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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.

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"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® 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 1/18/23.

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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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  • 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

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees