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Alaska Airlines Elite Status 2021
Alaska Airlines is officially joining One World on March 31, 2021. If you currently hold Alaska status, on that date, you’ll have a corresponding One World Elite status. The coolest thing is that Alaska’s current top tier is reached in just 75k elite miles, and it will correspond to One World Emerald which includes first class lounge access when flying internationally. I’m a big fanboy of Alaska MVPG75 since it comes with monster earn rates and a 50k Alaska Miles bonus when you hit it. The requirements for Alaska Airlines Elite Status used to be bifurcated between miles flown on just Alaska Airlines, and then a separate threshold for miles flown with a combination of Alaska and Partner miles. This delineation is gone, and they kept the lower threshold Elite miles for status requirements. It’s really quite amazing, and totally what you’d expect from an airline that has proven to value its customers.
On January 11th, Alaska announced some additional information via email regarding a new 100k Elite status as as well upgrades certificates on American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines Elites will have complimentary access to preferred seats including main cabin extra on all AA flights
- All flight credits due to expire July 5th, 2021 will be extended to Dec 31, 2021
- This means you must book by 12/31/21 and travel by 11/26/22
- 50% Elite miles on Alaska flights until June 2021
The Military Frequent Flier just received some additional information regarding a new 100k Status ( he’s been MVP Gold or 75k for 18 years! )
Later in 2021, upgrade certificates to Business Class on international flights – wow!
Free upgrades on AA domestic – remains to be seen where you are in the pecking order. AS elites only upgraded after all AA elites? Or top-tier to top-tier, then mid-tier, etc.? I have had great success with free upgrades on AS over the years and will look forward to testing this on AA. Note: AA Elites – don’t be haters on this one!
A new 100,000 mile elite status category starting in 2022. I know a few fanatic flyers who will welcome this. Not sure how much they can increase the benefits over 75K which already gives you 225% redeemable miles and free upgrade certs. Maybe free lounge access? Will wait with baited breathe to hear more on this.
What I think will be included in this new 100k status?
I think we will see something along the lines of the following add-on benefits for Alaska MVPG100k.
- More Lounge passes
- Currently MVPG75k get 4 lounge passes, I’d guess this will be increased to either 8 or 12 and a larger discount on a membership
- Upgrade Window further out
- MVPG75 are upgraded at the 120 hour window, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this go to a full week, or 168 hours
- Gifting of status
- Currently MVPG75 can gift MVP status, I could see them bumping to this MVP Gold
- Another round of bonus miles
- MVPG75k earn a bonus of 50k Alaska miles when they hit 75k miles. Could this pop up for 10k-25k?
- More upgrade certs?
- Will MVPG75 get 2, if so, maybe MVPG100k will get 4? That would be in line with AA Executive Platinum
Personally, more lounge access would be great for road warriors accruing that many miles, and I’d love to see them tack on another 25k bonus, or MVPG. The increased upgrade window doesn’t do a lot for me. We don’t know enough about Upgrade Certificates on International flights – if MVPG75 currently get 2, then I could see them pairing that with 4 SWUs at the MVPG100k level.
How to earn Alaska Airlines Elite Status for 2021
- Alaska extended Elite status through 2021
- 2 Alaska rolled over elite miles
- If you had any elite miles earned between 1/1/20 and 4/30/2020 they actually rollover into the 2021 earn year.
This is in addition, to what you can see below, to the lowered requirements for MVPG75k when looking at Alaska and partners. This means status will be considerably easier to acquire for 2021. The biggest caveat is that you MUST fly a certain amount of Alaska legs
- 2 for MVP
- 4 for MVPG
- 6 for MVPG75k
Hitting Elite Status could be super fast if you fly on British Airways Business Class. Some of those fare buckets earn 250% Elite Qualifying miles. Meaning, it’s possibly to fly roundtrip LA to London 3 times in a year and have enough Elite miles for MVPG75 – you’d just need the 6 segments on Alaska metal.
Benefits – Earning Miles with Alaska Elite Status
If you’re familiar with the Alaska Airlines Elite earning tiers, then the chart below looks unaltered. This has stayed in tact and much to my surprise, they left the 50k bonus miles upon MVPG75k in tact as well. Personally, I will be looking to Alaska vs American to earn status on in 2021 to whatever capacity that ends up being. Note, these bonuses are purely Elite bonuses and are in addition to the normal bonus you’d earn based off of cabin or airline.
Benefits – Upgrades, etc
One of the cool perks that Alaska Elites can utilize for flights on their own metal are the confirmed upgrades on qualifying fares. Often, you’ll see that flights will have upgrade space available at the time of booking and you can confirm that sweet sweet first class seat.
If you hit Top Tier status with Alaska you’ll be enjoying many upgrades on Alaska flights. When I carried top tier status I think I had 19 out of 20 flights upgraded.
Alaska will become a member of One World, and as such, will have dedicated airport benefits that extend to all the member airlines. The biggest perk to all of this is lounge access within the OneWorld network when traveling internationally. More specifically, if you’re taking a short economy flight from London to Dublin and you’re MVPG75k you could access the BA first class lounge while you wait. Same goes when you’re flying through Asia and could make use of the Cathay Pacific lounges at HKG.
You’d be able to access Cathay Pacific’s The Wing and experience a shower suite with a coach ticket and MVPG75k
Benefits – Service
The biggest perks here are for MVPG and G75k with the Comped Same Day flight changes and waived change fees. This means you could book into cheaper flights, change them for later in the day, and save that cash.
Alaska joins One World Timeline
It all begins on March 31, 2021 when AS formally becomes a member, but starting the first day of 2021 you’ll be able to enjoy quite a few benefits especially with American Airlines. Admission into Admirals Club will be a part of the Alaska Lounge Membership now as well.
I’m very eager to see the award chart for Qatar Airways flights.
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