Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status Match Challenge

Filed Under: Alaska, Alaska Mileage Plan

Nowadays Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan generally only offers status challenges, and not outright status matches. However, for a limited time the program is offering outright status matches. This comes not only at a time of greatly reduced travel demand, but also shortly before Alaska Airlines is due to join the oneworld alliance, which is happening on March 31, 2021.

Alaska Mileage Plan elite requirements

Alaska Airlines has three elite tiers — MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. Here are the requirements to qualify for status, which were adjusted as of 2021:

Back in the day requirements differed based on whether you were earning miles for travel on Alaska Airlines or travel on partner airlines, while now requirements are the same regardless of which airline you fly, though there is a requirement to fly two to six flights on Alaska.

Also note that Alaska Airlines will be introducing a new 100K elite tier, though we don’t yet know the details of that.

Limited time: Alaska Mileage Plan offering status matches

Alaska Airlines is offering an outright status match for those who register by April 15, 2021, though there are quite a few terms:

  • This is only valid for those who have status with Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus
  • Mileage Plan status will be valid for the rest of 2021 (through December 31, 2021), and you’ll earn 50% bonus elite miles for every Alaska Airlines flight through the end of the year, making it easier to maintain status
  • In order to qualify, you must have earned status for 2020 or 2021 through flying, and not through credit card activity, transferred points, or other promotional offers
  • This offer is only valid for residents of the United States and Canada

Alaska Airlines is currently offering an outright status match

Standard Alaska Mileage Plan status challenge

If you don’t take advantage of the above, Alaska Airlines offers a standard status match challenge. Here’s how this works:

  • You can be matched to MVP, MVP Gold, or MVP Gold 75K, for a period of 90 days
  • In order to maintain the status beyond that you need to fly the following number of miles on Alaska within that 90 day period (travel on partner airlines doesn’t qualify):
    • You need to fly 5,000 miles to maintain MVP status
    • You need to fly 10,000 miles to maintain MVP Gold status
    • You need to fly 20,000 miles to maintain MVP Gold 75K status

Furthermore:

  • Status matches are only valid for those who have achieved elite status through actual flight miles or segments in another program, and not those who have achieved status through credit card activity, transferred points, or other promotional offers
  • Status match challenges are only available for residents of the US and Canada
  • Allow up to four weeks for verification of your status match challenge request and approval
  • If a status match challenge is initiated before July 1, 2021, it would only be valid through December 31, 2021; if a status match challenge is initiated between July 1 and December 31, 2021, then it would be valid through December 31, 2022

Alaska Airlines offers a standard status match challenge

Alaska Mileage Plan elite benefits

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

More big picture, here’s what makes Alaska Mileage Plan special:

  • Mileage Plan continues to award miles based on distance flown rather than how much you spend, with no revenue requirement
  • Alaska Airlines has a great same day flight change policy
  • All Mileage Plan elite members get unlimited complimentary upgrades, and MVP Gold members and above receive four upgrade certificates they can use to confirm an upgrade in advance
  • Mileage Plan has 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 75K member flies 75,000 miles to qualify for status, they’ll really earn 218,750 miles, which is ~292% of the distance flown
  • Alaska has great airline partners with industry-leading mileage earning rates, so it can be lucrative to fly their partner airlines and then credit miles to Alaska Mileage Plan; this will even more become the case when Alaska joins oneworld

Alaska has great mileage earning rates for travel on partner airlines

Bottom line

While Alaska Mileage Plan has long had a standard status match challenge opportunity, the program is currently offering an outright status match for elite members of Delta, Southwest, and United.

This could be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to earn status with the airline. This could be especially valuable for MVP Gold 75K status, given that this will map over to oneworld Emerald status. Also keep in mind that Alaska and American plan on introducing reciprocal elite upgrades soon.

Is anyone taking advantage of an Alaska Mileage Plan status match ahead of the airline joining oneworld?

Comments
  1. Is there any reason not to do this? I’m a United 1K but don’t have any plans to fly Alaska this year (but I possibly could?). Is there once in a lifetime match limit?

  2. I recently did an SFO-PDX roundtrip on Alaska. The outbound flight was on an Airbus and the overhead compartment space was “normal.” The return flight was on an Embraer 175 and the overhead compartments on the left side, over the 1-abreast seats, were the smallest I’ve *ever* seen. Virtually *nothing* will fit in those overheads. Definitely *no* backpacks, perhaps not even folded jackets. If you’re flying Alaska and any of your flights are on E175’s, plan on checked luggage *only*, *no* carry-ons or “personal items.” Also, the underseat space on E175’s is non-existent. You’ll likely be forced to gate-check just about anything. You have been warned.

  3. No visibility on which OAL statuses maps to which MVP tier? Also I don’t see any language about previously-matched members being excluded this time? Finally, how do they know how I earned my status? With DL it’s always a mix of flying and CC activity.

  4. +1 on all of GoAmtrak’s questions. Relevant details that are missing from this article or that AS hasn’t provided….

  5. AS didn’t provide the match levels in the email but for DL it was pretty clear that:

    Plat and Diamond = 75K
    Gold = MVP Gold
    Silver = MVP

    I’m 3/4 of the way to lifetime MVP Gold 75K and had lost my annual status completely as I just wasn’t flying AS routes before the pandemic. But with my “new” job, once we’re traveling again I’ll be on lots of AS flights. So, I’m looking forward to being a 75K member.

  6. Your posts are so helpful, thank you so much! I’m loving my Brax account and thanks to you, I’m going to match by Delta status to Alaska.

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