Alaska Airlines’ MVP Gold status earning program offers a fine upgrade in benefits from the lower MVP level. After successfully qualifying for this program, you will get much better upgrade benefits along with a better discount on lounge access among other benefits.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at the benefits of the Alaska MVP Gold status-earning program.
A Brief Overview of Alaska MVP Gold Status
Alaska Airlines offers a Mileage Plan program, where passengers can earn points in the form of miles traveled. Alaska MVP Gold is the mid-level elite status that is offered by Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
Requirements for Obtaining Alaska MVP Gold Status
You can obtain Alaska MVP Gold status by flying at least 40,000 miles on Alaska or 50,000 miles on partners, or by flying 60 qualifying segments. Here is a breakdown of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite status levels:
(a) Alaska MVP
- Passengers must travel at least 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines flights.
- Passengers must travel at least 25,000 partner miles.
- Passengers must fly at least 30 segments to qualify.
(b) Alaska MVP Gold
- Passengers must travel at least 40,000 miles on Alaska Airlines flights.
- Passengers must travel at least 50,000 partner miles.
- Passengers must fly at least 60 segments to qualify.
(c) Alaska MVP Gold 75K
- Passengers must travel at least 75,000 miles on Alaska Airlines flights.
- Passengers must travel at least 90,000 partner miles.
- Passengers must fly at least 90 segments to qualify.
A major benefit is that members who fly 1,000,000 miles on Alaska Airlines are granted MVP Gold status for life.
On Alaska Airlines, you earn one mile per mile flown. Those are your base points but on many flights you can also earn bonus points. For example, if you are flying in main economy in Y or S, you will earn an additional 50% bonus on your miles.
So, in order to earn qualifying miles, flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines, or marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by other airlines. Also, flight numbers must be in the range of eligible flight numbers.
Below are the qualifying partners and range of flight numbers:
- Flight Numbers range 1-1999 (marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines)
- Flight Numbers range from 2000-2999 (operated by Horizon Air)
- Flight Numbers range from 3300-3499 (operated by SkyWest)
- Flight Numbers range from 4000-4799, 6000-6999, and 8001 – 8100 (operated by American Airlines)
- Flight Numbers range from 5000-5499 (operated by Qantas)
However, keep in mind that traveling on regional partners, such as PenAir and Ravn does not count toward elite status qualification. Also, flights that are shorter than 500 miles will always earn a minimum of 500 miles.
Earning Alaska MVP Gold Status through Status Match
You can also earn Alaska MVP Gold status through a status match.
Listed below are the different elite levels that you can match to MVP Gold status:
- Aeromexico Platinum
- Air Canada Altitude 50K
- American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum
- Delta Gold Medallion
- Frontier Elite 50K
- Hawaiian Pualani Platinum
- Southwest A-List Preferred
- United Premier Gold
Now, in order to qualify for a status match, you are required to show proof that you earned elite status through the published requirements and not through alternative means, such as through a promotion etc.
You can also process the status match by visiting the online status match page and submitting a screenshot of your online account with your name, status and your miles flown. You will also need to provide your Mileage Plan number.
If your status match is approved, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and your new status will be good for 90 days. You can keep your status match by flying 10,000 miles during those 90 days. For instance, if you start your status match by the end of June, you will keep your status through the end of the calendar year. But, if you start your status match between July and December, then you will keep the status through the end of next year. Another important thing to consider is that a member may only receive one status match for the lifetime of their account.
Alaska MVP Gold Benefits
Here are the benefits of Alaska MVP Gold status.
- 100% bonus on base miles
- Priority check-in, security, and boarding
- Two free checked bags
- Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
- Access to preferred seating
- Standby and waitlist for full flights
- First Class upgrades (companion as well)
- Four guest first class upgrades
- Premium Class upgrades (companion as well)
- Premium beverage for free when flying economy
- Free same-day flight changes
- Waived ticket change fees
- Dedicated phone lines
- Elite Leave for new parents
These benefits are explained in the following.
100% Bonus on Base Miles
As an MVP Gold member, you will receive a 100% bonus on base miles. Let’s take an example here. If you fly 1,000 miles you will earn 1,000 base miles plus 1,000 bonus miles. Keep in mind that bonus flight miles do not count towards the future elite status qualification.
If you want to earn even more Alaska miles, you can earn 3X Alaska miles on all your Alaska purchases with the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card.
Priority Check-in, Security and Boarding
You can save time by availing benefits like priority check-in, security lines and also, be among the first to board your flight with priority boarding. As an MVP Gold member, you will get to board with “Group A”, which boards just after first class.
The Alaska Airlines boarding order is listed as follows:
- Pre-boarding (Military, disabilities, unaccompanied minors, etc.)
- First class
- Group A (MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K)
- Group B (MVP members and guests in Premium Class seats)
- Group C (Main cabin in the back)
- Group D (Main cabin in the front)
- Group E (Saver)
Two Free Checked Bags
As you would expect from a mid-level elite status, you will get two free checked bags. Checked baggage would normally cost you around $30 for your first bag and $40 for your second bag. Thus, you have some nice savings potential here, especially because you can also get free checked bags for companions on the same reservation.
