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Keith: I generally don’t fly often enough with any one airline to earn elite status. And I typically redeem miles for award flights instead of paying cash, which means I don’t get credit toward elite status.
But in late 2016, I was able to secure Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status by requesting a status match. At the time, I had JetBlue Mosaic status thanks to an easy promotion the airline was offering a couple of years ago.
My status is valid through the end of 2018. And I’m planning to make the most of it this year, so I can earn extra bonus Alaska Airlines miles. Alaska Airlines miles are valuable because you can redeem them for award flights on terrific partner airlines, like Cathay Pacific!
With the Alaska Airlines – Virgin America merger, I’m also excited to have more opportunities to fly with the airline. For example, I used to regularly book Virgin America flights from Los Angeles to East Coast cities like New York and Orlando. I’m looking forward to Alaska Airlines expanding perks (like seat upgrades) to old Virgin America routes.
How to Match Your Airline Status With Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines offers 3 status levels: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K.
The lowest status, MVP, comes with perks like:
- 50% bonus on earning miles
- 2 free checked bags
- Priority check-in and boarding
With higher status, you’ll earn more bonus miles and have a better opportunity for complimentary upgrades.
The best part with any Alaska Airlines status is you can earn bonus miles on Alaska Airlines when you fly partner airlines like:
- British Airways
- Hainan Airlines
Even better, you earn miles with Alaska Airlines based on the number of miles you fly, NOT the price of the ticket! You can also credit Alaska Airlines flights to other airlines.
To request a status match, simply email email@example.com with:
- Alaska Airlines frequent flyer number
- Proof of status with another airline (front and back copies of your elite status card)
- Copy of most recent statement from your other airline
It will typically take 2 to 3 weeks for Alaska Airlines to process your request and update your account. In my experience, it took less than 2 weeks.
In the past, it was easier to match to a higher Alaska Airlines status. That’s how I was able to use JetBlue Mosaic status to get MVP Gold. As the chart above shows, JetBlue Mosaic now matches MVP status.
I’ve only flown on Alaska Airlines flights a handful of times. But I’ve found my elite status to be extremely useful. For example, I always get a seat upgrade notice a few days before departure.
Why I’m Saving Alaska Airlines Miles
My wife and I have each earned the sign-up bonus on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card® multiple times. Remember, it’s possible to earn the sign-up bonus on Bank of America cards more than once if you wait at least 90 days between applications.
Earning multiple sign-up bonuses has helped boost our Alaska Airlines miles balance. And having elite status helps me add to our balances because I earn bonus miles on paid Alaska Airlines flights.
Alaska Airlines miles are useful because you can redeem them for award flights on these partner airlines:
- Air France (partnership ends April 30, 2018)
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- KLM (partnership ends April 30, 2018)
- Korean Air
- Ravn Alaska
- Singapore Airlines
You can book award tickets with Alaska Airlines’ partner airlines for a ~$13 fee one-way or $25 for a round-trip ticket. The good news is partner award flights have no fuel surcharges (except for flights on British Airways).
Keep in mind, the number of Alaska Airlines miles required for an award flight varies by route and airline partner. You can find the cost of an award flight by entering your departure and destination region on the Alaska Airlines website.
There are several sweet spots if you’re planning to redeem Alaska Airlines miles for Big Travel. I don’t have an immediate award booking planned, but I’m hoping to plan a trip for my birthday in November. Here are some awards I’m considering:
- One-way Business Class award flight to Iceland on Icelandair for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles
- One-way First Class ward flight to Asia on Cathay Pacific for 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles
- Round-trip Business Class award flight to Australia on Fiji Airways for 110,000 Alaska Airlines miles
I’d love to hear award flight suggestions from readers! Feel free to share in the comments!
It’s easy to apply for an Alaska Airlines elite status match. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of your status from another airline.
With MVP Gold elite status, I earn bonus miles on paid Alaska Airlines flights. And I’ve been successful in always getting a Business Class seat upgrade whenever I fly on the airline.
I’m trying to boost my Alaska Airlines miles balance in 2018 because you can redeem them for award flights on terrific partner airlines, like Cathay Pacific and Fiji Airways. And you can find sweet spots when booking award flights, including in Business Class or First Class!
Do you have Alaska Airlines elite status? What’s your favorite way to redeem miles?