Earn Alaska Elite Status With Just 2 Round-Trip Flights

Mar 1, 2019

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Alaska Airlines is pretty generous when it comes to elite status. It requires fewer elite-qualifying miles to earn status than most other airlines, it’s one of the few airlines that still awards miles based on distance flown rather than money spent and is one of the few that grants full-on status matches to elites from other airlines without having to complete any challenges. Now, it’s going to be even easier for residents of certain states to earn elite status with the airline.

Alaska has introduced the Coast to Elite challenge, which lets Mileage Plan members earn MVP status after two transcontinental round trips (four one-way flights) or MVP Gold status after four round trips (eight one-way flights). While the promotion is not targeted, you must be a resident of California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia or the District of Columbia to be eligible. You must register for the promotion on Alaska’s site and have from Mar. 6 to May 31, 2019, to meet the requirements. If the requirements are met, you’ll get to keep the status through Dec. 31, 2019.

Here are the West Coast departures that qualify for this offer:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington-Dulles (IAD) or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Diego (SAN) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Newark (EWR) or Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Raleigh (RDU), Washington-Dulles (IAD) or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Jose (SJC) to New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR)

Here are the East Coast departures that qualify for this offer:

  • New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC)
  • Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC)
  • Baltimore (BWI) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Orlando (MCO) and San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Reagan (DCA) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)

In our most recent elite-status analysis, TPG values MVP status at $765. With it, you’ll get perks like a 50% mileage bonus, free checked bags and upgrades to Premium Class (the airline’s extra-legroom economy product) and first class on Alaska-operated flights. Earning MVP status normally requires 20,000 elite-qualifying miles earned solely through Alaska or 25,000 miles or 30 elite-qualifying segments on a combination of Alaska and partner carriers.

TPG values Gold status at a whopping $2,965. It offers perks like a 100% mileage bonus, immediate upgrades to Premium Class on the majority of fares, more frequent upgrades to first class as well as lounge access when traveling on certain partners. Perhaps the most useful benefit of MVP Gold, however, is the ability to change or cancel tickets without penalties (excluding saver fares). Earning MVP Gold status normally requires 40,000 elite-qualifying miles on Alaska or 50,000 elite qualifying miles/60 elite-qualifying segments on Alaska and partner airlines.

This challenge is a great shortcut to Alaska status if you’re planning to take a few transcontinental trips in the next three months and many Alaska flyers should be eligible. Although Alaska is reducing pitch in first class, it’s also increasing the number of potential upgrades per flight, which is good news for elites.

For more information on the various airline elite match and challenge options available at many major airlines, check out our in-depth guide on “Airline Elite Status Match and Challenge Options for 2019.”

Featured image by Katherine Fan / The Points Guy.

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