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Alaska's subscription-based flight pass now includes free elite status, more routes

Nov. 03, 2022
3 min read
Alaska Airlines plane takes off
Alaska's subscription-based flight pass now includes free elite status, more routes
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Alaska Airlines is making some exciting changes to its Flight Pass offering.

The Seattle-based carrier unveiled on Thursday an expansion of its subscription-based travel pass, which now includes a promotional MVP elite status membership and covers an additional destination.

Perhaps most exciting is that from Nov. 3 through Nov. 30, all new Flight Pass subscribers will receive complimentary MVP status in Alaska's Mileage Plan frequent flyer program.

During this period, those who enroll in the entry-level Flight Pass will enjoy complimentary MVP status, while those splurging for a Flight Pass Pro subscription will receive MVP Gold status.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Existing subscribers are also entitled to complimentary status, which will process on your account no later than Dec. 7. The complimentary status will be valid through December 2023, so you'll have just more than a year to enjoy the status perks.

Note that you must be enrolled in a 12 or 24 trips-per-year subscription to receive complimentary status. Those who buy a six-trip package will not receive the elite perks.

Alaska explains that it's making this move since subscribers are investing with the airline and committing to take a certain number of trips each year, which would likely be enough to earn status by the end of the year. (Flights taken as part of the subscription are eligible to earn Mileage Plan miles just like a standard economy ticket.)

“To thank subscribers for their commitment to Alaska Airlines, elite benefits that would normally be earned after flying for a year can now be enjoyed from the very beginning. Flight Pass members will be able to enjoy the perks of being Mileage Plan elite members throughout their subscription, including upgrades to first and premium class, earned bonus miles and free checked bags," Neil Thwaitesm, Alaska's regional vice president of California, said in a statement.

In addition to the elite status perks, Alaska is expanding the reach of the Flight Pass. Effective immediately, subscribers can now fly between Salt Lake City and both San Francisco and San Diego.

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Those based in Salt Lake City can also now subscribe to a Flight Pass, but it won't be as useful since there are only two routes included from Utah.

That said, the addition of the Utah capital comes just in time for the start of the ski season; those who frequent popular resorts in the area, such as Deer Valley and Park City, could definitely find value in this expansion.

Together with Salt Lake City, the Flight Pass now covers 20 total routes, all of which you can see in the updated map below.

ALASKA AIRLINES

It's worth noting that Alaska recently removed the Reno to Los Angeles route from the pass; it suspended the flight due to a shortage of crew, a spokesperson confirmed. The service suspension will last through the winter and is slated to return to service in spring 2023.

Finally, Alaska shared some interesting tidbits about its new Flight Pass. Ever since its launch in February, the airline has seen good traction from millennials and Gen Z-ers based in northern California. The most booked routes connect between the major metro areas in California, while the most popular plan among the options is the $49 per month service that includes six round-trip flights a year.

For more details about the Alaska Flight Pass, check out TPG's comprehensive guide.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
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.

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees