Alaska Airlines Changes How Elite Status Will Be Earned In 2021

Alaska Airlines has changed how elite status will be earned in 2021. Alaska used to require more miles flown if you include miles on partner airlines than if you’re using miles flown exclusively on Alaska. That’s gone.

Starting in 2021, Alaska and partner flights will count the same towards elite status, and the lower “Alaska-only” status requirements apply.

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Miles or 20,000 40,000 75,000
Segments 30 60 90
Minimum 2 4 6
Alaska Segments

There’s no reduction in status requirements for 2021, except that with partner airlines counting the same as Alaska flights status will be easier to earn – especially with Alaska’s American Airlines partnership, and membership in oneworld launching at the end of March.

And Alaska Airlines still has no minimum spending requirement for elite status, which seemed out of step with the industry (but working uniquely well for Alaska) before the pandemic – and now makes more sense than ever with business travel near-zero and fares at uniquely low levels.

One thing Alaska has done, however, is to require a minimum number of segments flown on Alaska to earn Alaska status. You cannot, for instance, just credit American Airlines flights to Alaska and earn Alaska status without ever flying Alaska.

Crediting American flights to Alaska can make a lot of sense, especially with access to reciprocal upgrades and extra legroom seats for each airline’s elite members, and with Alasks’s status potentially easier to earn and miles that are currently worth more – although before the pandemic I expected the American Airlines partnership to mean a devaluation of Mileage Plan miles, though there are now headwinds against this.

(HT: Zach Griff)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — Sweet!! I love QR J paid tickets more every day. Now, if they would just restore lounge access in DOH…

  2. I have been gold for several years and always try to avoid flying other airlines because they don’t recognize your frequent flyer status. Will American be doing that now?

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