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Check your account: Alaska says "sorry" with free elite qualifying miles

Jan. 22, 2022
3 min read
Check your account: Alaska says "sorry" with free elite qualifying miles
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Alaska Airlines is giving out elite status qualifying miles to many of its customers over the operational meltdown the airline suffered during the holidays and into the new year.

As first reported on Flyertalk, Alaska is handing out between 2,500 and 5,000 miles to customers impacted by a slew of cancellations and delays.

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The news was confirmed by TPG Lounge reader David Feinberg, who is an Alaska MVP Gold 75K member. He received 5,000 EQMs on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

Alaska letter giving some customers EQMs. (Screenshot courtesy David Weinberger)
Alaska letter giving some customers EQMs. (Screenshot courtesy David Weinberger)

The letter to Weinberger reads:

"As a tangible way to apologize for the disruption to your travel plans, we will be crediting your Mileage Plan account with 5,000* elite-qualifying miles toward your 2023 status qualification."

This offer appears to be semi-targeted with most people who are receiving the EQMs reporting they were caught up in delays or cancellations in December and January. Some readers on Flyertalk, though, said they got the bonus EQMs despite not being directly impacted. I did not receive any offer myself even though I'm a top-tier Alaska flyer. I also didn't have any flights substantially delayed or canceled during the past few months.

As we reported, Alaska cut 10% of its schedule as a series of storms and sickouts due to omicron made a mess of operations over several weeks.

Related: 1 in 13 flights were canceled during the holidays

According to a TPG analysis, Alaska canceled nearly 10% of its flights over the critical holiday period as well.

"Your loyalty isn't something we take for granted, and we hope to continue welcoming you as an elite member for many years to come," Alaska's letter to top-tier elites concludes.

This could prove to be a valuable status boost, as Alaska's generous shortcuts to 2022 status appear to be gone. You'll need 100,000 EQMs for Alaska’s new top-tier Gold 100K MVP.

Related: How and why I went for Alaska’s new top-tier MVP Gold 100K status

Last year, Alaska had the “fast track to status” promotion which was giving out 50% bonus EQMs.

Mileage Plan also had a lucrative promotion so that every $2,500 spent on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card (or the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card) earned you 2,500 EQMs toward Alaska Airlines elite status. You were able to earn up to 20,000 EQMs without ever getting on a plane this way.

Related: What is Alaska Airlines elite status worth now that Alaska has joined Oneworld?

So far this year, there haven't been any similar shortcuts to status.

Updated on 4/27/22.

Featured image by (Photo by Clint Henderson/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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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    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
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
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  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees