Alaska makes it easier to requalify for elite status, announces 100K status tier qualification
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In an email to Alaska Airlines elite members today, Andrew Harrison — Chief Commercial Officer at Alaska Airlines — extended the airline's popular Fast Track to Status promotion and announced plans to help Alaska elites requalify for status. The email also teased more details of the airline's upcoming MVP Gold 100K status tier.
Let's take a closer look.
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Alaska makes it easier to requalify
The Fast Track to Status promotion awards 50% bonus elite qualifying miles on all Alaska Airlines-operated flights. This promotion was set to end on Sept. 30, 2021, although Alaska had extended it numerous times since it initially launched in June 2020. Now, the promotion will end on Dec. 31, 2021.
Both current elites and non-elite members are eligible for this promotion and no registration is required. The 50% bonus does not apply to partner flights, even if they're booked on an Alaska ticket.
Further, the email also states that Alaska will extend elite status for those who don't requalify by the end of the year. Details are scarce, but the email states that Alaska will extend status through Apr. 30, 2022. Then, elites can fly a "minimum number of miles January through April" to maintain their status.
The email doesn't say how much elites who don't requalify by the end of 2021 will need to fly in early 2022 to maintain their status. But we expect it to be a significantly lower amount when compared to standard qualification requirements. According to the email, more information will come.
Related: The best sweet spots with Alaska Mileage Plan
MVP Gold 100K qualification info
Harrison also reiterated that an MVP Gold 100K elite status tier is in the works for next year. Alaska has previously discussed this without going into detail. This email notes that elites "earning more than 100,000 elite-qualifying miles, with a minimum of 24 segments on Alaska in 2021" will be eligible for MVP Gold 100K status.
This is huge news for current Alaska elites who have hit (or will hit) these metrics by the end of the year. While benefits are still unknown, we expect the MVP Gold 100K status tier to be similar to American's Executive Platinum status or Delta's Diamond Medallion status, with top-tier benefits for Alaska's most frequent flyers. As always, we'll let you know when we have more information.
Finally, the email notes that a full suite of Oneworld redemptions are coming in 2022. Currently, Alaska members can earn miles on all Oneworld partners but only redeem on a select few. For example, you cannot redeem Alaska miles on S7 Airlines or Iberia, despite both airlines being Oneworld members.
Related: Your complete guide to Alaska Airlines partners
Spend your way to status
Alaska will also make it easier to earn status if you hold the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. The airline is extending a promotion that ran earlier this year, but that was set to expire Sept. 30.
In an email to elite members, Alaska CCO Harrison said:
"Using your Alaska Airlines Visa® card, now you can earn up to 20,000 elite-qualifying miles. For every $2,500 you spend on purchases with your credit card, you can earn 2,500 elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) up to 20,000 EQMs**. Valid on purchases starting September 16, through November 15, 2021."
That could make putting spend on the Bank of America Alaska card worth another look.
Related: A review of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
It's great to see Alaska make positive changes for elite members who are traveling less during the coronavirus pandemic. While not an outright extension, it does give elites an easier path to requalification, which should settle the nerves of some elites who haven't yet requalified.
Likewise, knowing exact qualifying metrics for MVP Gold 100K is helpful for current elites who are on the road. This is exciting news, and we're looking forward to learning about all the benefits that come along with this new top-tier elite status.
Feature photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com.