Alaska Mileage Plan frequently has promotions targeted at California residents, making it easier to earn elite status. I guess the airline is struggling to maintain elites in California. Recently we saw California-based members have access to a 50% bonus elite miles promotion, and now there’s another offer for members based in California.
Alaska Mileage Plan status fast track offer
Alaska Mileage Plan has announced a “Coast to Elite Status” promotion, specifically targeted at members based in California. With this:
- Mileage Plan members can earn MVP status after completing two qualifying roundtrips
- Mileage Plan members can earn MVP Gold status after completing four qualifying roundtrips
Only transcontinental flights from California qualify for this offer. Specifically, this includes the following routes:
- Flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Newark (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD), or Washington Reagan (DCA)
- Flights between San Diego (SAN) and Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK) or Orlando (MCO)
- Flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Tampa (TPA), Washington Dulles (IAD), or Washington Reagan (DCA)
As you’d expect, there are some terms to be aware of:
- This is valid for flights between January 1 and March 31, 2023, regardless of when they were booked
- Registration is required prior to your first qualifying flight
- Flights must be operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines
- Only revenue tickets qualify toward this, so award flights wouldn’t count toward this promotion
- Elite status will be awarded within four to six weeks of miles posting to a member’s Mileage Plan account
- Elite status will be valid through December 31, 2023
- Only Mileage Plan members in California (as indicated by the address on their Mileage Plan account) are eligible for this offer
My thoughts on this Alaska Mileage Plan promotion
It’s interesting to see how Alaska Airlines has so many promotions targeting California flyers. I guess that’s not too surprising, when you consider how competitive the state is for airlines. All of the “big three” US carriers have at least one hub there, and Southwest also has a huge presence in California.
As far as this offer goes, this has the potential to be a good deal, though admittedly it’s only really helpful for those without status, rather than existing elite members. Over the past few months we saw a promotion offering 50% bonus elite miles for California-based Alaska flyers, which probably had wider appeal.
For context, MVP status ordinarily requires earning 20,000 elite miles in a calendar year, while MVP Gold status ordinarily requires earning 40,000 elite miles in a calendar year. If you assume that each transcon flight is roughly 2,500 miles, you’d earn MVP status after flying 10,000 miles, and you’d earn MVP Gold status after flying 20,000 miles.
While that’s an easier path to status, ultimately it’s still highly restrictive in terms of the routes you can fly. Furthermore, status is only valid through the end of 2023, while otherwise if you earned status in 2023, it would be valid through all of 2024 as well.
If you do have elite status with another frequent flyer program, keep in mind that Alaska Mileage Plan has a status match & challenge offer, which might be a better pathway to status.
For the first quarter of 2023, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering a special promotion for members based in California. You can earn MVP status after completing two transcon trips, and you can earn MVP Gold status after completing four transcon trips. It’s not surprising to see Alaska incentivize California travel, given what a competitive market it is.
To Alaska Mileage Plan members, what do you make of this promotion?
(Tip of the hat to SINJim)