Delta and United announced that their elite status would be extended through the end of next year. Air Canada followed on Monday. Now Alaska Airlines has announced their own extension of elite status, along with companion certificates, and shared other things to expect for elite members in the weeks ahead.
- Current status will be extended: Members with status in 2020 will have that status last through the end of 2021.
- Trial status from elite challenges is being extended, too: Anyone who enrolled in an elite status challenge from December 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020 will have their trial elite status extended through the end of 2021. Wow.
- Credit card companion certificates will be extended: any companion certificates expiring in 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2020, allowing travel to be ticketed through November 26, 2021.
- There will be bonus mile opportunities for top elites: Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K members usually earn 50,000 bonus miles on achieving that tier. Having their 75K status extended won’t come with 50,000 additional bonus miles, but there will be information “in a few weeks” on “how 75K members can earn additional bonus miles for travel this year.”
- There will be additional qualifying mile opportunities. Alaska doesn’t plan to reduce their qualifying thresholds, as United did. Instead they plan to offer “ways you can earn additional elite-qualifying miles this year.” It’s not clear whether those will be ‘double qualifying miles promotions’ (as they did already early in the crisis) or whether there will be qualifying mile opportunities for things other than flying (as Air Canada is offering).
Unfortunately Alaska still hasn’t done anything to stop expiring miles, leaving them fairly close to alone in the market in that regard.
Nonetheless they’re leaving American AAdvantage as the major U.S. program to not yet speak to member elite status going forward.
Update: I failed to mention above but elite qualifying miles that have been earned January 1 – April 30, 2020 will roll over and count towards earning status next year.