18 or 19 when status is actually granted!

  3. Will your current status be used to determine what tier you will be matched to, or the status you’ve earned so far towards next year? I’m a United 1K right now, but still quite a few miles away from maintaining that status through next year (I’m currently at about 60K PQM, so not even Platinum). Just wondering if that would qualify me for a MVP 75K or MVP Gold match.

  4. Hi Ben, what status recognition when flying partner airlines comes with being MVP gold? Any lounge access traveling internationally or priority boarding that would come with say being star gold? cheers.

  5. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for sharing. Just completed the process today (10/1), but my email confirmation for the request states only good through 12/31/18 (not 2019). Does it based on the date I applied or the status is granted?

    Cheers!

  6. @ QTag — I suspect they just haven’t updated the form response they send yet, though I’m sure they’ll do so shortly. As long as you apply October 1 or later you should be good.

  7. Any recommendations for what to do if your airline is not on the list? I have top tier BA status and live in the US (and regularly fly Alaska) so this would be useful for me, but there doesn’t seem to be an ‘other airline’ option?

  8. Same thing happen to a friend who sent match after midnight . I signed up two weeks ago and got matched today . it shows good till 2020.

  9. I also sent in my request this morning and got the reply that it would be good until the end of 2018. I am on with Alaska now to find out why that is. They are also saying they may have not updated their response emails yet. Let’s hope that is the case. I confirmed with them earlier this year about the Oct 1 date and they did say that is the date to request the status match. I hope they keep their word.

  10. Thank you for making me aware of the status match opportunity. Sadly, Alaska just ended their nonstop from IND to SFO which we LOVED leaving us only United for the market. I have sent in my status match from American Airlines and look forward to the response as we do fly Alaska to DFW from SFO.

  11. @Lucky — I note that this is a once-in-a-lifetime status match opportunity (see fine print).

    Do you know what JetBlue Mosaic’s would match to? Alaska MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K?

    Thanks!

  12. It’s interesting to read the terms of their status match program. For example, they mention that elite status earned from credit cards is not eligible. So, presumably, many applicants who have received Southwest CP through Chase card bonuses will be denied. I guess that’s why they are asking for evidence of miles flown year to date.

  13. I just requested it and it says that it will only be valid through 12/31/18. Any feedback on this one or is it only for 2018?

  14. @SEA-guy —> Far be it to me to disagree with someone in Alaska’s “hometown,” but at least for those of us living in and around the SF Bay Area, I have to say that AS is doing a darned good-to-very good (but not great…yet) job of easing the heartbreak of missing VX. While it’s true there’s no more price guarantee (sucks), I find their prices to be competitive, their departure times very good (again, not great), and their in-flight service steadily improving. Plus, I was Elevate Gold with VX and now I’m MVP Gold with AS; the last six times I’ve flown AS, I’ve been upgraded to F. Can’t complain about that!

    That said, you wrote, that it “seems off [sic] that someone taking only a couple flights a year on Alaska metal would benefit to such a degree over families who loyally fly Alaska.” Well, yes. But isn’t that true of any airline? I recently had to fly UA (SFO-BOS), because flying on AS who have meant arriving too late for a business dinner. What benefits do I get from UA? None. Prior to this flight, I hadn’t flown UA in two years.

    But, IMHO, having status is better than not having it. Status matching is an easy way to get it. For the alone — it’s a match, not a challenge, don’t forget — I think it’s well worth doing…for anyone. If you live in a city served by AS (especially on the West Coast), so much the better. But does it make sense for someone living in, say, Keokuk, Iowa? No, probably not….

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