Discounted Alaska Lounge Membership
The annual price for an Alaska Lounge membership is $450. But, as an MVP Gold member, you can get a $100 discount on the membership.
The discounts for elite members are listed as under:
- MVP: Price is $400 and discount is $50.
- MVP Gold: Price is $350 and discount is $100.
- MVP Gold 75K: Price is $300 and discount is $150.
First Class Upgrades
With Alaska MVP Gold status, you will be eligible for First Class upgrades at the time of booking. You can obtain instant upgrades benefit by booking the following fares: Y, S, B, M or Z. These are some of the more expensive fares that do not require you to pay a cancellation fee if you need to make changes. The order of fare class for MVP Gold is H, Q, L, V, N, K, G, T, R, W.
It is easy to find eligible fares for instant upgrades. When you are at the main booking page on the airline’s website, simply look for the drop-down menu on the right-hand side under “Upgrade type”. Click on it and select your elite status, which in this case would be MVP Gold, and you will be able to see the available fares for instant upgrades.
If you purchase a fare that does not qualify for instant upgrades the process works differently. In such a case, you will be placed in a queue until your upgrade window begins. For MVP Gold members, your upgrade window will not open until 72 hours prior to departure. At that point, the upgrades will clear in the order of fare class booked. If there are no upgrades available for your flight, you will be placed on the upgrade waitlist in order of fare class booked.
Once your upgrade window opens, if there is an upgrade available on your flight you will be upgraded immediately. However, if there are currently no upgrades available, you will simply remain on the waitlist.
When check-in begins, the waitlist is available to view either via the mobile app, at the gate’s information display or on Alaska’s website https://www.alaskaair.com. The waitlist will only display those passengers who have already checked in. So, if you checked in before other passengers who were above you on the waitlist, then it is possible that when they check-in, you will be moved down on the list.
Alaska Airlines will continue to look for available upgrades and process them until about one hour prior to departure. Saver fares (booked in X class of service) are not eligible for elite upgrades.
Companion Upgrades to First Class
As an MVP Gold member, you will be able to upgrade one companion that is traveling with you on the same flight, on the same reservation, and in the same class.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is that if your reservation includes more than one companion, it will not be eligible for a complimentary upgrade.
Up to Four One-way First Class Guest Upgrades
A benefit of obtaining Alaska MVP Gold status is that you will be issued up to four first-class guest upgrades. These are electronic codes that you can use to upgrade friends or family members who are not travelling with you, or for your own use when you don’t purchase an instant qualifying fare.
After you have reached the Gold status, your upgrade codes should be automatically deposited into your account profile. In order to use these upgrades, you need to make your reservation online and select the link next to your confirmation code that says “MVP Gold guest upgrade”. If your flight is eligible, you should be able to enter the upgrade code.
You must also ensure to select the “MVP Gold guest upgrade” option from the “Upgrade type” filter when searching for flights. After that you should be able to select the “I want to apply an MVP Gold guest upgrade code to one or more of my flights” option during booking.
Premium Class Upgrades
Alaska Airlines’ Premium class seating will get you a little bit of extra legroom (about 4 inches), complimentary drinks (where beverage service is normally served) and priority boarding. These are seats in the front row (bulkhead) of the main cabin section and also in the emergency exit rows.
You can get instantly upgraded to a premium class ticket if you purchase one of the following fares: Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z. These fares can be found the same way that the first class upgrade fairs can be found. If you book an eligible fare for a premium class upgrade, but there are no upgrades available, then you will be put on a waitlist.
Both Alaska MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K status members receive upgrades for two passengers, including themselves, plus one companion. If you purchased an eligible discounted fare that does not qualify for an immediate upgrade, you will be placed on the upgrade waitlist at the upgrade window which is 72 hours for MVP Gold status. Upgrades will then be processed by fare class and by order of purchase. The order of the fare class processing is: G, T, R, or W fares. Saver fares (booked in X class of service) are not eligible for complimentary upgrades.
When premium class is not available, you may just be offered a seat with more legroom. Seats with more legroom are complimentary for Alaska Mileage Plan elite members.
Companion Upgrades to Premium Class
Similar to Alaska’s first class upgrades, you will get an upgrade eligible for one companion. However, if you are flying with more than one companion, you will not be eligible for the upgrades.
Complimentary Premium Beverage in Main Cabin
As an MVP Gold member, you will be given complimentary premium beverage when flying in economy class. Beverages may cost anywhere from $7 to $16, so that is about what your savings will be per flight. Keep in mind though that this benefit is only for your first beverage.
Complimentary Same Day Flight Changes
As an MVP Gold member, you will receive free same day flight changes. Normally, these same-day flight changes would cost you around $50. So, it is a great way to save on these fees.
Waived Ticket Change Fees
As an MVP Gold member, you can get ticket change fees waived as well. Normally, these change and cancellation fees would cost you around $125 per change. So, this is yet another great opportunity for increasing your travel savings.
Thus, from the above, we can see that Alaska MVP Gold status offered by Alaska Airlines has some great benefits. Also, it is a lot easier to get upgrades and you can use upgrade codes for yourself or others each year, which really adds to the benefits.