Alaska Airlines enhances elite status earning options-for real!


The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is a great option for collecting points when flying on varying carriers across alliances. They have many partners in oneworld and SkyTeam plus many non-aligned carriers. But the program historically has had one minor annoying limitation: Earning status only comes from flights on Alaska Airlines, DeltaAmerican Airlines and a few other partners (Thanks, Scott). That policy is changing on 15 January 2015 such that all partner travel will now count towards earning MVP status.

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From the press release:

Starting Jan. 15, 2014, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will be able to earn elite qualifying miles on all 12 of the carrier’s international partners, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Fiji Airways, Korean Air and Qantas. Mileage Plan members already earn elite qualifying miles on AeroMexico, Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, KLM and LAN.

“Thanks to our terrific group of international airline partners, Alaska Airlines is able to connect our customers to more than 700 destinations worldwide,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Starting next month, it will be much easier for our customers to earn elite status on Alaska when flying the world on these other great airlines.”

This is very good news for the program and its members. An actual, honest-to-goodness, enhancement from a loyalty program. It does happen.

More discussion on MilePoint as well.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

6 Comments

  1. This is good news I suppose, but I suspect that already limited upgrades will be further limited. Maybe that would matter more if Alaska has some sort of a premium transcon product or a better first class!

  2. They have to compete against Delta. This is the best way for them to do so by focusing on loyalty benefits. Why would you choose DL as a freq traveler if you can get the same benefits flying AS and every other airline?

  3. @ffi: This will be great in terms of gaining the benefits, but the net result will be an overall dilution of the specific elite benefits that benefit the passenger experience itself.

    Although I would rather earn Mileage Plan miles than SkyPesos, DL has a better product. It is great that we can get some of DL’s superior passenger experience while earning Alaska’s superior mileage currency, but I suspect that as this battle continues it won’t be long before that opportunity will be reduced or eliminated as far as DL is concerned.

  4. AS allowed you to earn EQM from other partners such as Emirates, Air France, and Aeromexico in the past, even if most passengers probably relied on American and Delta. I think the addition of British Airways and Cathay will be most helpful.

  5. BA is def a great option to earn AS miles.
    CX not so much, only Y H K earn 100%. Most of the booking classes earn 0%.

    is AS’s earn chart based on operating flight or market flight?

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