While Alaska Airlines regularly offers a status match challenge, the airline has just launched an incredibly generous status match targeted specifically at Delta flyers. This is being offered in light of the recently announced Delta SkyMiles changes.
In this post:
Details of Alaska’s status match for Delta flyers
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is offering one of the most lucrative status match opportunities we’ve ever seen. This potentially even allows you to be matched to a higher tier than you currently have. Here’s how Brett Catlin, Alaska’s VP of Loyalty, Alliances, and Sales, describes this promotion (and I just love this quote):
“We’ve always believed that loyalty is about more than just revenue and that earning elite status shouldn’t require a second mortgage. We’ve designed Mileage Plan to reward loyalty in its many forms which is why we offer guests the fastest track to elite status with no spend requirements.”
With this promotion, Delta SkyMiles elite members can request a status match by October 31, 2023. The status that you receive depends on your SkyMiles elite tier, whether you’ve already requalified for status through 2024, and whether you have an open Alaska Airlines Visa account as of December 31, 2023. Note that either the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card (review) or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review) would qualify for these purposes.
How exactly does status map over with this offer?
- If your SkyMiles status is valid through the end of 2023 and you don’t have an Alaska Visa Card, you can receive a 90-day status challenge, up to MVP Gold 75K
- If your SkyMiles status is valid through the end of 2023 and you do have an Alaska Visa Card, you can receive a status match valid through the end of 2024, up to MVP Gold 75K
- If your SkyMiles status is valid through the end of 2024 and you don’t have an Alaska Visa Card, you can receive a 90-day status challenge, up to MVP Gold 75K
- If your SkyMiles status is valid through the end of 2024 and you do have an Alaska Visa Card, you can receive a status match valid through the end of 2024 to one tier higher than you currently have, including MVP Gold 100K
This is pretty unprecedented on Alaska’s part. If you’re a Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion member through the end of 2024 and have an Alaska Airlines Visa Card, you’ll be matched to top-tier MVP Gold 100K status.
For those situations that require a status challenge, here’s how many miles you have to fly on flights marketed and operated by Alaska to maintain the status through the end of 2024:
- MVP status requires 5,000 flown miles on Alaska
- MVP Gold status requires 10,000 flown miles on Alaska
- MVP Gold 75K status requires 20,000 flown miles on Alaska
If you take advantage of this promotion, expect that your status will be updated within two to three weeks. Note that if you earn MVP Gold 75K or MVP Gold 100K status through this promotion, you won’t be eligible for the 50,000 bonus miles, American Airlines systemwide upgrades, or Alaska Choice Benefits, that normally come with those elite tiers. You would only earn those when actually qualifying for the status based on your activity.
Is this Alaska Airlines status match worth it?
This is the kind of healthy competition that I love to see between airlines. While this promotion is valid for members across the United States and Canada, keep in mind that Alaska and Delta compete fiercely in Seattle, so I imagine that for Alaska, this is largely about west coast market share.
I’d say that this is an extremely compelling promotion for Delta frequent flyers:
- Alaska Airlines has one of the most lucrative frequent flyer programs, and continues to award miles based on distance flown rather than dollars spent
- Alaska Airlines offers reciprocal upgrades on American, so this could be useful even if you fly American frequently
- This promotion can earn you oneworld Emerald or oneworld Sapphire status; this is so much more valuable than the SkyTeam Elite Plus status you potentially earn with Delta
Alaska knows how to treat loyal flyers, so I hope some Delta loyalists can take advantage of this promotion.
I should acknowledge that I imagine that some Alaska frequent flyers won’t be too happy about this offer, especially with status matches straight to top-tier status, with no flying requirement. Still, given the situation, I think this is a smart offer on Alaska’s part.
Alaska is looking to poach some frustrated Delta flyers, with a very generous status match offer. You can potentially be matched one tier above your current Delta status all the way through the end of 2024, though it depends on when your Delta status expires, and if you have an Alaska credit card.
This is a great opportunity to pick up valuable status with Alaska, which also gets you lots of perks with American and other oneworld airlines.
What do you make of this status match offer? If you’re a Delta elite, do you plan on taking advantage of this?