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Welcoming a new family member can be hectic as well as joyful, and worrying about keeping your Elite status can easily drop to the bottom of your priority list. Recognizing this, and the fact that you should not be penalized for welcoming a new family member into your life, Alaska Airlines has announced that new parents taking maternity or paternity leave will be able to extend their Elites status for one year.
How Does It Work?
The New Elite Leave program places your status on hold for a year. So, for example, if you hold MVP status for 2017, and take maternity leave that ends in 2018, your MVP status will still be valid until the end of 2019. The new program is open to MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members. The status extension program is not available to members who have been gifted status, or who have earned it through a status match. Regarding what qualifies as acceptable leave for the purpose of extending your status, paternity, maternity, and adoption leave are all included and can be used to extend your status.
How to Extend your Status?
To extend your status, you will need to contact Alaska directly via email. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Your Name
- Your date of birth
- Your Mileage Plan number
- Proof of pregnancy or parental leave
In terms of what qualifies as proof of pregnancy or paternal leave, a letter from your employer or a note from your physician will suffice. Once your information has been reviewed by Alaska and you qualify, you will have your status extended for another year.
This is a great step by Alaska, that will make the lives of new parents holding Elite status much easier, and is a nice gesture to help support new loyal customers. Alaska now joins a slew of other airlines that allow Elites to put their status on hold due to parental leave. Other carriers include Air Canada, Qantas, and British Airways to name but a few, hopefully in the long term more and more carriers will introduce similar programs for their Elites.
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