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Each year, many travelers aim to achieve elite status with an airline. However, many programs offer an even more prestigious level to aspire to: lifetime elite status. This coveted status is reserved for the most dedicated frequent flyers. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one loyalty program that offers this valuable benefit.
This week, Alaska Airlines made some exciting changes to its lifetime elite status program. These changes are great news for those who attain lifetime elite status with the airline.
These changes significantly enhance Alaska Airlines' lifetime elite status with new benefits for members. Here are the highlights of these program improvements and how you can earn Alaska Airlines' lifetime elite status in the first place.
How to Earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Lifetime Elite Status
For those unfamiliar with Alaska's million miler program, this is a tier earned by its most frequent of frequent flyers. But, if you're interested in pursuing Mileage Plan lifetime elite status, you need to keep one very crucial aspect in mind. Both one- and two-million-miler status is earned exclusively through flights on Alaska Airlines.
To clarify, you can't obtain these coveted statuses other than through base miles earned from flights on Alaska Airlines. Flights on partner airlines and bonus miles earned as an elite member do not count toward million miler status.
Before the recent round of program improvements, the main benefits of Mileage Plan lifetime elite status were:
- Travelers that achieved one million mile status received lifetime MVP Gold status
- Travelers that achieved two million mile status received lifetime MVP Gold 75K status
Both MVP Gold and Gold 75K statuses alone are phenomenal. In short, both tiers offer members numerous benefits, including first-class upgrades. And after another recent change, Alaska Airlines elites now get upgrades on basic economy tickets.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Lifetime Elite Status Improvements
Thanks to the recent program improvements, one- and two-million-mile flyers will receive additional benefits. Here are the highlights:
Annual Status Boost
To motivate travelers to work towards the next elite status tier, one and two-million-mile flyers will start the year already well on their way to reaching the next tier.
- One million mile members will start with 20,000 elite qualifying miles
- Two million mile members will start with 40,000 elite qualifying miles
With the annual status boost, members with 1 million mile status will only need to earn 55,000 (vs. 75,000) elite qualifying miles to reach MVP Gold 75K status. Two million mile flyers will only need to earn 60,000 (vs. 100,000) elite qualifying miles to reach MVP Gold 100K status — the airline’s highest elite tier.
Share Your Status Within Your Household
Alaska Airlines million mile members can now share their elite status with someone in their household. Members can share either their lifetime or annual status with someone in their household, whichever is greater.
One and two million milers will also enjoy priority on upgrade lists. For example, Alaska Airlines will still prioritize one million mile members with MVP Gold status over other non-million-mile members with the same status. One caveat here is that passengers who book into higher fare classes will still receive priority over one- and two-million-mile flyers.
Increased Loyalty Recognition
Travelers with one and two million miler status will also receive more recognition for achieving those milestones. Call center agents and flight attendants will now be able to see which travelers hold lifetime status. In turn, they will be able to recognize these travelers both on the phone and in-flight.
The Bottom Line
Alaska Airlines has now introduced significant improvements to its lifetime elite status program. Lifetime elite status — which is reserved for the most dedicated frequent flyers — already offered remarkable benefits to members. Now, recent changes mean added benefits for Mileage Plan members who have achieved one and two million miler status.
These program enhancements include an annual status boost, status sharing with someone within your household, and additional status recognition, both on the ground and in-flight.
What do you make of Alaska Airlines' improvements to its lifetime elite status tiers? Do you hold lifetime elite status with any loyalty programs?
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