New Parents Can Extend Their Mileage Plan Status With Alaska Airlines
Just in time for Mother's Day, Alaska Airlines is announcing a new benefit of the Mileage Plan program that'll make new parents smile. Effective today, Alaska Airlines elites who are new parents can put their status on hold with a new Elite Leave program.
Here's how it works: If you're a new parent who's also an Alaska elite, you'll be able to put your status on hold for one year during your pregnancy or parental leave. Once the year has passed, you'll pick your status right back up and resume working toward requalification.
In order to get the Elite Leave, you'll need to email Alaska at email@example.com with your full name, date of birth, Mileage Plan number and proof of pregnancy or parental leave (a note from your doctor or employer will do). Alaska will review your information and if you're eligible, your status will be extended through the following year.
According to the terms and conditions, Mileage Plan members who are MVP, MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K and go on parental leave any time starting in 2017 are eligible for the Elite Leave. For example, a current (2017) MVP member who takes parental leave that ends in 2018 will get MVP status through 2019. Those who have received gifted status or earned status through a match are not eligible for Elite Leave. Qualifying types of parental leave include maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
Overall, this is a nice addition to the Mileage Plan program from Alaska. New parents seldom have time to get out, let alone travel enough to requalify for elite status. This announcement comes just a few days after British Airways announced a similar program — and both Air Canada and Qantas already have parental leave programs for their frequent flyers. Hopefully this is a trend that other airlines follow.