Elite Status

Match Elite Status To Alaska – The Jack Of All Frequent Flyer Programs

Written by Charlie

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Alaska Airlines is an airline that really does its best to cater to a variety of flyers, not just those that fly within the Alaska Air network. They have one of the best frequent flyer programs for both earnings and redemptions since they mix with so many airlines.

The airlines they book awards on span alliances and Emirates (which is not part of an airline alliance). They also allow you to earn award and elite miles from flying on the different airlines as well. It is a unique program since Alaska Airlines is not part of an alliance, yet they are definitely the jack of all frequent flyer programs because of how you can earn and redeem across so many airlines. With the positives of their program and the way the elite program is structured, it could be a great time to consider a status match. They are even matching to their highest tier – MVP 75K – and giving some interesting perks to those matched.

Match Elite Status To Alaska – The Jack of all Frequent Flyer Programs

Airlines used to match status between them and it was pretty simple – send in proof of status in a competing program and they would match you with the equivalent status in their program through that program year (and sometimes the following year as well, depending on when you matched). Now, the airlines have switched to a challenge based system where they will give you the status on a temporary basis (again, matched to the equivalent of another program) and you have 90 days to complete a challenge of flying a certain number of miles to retain the status.

But, that is most airlines – Alaska is still not doing that. Plus, they will match you to their highest status if you prove a similar level of status in another program (most programs are only doing that under case-by-case circumstances). Is it a good idea to match status to Alaska Airlines now and what do you get for your status?

First, let me say that this offer of a match to MVP 75K has been around for over a month now. I first saw it on One Mile at a Time. I was going to write about it then, but I wanted to try some various matches among non-alliance airlines to see what I could get for it to report on it first hand.

Status Matching to Alaska – Should You Do It?

It would greatly depend on the airline you are matching from and your current elite status as to whether you should match to Alaska right now. They allow you to earn elite miles and award miles from flying both Delta and American (as well as many other international carriers). If you are a lower tier Delta flyer who is dismayed about the changes coming in 2015, it could make sense to credit to Alaska (but make sure you check the fare class of your tickets against the new earning chart for Alaska in 2015 – seen here). If you are a flyer that is shunning elite status for the lowest priced ticket, it would also be a good idea to credit to Alaska, since you can credit both American and Delta to them anyway.

Alaska Airline's elite qualifying partners

Alaska Airline’s elite qualifying partners

As an Alaska Air elite, you would still be eligible for upgrades on Delta (although at the bottom of the pack). But, if you are a lower tier Delta member anyway, chances are that you will not get that many upgrades anyway (depending on your departure airport). You would get still get many elite benefits when flying on American Airlines as well. These would vary slightly depending on your Alaska status, but you would get priority check-in, access, boarding, roomier seat selection, free bags, etc. To see all of what you would get, click here.

Alaska’s Mileage Plan really frees you up to be more of an independent elite. You will earn bonus miles as an elite as well, even when traveling on the elite qualifying partners!

Now, one thing to note – a status match is once per lifetime. So, think long and hard if this makes the best time to try for it or if you are better off holding off for now.

It could be a great time to match if you are a top-tier somewhere else and you are going to drop your status with that other airline at the end of the elite year. In my case, I am losing United 1K at the end of the year, so matching to Alaska gives me an opportunity to take advantage of my current United level and continue having elite status with an airline (granted, I cannot credit my United miles to them, but I credit them to Aegean now anyway). Unfortunately, none of the other US airlines will accept Alaska status for a challenge with their own programs, but that may change at some point. If it changes in the next year, those who have Mileage Plan elite status now would be in a good position to match to another airline.

How To Match to Alaska’s Mileage Plan

Matching your status is quite easy. All you need to do is to send them

  • a copy of your driver’s license
  • your elite statement from the other airline
  • a picture of your elite card with that airline
  • You e-mail all of that to elite.flyer@alaskaair.com.
  • In my case, I took a screen shot of my United account showing my number, name, and elite status and sent a photo of my driver’s license. Within one week, my account was upgrade to MVP 75K status!

From many reports, it appears as if United Platinum members and 1K members will receive MVP 75K status. Delta Diamond and Platinums have also received that status as well as American Airline’s Executive Platinum. If you have US Airways Chairman’s status, that would also work. Now, I had seen reports of people matching their Southwest Companion Pass successfully for MVP 75K status, which is just incredible! However, after sending in my wife’s credentials a couple of times, I never did get that on her account. Southwest is listed as one of the airlines that will match to Alaska so I am not sure why I did not get something for that. I also tried with her JetBlue Mosaic status to see what that would match to but also did not receive anything back. That could very well just be some glitch with her account for now because she should have received some status level based on either one or both of those statuses.

So, if you have the Southwest Companion Pass (which can be earned completely through credit card bonuses and spending), give it a shot to see if you can get MVP 75K status! That would be incredible!

What You Get With MVP 75K Status

Mileage Plan’s Elite Benefits

One of the cool things about being matched to MVP 75K status is that you actually receive the 4 upgrade certificates that all members receive when they reach the MVP 75K status! You do not receive the 50K award mile bonus that they receive (which would have been really sweet!), but the upgrade certificates are a really nice touch! They can be used on any Alaska Airlines flight and will be deposited right into your account.

Another great thing you get with MVP 75K status is the ability to gift MVP status (their lowest elite status) to someone else. This status will give priority access on both American and Delta (with the slim possibility of an upgrade). This status will also allow a free checked bag on both airlines. While not groundbreaking status, it certainly would be something nice to have for the person who may fly Alaska, American, or Delta on occasion. In fact, I will be giving away my MVP status gift to a lucky reader during this week’s Mega Giveaway – so look for that!

Alaska Air

Plus, you get the incredible earnings that will come in 2015 as MVP 75K members will begin to receive a 125% bonus on flights with Alaska or their elite qualifying partners!

Any elite status that you receive will be good through December 31, 2015.

Summary

So, if you have one of the statuses mentioned above, it could be a good time to status match to Alaska’s MVP 75K. I doubt that they will continue accepting requests open ended for that level. Plus, if you have Southwest’s Companion Pass, I would think it would be a great think to try for. At the very least, any flights on elite partners in the next year will get you a 125% bonus – and Mileage Plan miles are very valuable for the amount of quality partners they have!

To familiarize yourself more with the Alaska Airline Mileage Plan program, check out both Ben’s blog (One Mile At A Time) and Scott’s blog (Travel Codex). Scott actually has written the blog posts for Alaska Airlines’ official blog as well. Both of them are very familiar with the program and their benefits. 

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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