Alaska MVP members must be quite familiar with the loyalty program that is offered by Alaska Airlines MVP Elite status. It also has great benefits for frequent flyers. Maybe you want the free upgrades. Or you are in it for the bonus frequent flyer miles. Or, maybe you just covet those little ramekins of warm nuts. Whether you fly often or have already with Alaska Airlines or are considering switching loyalty from another airline, MVP elite status could be hugely rewarding. It can also be a great feeling of overwhelming.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at the benefits of Alaska MVP elite status program.
A Brief Overview of Alaska Airlines MVP Elite Status
Alaska Airlines introduced their Mileage Plan MVP loyalty program that offers awards to frequent flyers in the form of miles travelled. The MVP elite program is relatively very simple and only has three tiers. These are MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K. The lowest tier elite status is MVP, which gets you the ability to get upgraded to Premium or First Class, two free checked bags, and a 50% miles bonus.
The Mileage Plan program is also a bit of a throwback at this point since flyers continue to earn miles (both redeemable and elite-qualifying) based on distance flown and fare class purchased, rather than earning award miles based on the dollar amount of the airfare. Know Benefits of Alaska Airlines MVP Gold Status.
Alaska MVP Elite Status Earning Requirements
In order to take full advantage of Alaska’s MVP elite status program when travelling, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled.
- Eligible miles earned flying on Alaska Airlines should be at least 20,000 miles.
- Eligible miles earned flying on Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines should be at least 25,000 miles.
- At least 30 segments should be flown on Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines.
In short, the first level of elite status with Alaska Mileage Plan is simply called MVP. To get there, you must earn 25,000 elite-qualifying miles on Alaska and its airline partners (20,000 if flown entirely on Alaska) or complete 30 elite-qualifying segments.
Once you have achieved these requirements, you will become a member of the Alaska MVP elite status program and can enjoy many benefits.
Benefits of Alaska MVP Elite Status Program
There are a lot of nice benefits for MVP elite status members.
Here are the benefits:
50% Miles Bonus
Alaska Airlines MVP members earn 1.5 miles for each actual mile flown, which is a 50% bonus over members.
For example, MVP members would earn 7,425 Alaska miles on a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York, covering a distance of 4,950 miles.
Instant Upgrades on Booking
Alaska MVP members are eligible for space available for First Class upgrades at the time of booking, if you booked a Y, S, or Z fare class. MVP members are also eligible for space available for Premium Class upgrades at the time of booking, if you booked a Y, S, B, or Z fare class. Alaska’s Premium Class is an upgraded economy seat that offers four extra inches of legroom, early boarding, and complimentary alcoholic drinks. You can find the eligible fare classes easily when booking a flight. Just select your elite class level.
The following example shows that it is very expensive to book a fare class as eligible for upgrades when you are only an MVP member. The main cabin price is $110, but to book a flight eligible for an instant upgrade to First Class costs $774. (You could also book First Class directly for only $669).
However, the higher your Alaska status, the cheaper it is for an instant upgrade since more fare classes are eligible.
Complimentary Upgrades Within 48 Hours
You are still eligible for upgrades if you booked the cheaper ($110) flight as mentioned in the example above. However, you may have to wait until 48 hours before departure to see if there is available seats in Premium Class or First Class. You will be upgraded immediately if one is available. If not, you will remain on the waitlist until one is available.
Alaska MVP members will also be behind MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members in the upgrade priority list. Additionally, Saver (basic economy) tickets are not eligible for Premium Class or First Class upgrades.
Priority Check-In and Boarding
Not only Alaska MVP members, but all elite members of the loyalty program can enjoy priority check-in and boarding when you fly on Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines check-in and boarding policy.
Two Free Checked Bags
You can also enjoy the benefits of Alaska MVP elite status when travelling with a companion. You and your travel companions on the same reservation are each eligible for two free checked bags when travelling on Alaska Airlines. Cardholders of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines or Alaska Airlines Business credit card already get a free checked bag for up to six travel companions.
This is a nice benefit if you need to check multiple bags for your travel party.
Not only MVP, but all elite members are offered the option to select “preferred seats,” which are typically more desirable seats towards the front of the aircraft or aisle or window seats.
This benefit is not available if you booked a Saver (basic economy) ticket.
$50 Alaska Lounge Discount
Alaska MVP elite status members receive a yearly $50 discount when purchasing an Alaska Airlines lounge membership, which brings the cost down to $400 per year.
Dedicated Phone Line for Reservations and Customer Service
All elite members have access to a dedicated elite phone number, which provides shorter wait times than non-elite members calling Alaska Airlines.
You can also contact their customer service centre for assistance whenever you need one.
Elite Leave for New Parents
Alaska’s Elite Leave program allows new parents with reduced travel to keep their current elite status for the following year. For example, if you are MVP Gold and you have reduced travel due to a pregnancy or parental leave, you can keep your MVP Gold status next year, despite not completing the required number of miles flown to maintain the status.
However, there are a couple of steps that you need to go through for Elite Leave:
Step 1: Once you are back from parental leave, send an e-mail to authorities at Alaska Airlines at email@example.com. Your e-mail should include your:
- Full name
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Mileage Plan number
- Proof of pregnancy or parental leave (a note from your doctor or employer will do)
Step 2: Alaska Airlines will verify that you are eligible and extend your current status through the following year, so you can focus on your bundle of joy.
Alaska MVP Benefits Summary
Below is a summary of the benefits that all Alaska MVP elite status members can enjoy when flying with Alaska Airlines.
- 50% mileage bonus on base miles from flights on Alaska and elite-qualifying partners
- First-class and Premium Class upgrades starting 48 hours prior to departure
- Instant upgrades from full-fare tickets (Y, S or Z)
- Premium Class upgrades on some fares (Y, S, Z or B)
- Preferred seating
- Priority check-in and boarding on Alaska
- Priority phone line
- Alaska Lounge membership discount ($50)
- Dedicated phone line for reservations and customer service
- Elite leave for new parents
Alaska’s MVP elite status program is a great way to improve your flying experience. Even though the details of the program can feel overwhelming at first, however, when compared to many other domestic programs, it is actually fairly straightforward. The only thing you need to do in order to earn MVP status is fly as much as you can on Alaska Airlines and also on its partner airlines.