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

Jan 22, 2022

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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)
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.

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

Updated on 4/27/22.

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