Alaska Extends Elite Status, Adds Challenge to Make Status Easier to Earn in 2022 Alaska Extends Elite Status, Adds Challenge to Make Status Easier to Earn in 2022

Alaska Extends Elite Status, Adds Challenge to Make Status Easier to Earn in 2022

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Big news out of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: there's a status extension plus a challenge in 2022 that makes it easier to retain your status for next year. You're getting an extra four months of status for free, plus reduced requirements to maintain your status level for the 2022 earning year. Let's look at the happy news for Mileage Plan elites.

Alaska Airlines Status Extension for 2022

A lot has happened during the pandemic. Numerous airlines have paused points expiration. Delta and United (among others) extended elite status for another year. While Alaska hasn't gone quite that far, it's giving travelers an extra 4 months.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan status typically expires on December 31 each year. If you haven't requalified, then your status ends with the calendar year. However, Alaska has announced a status extension through April 30, 2022 for all elite members.

That's an extra four months of status for all members with Mileage Plan status of any level. There's nothing you need to do for this status extension; Alaska will update your profile by the end of 2021. You should see your status expiry date as April 30, 2022 without needing to lift a finger.

Alaska is extending elite status, making it easier to re-earn in 2022
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER photographed May 2016 by Chad Slattery.

Alaska Airlines Status Challenge for 2022

On top of the status extension, Alaska Airlines is making it easier to requalify for status in 2022. However, this offer only applies to current elites. And it only applies to your current status level. With this status challenge, you cannot go up to a higher status level — just retain your current status.

If you earn the following amounts of base miles between January 1 and April 30, 2022, you will retain your 2021 status through the end of 2022:

  • MVP members: 5,000 miles
  • MVP Gold members: 10,000 miles
  • MVP Gold 75K members: 20,000 miles

Alaska Airlines is calling this opportunity “Fast Track”, and you can find the details here.

Key Terms

  • This offer is valid only for Mileage Plan members who had MVP, MVP Gold, or MVP Gold 75K status on January 1, 2021 and didn't requalify for that same status during 2021.
  • Award travel and bonus miles do not earn base miles to qualify for this promotion.
  • At least 2 segments must be flown on flights operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines.
  • Members who receive MVP Gold 75K status as part of this offer are not eligible for the 50,000 bonus miles associated with qualifying for MVP Gold 75K status.

Comparison to Typical Requirements

For comparison, here is what you would need to earn for these status levels in a typical year:

  • MVP members: minimum of 2 flights on Alaska, plus either 20,000 base miles or 30 segments
  • MVP Gold members: minimum of 4 flights on Alaska (going up to 6 in 2022), plus either 40,000 base miles or 60 segments
  • MVP Gold 75K members: minimum of 6 flights on Alaska (going up to 12 in 2022), plus either 75,000 base miles or 90 segments

New in 2022: MVP Gold 100K requires 24 flights on Alaska, plus either 100,000 base miles or 140 segments. But, since no one had this status on January 1, 2021, no one is eligible to fast-track to this status.

The fast track requirements represent roughly 25% of what you normally need. While that looks great, note that you only get 1/3 of the year to accomplish it. However, 1/4 of the requirements in 1/3 of the time is, in terms of “pacing”, a more relaxed requirement. It depends on your travel style and travel plans, obviously.

Alaska Airlines is a member of Oneworld but also maintains partners beyond this alliance. You can read all about Alaska Airlines' partners here. As you'll see, mileage and status earning opportunities exist beyond simply flying with Alaska Airlines.

Our Take

It's nice to see that Alaska is extending elite status into the first four months of 2022. Alaska could match what some other airlines and hotels are doing by extending a year… but free is free.

Mileage Plan status will also be easier to maintain in 2022 for those who have status currently and can take advantage of the fast track. Just be sure to note the shortened timeframe in which to complete these requirements.

Do you have status with Mileage Plan? Are you planning to pursue the elite status fast track in 2022?

5 / 5 - (5 votes)
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