Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status Extension for COVID19

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status Extension for COVID19

Today Alaska Airlines announced their extension for Mileage Plan elite status due to the COVID19 Corona Virus pandemic.  United and Delta have already released their plans.  Read all about Alaska Airlines here.

Here are the major take aways:

  1. Mileage Plan Status:  Current level of status (MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K) will be extended through December 31, 2021.  I earned MVP Gold through my flights in calendar year 2019.  Typically this would grant me MVP Gold status from date of earning until December 31, 2020.  Instead, I have been granted an additional 1 year of status.
  2. Roll Over EQMs: Elite Qualifying Miles earned between January 1 and April 30, 2020 will be rolled over to 2021.  For example, I flew from Chicago to Seattle in February.  Those 1,720 miles will count towards my status for 2022 qualification.
  3. Status Match Challenge: This only applies to a handful of people out there.  But if you enrolled in a status match challenge between December 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, you will have your trial status extended through the end of 2021.  This is incredibly generous.  Typically the status only lasts for 3 months.  Instead, Alaska is giving away free status for up to 2 full years without having to do a thing except for have been lucky enough to enroll in the challenge during those dates.
  4. Companion Certificates: One of the benefits of the Alaska Airlines Bank of America Visa card is the Companion Certificates.  These certificates, which cardholders receive one of each anniversary of card sign up, enable you to buy a second round trip ticket for a companion for $99 + taxes.  If you have one of these certificates set to expire in 2020 (meaning they were issued on your anniversary date in 2019), they will be good for redemption through December 31, 2020 for travel through November 26, 2021.  My card anniversary date is August.  So I will receive a 4 month extension to use my certificate.  Those that have an anniversary date in December won’t receive any sort of extension it seems.
  5. Alaska Lounge Membership: If you held an Alaska Airlines Lounge Membership as of April 1, 2020 you receive an added 6 months of Lounge Membership added on to the date of your membership expiration for free.
  6. oneworld Status:  Alaska Airlines is set to join oneworld in Summer 2021.  Which means if you earned status during 2019, you will automatically receive status with oneworld once Alaska joins the alliance.  The exact structure of the alliance isn’t yet known, but I would guess that since both oneworld and Alaska Airlines have three levels of status, it will likely align nicely.
  7. Bonus Opportunities to Come: In an email sent to Mileage Plan members, the following teaser was noted: For our MVP and MVP Gold members: look for additional opportunities in the coming months to earn more elite-qualifying miles in 2020 to boost your status in 2021. For our MVP Gold 75K members: we’ll provide additional opportunities to earn your annual 50,000 bonus miles reward.  If you are an MVP or MVP Gold in 2020, it will still be possible to level up for 2021.

If you follow my posts, you know that I am a big Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan fan.  In my opinion it is the most generous frequent flyer program.  It is great to see Alaska being so generous with their loyalty program.  I think it is also a wise business decision.  The next few years are going to be tough on airlines as they recover from the pandemic.  Anything they can do to increase loyalty makes a lot of sense.

What do you think of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status extension for COVID19?  How will it help you or impact your travels?

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