Airline status match programs are nothing new, but these programs are not offered by every frequent flyer program and certainly not all the time. Status match is worth pursuing, because it lets you avoid the steep hurdles to airline elite status by matching your status from another airline program after you fulfill a much easier requirement.
One status match program to check out is from the Alaska Mileage Plan program. Eligible applicants can enjoy its benefits for a full 90-day qualification period whether they qualify or not. This means you can sample perks like free seat upgrades and checked bags just by applying and verifying your status with another program.
Alaska Mileage Plan status match: How it works
You can sign up for the status match program on the Alaska website, at which point you'll need to prove your elite status with another airline. In order to keep your status beyond the initial 90-day trial period, you'll need to fly a specific number of Alaska Airlines flights during the 90 days depending on the level of status:
- MVP status — fly 5,000 miles on Alaska
- MVP Gold status — fly 10,000 miles on Alaska
- MVP Gold 75K status — fly 20,000 miles on Alaska
If you fail to meet the requirements, you'll lose your temporary benefits. If you do meet the requirements set by Alaska, however you can extend your status through:
- The end of the year, if you begin your status match in June
- Through the end of next year, if you start your status match between July and September
Special incentive for California residents
Normally it would be best to begin your status match with Alaska Airlines in July, which could give you elite status benefits for up to 18 months. However, Alaska is giving California residents an incentive to apply now: For a limited time through March 20, 2023, Californians who are working toward matching MVP Gold 75K status can earn an Alaska Lounge membership during the 90-day qualification period. This is a valuable perk, since a day pass into Alaska lounges normally costs $60, while a standard membership starts at $400 for elite members and $500 for non-elites.
Of course, elite members with Alaska MVP Gold, Gold 75K and Gold 100K who maintain their status always get access to Alaska lounges when they travel on a oneworld® member airline to a destination outside of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. However, this status level is not available through Alaska's status match, so California residents are best off taking advantage of Alaska's special offer if they want to gain lounge access.
Other ways to get elite status with Alaska
While Alaska Airlines credit cards offer important benefits like the chance to earn Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare, priority boarding and miles on all your spending, these cards don't offer a leg up to elite status like some other airline credit cards do. If you want to earn elite status with the airline directly and not through its status match program, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way by actually flying.
To qualify for Alaska Mileage Plan elite status tiers, you'll have to earn a minimum number of elite qualifying miles or reach a threshold of eligible segments. In the meantime, you'll also have to fly a minimum number of flights that are marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines.
MVP Gold 75K
MVP Gold 100K
|Eligible miles earned on Alaska Airlines, oneworld Alliance and our global partners||20,000||40,000||75,000||100,000|
|Eligible segments flown on Alaska Airlines, oneworld Alliance and our global partners||30||60||90||140|
|Minimum number of flights taken that are marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines||2||6||12||24|
While flying with the airline to earn status requires some work on your part, you can enjoy elite benefits when you fly with Alaska and partner airlines like American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Notable perks include free upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, free checked bags and more, which can make the airport and flight experience much more comfortable and convenient.