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Chasing elite status on Alaska Airlines? A flight to California this fall could help

Sept. 30, 2022
3 min read
Alaska Airlines
Chasing elite status on Alaska Airlines? A flight to California this fall could help
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Heads up, frequent Alaska Airlines flyers: If you’ve fallen behind in your attempt to gain or keep elite status in the Mileage Plan program, here’s a chance to get back in the game and enjoy some warm fall weather while you’re at it.

Starting this weekend, through the early part of November, you can earn a 50% boost on elite qualifying miles for certain flights.

Here’s the key rule: It has to be a flight to, from or within the state of California between Oct. 1 and Nov. 10.

Alaska Airlines announced the promotion on Twitter Friday afternoon.

Elite qualifying miles are the way Alaska Mileage Plan members earn elite status, with 20,000 elite qualifying miles earning you the first status tier of MVP. That will get you started with complimentary upgrades, priority check-in and 50% mileage bonuses on all flights.

These 50% bonuses could go a long way toward earning you elite Alaska status for the first time, helping you keep status, or reach the next status level.


For perspective on what a boost this promotion could provide toward your elite status goals, let’s say you live in New York and have flown on Alaska a few times this year, earning 13,000 elite qualifying miles, year to date. You’re more than halfway to MVP status, but have a ways to go to get there before the end of the year.

A single round trip from Newark/Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) could put you over the top. For the $496 October round trip, you’d ordinarily earn 2,447 elite qualifying miles in each direction or 4,894 miles round-trip. With this promotion, though, you’d earn a 50% bonus on those miles — bringing your total earnings to 7,341 miles.


Just one transcontinental flight to California could also put a big dent in your earnings if you already have elite status and are hoping to renew or improve that status. Bonus earnings are capped at 10,000 miles, according to the official terms.

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Again, this is a fall-oriented promotion, so you’ll need to travel between Saturday and Nov. 10.

Bottom line

Whether it’s an excuse to fly Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles and visit Disneyland, go to San Francisco to explore the Bay Area or even rent a car from there and head out to do some wine tasting in Napa, visiting the Golden State could be a great way to enjoy some warm weather this fall and put yourself in prime position for elite status while you’re at it.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.