For those that don’t know, Alaska is not just “Alaska”. It flies all throughout the U.S on both coasts, with direct flights to many top destinations.
I just successfully status matched my British Airways Executive Club Gold status to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K, their highest regularly available status. This meant more to me than I initially realized when the packaging came through, because looking even closer the benefits are even more lucrative than first thought. They’re a unique airline with arguably the most rewarding program. Alaska will be the place I earn and burn a lot of my miles. Here’s why…
You Can Earn Alaska Miles Flying On Alaska AND Amazing Partners At Great Rates…
Alaska has brilliantly cultivated partnerships for earning and redeeming miles with many of the top carriers. Some would argue their partners form the best alliance, even though Alaska Airlines is not an official alliance in itself. You can earn Alaska miles for flights on JAL, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Delta, American, Hainan, KLM, Air France, Aeromexico, Virgin America, Icelandair and Korean. You can even use your Alaska miles on any of these partners too! Best of all, sometimes you’ll earn more airlines when crediting to Alaska than the airline you’re actually flying!
You Can Redeem Alaska Miles At Amazing RATES On Alaska And Partners…
One of the few points currencies I ever suggest to buy when on sale (which it currently is) is Alaska Mileage Plan miles. The Mileage Plan program offers fantastic rates for “free” flights on top airlines like Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and many more, without any frustrating surcharges. I’ve written extensively about the best ways to use Alaska miles, and they are numerous, starting at just 5,000 miles one way.
The Elite Benefits Are Extensive, And Unique…
As part of my match to MVP Gold 75K, I’ll receive quite a few things I find really neat, many of which are genuinely unique. They’re a sign of an investment in loyalty, and these days that goes a LONG way. I receive…
(4) One way upgrade certificates- I can give these to anyone. Anyone can make a booking, I don’t need to travel with them, and I can just give them a voucher code and they instantly upgrade to First Class. I do however definitely plan to use these, before you ask….
Unlimited Complimentary upgrades, even on tickets using miles- Most airlines draw you in with the chance of an upgrade when you’re a paying customer, but forget about loyalty when you finally cash in miles. Not Alaska. You’re eligible for an upgrade on tickets using miles, and as a 75K, you have a very good chance of getting one!
(4) Alaska Lounge passes– This is a nice touch. There are so many ways to get into lounges, but four passes may really come in handy at certain times or airports. They even offer a discount if I want to become a member.
No Change Or cancellation fees on ANY ticket– This is just crazy, but true. There are no change fees or penalties on any cash or mileage ticket for MVP Gold 75K. This even applies to bookings through Alaska for travel on airline partners. No cancellation fees! Amazing!
125% Miles Earning, Even On Partner Airlines, Not Even Including Cabin BONUS!- MVP Gold 75K earn a 125% bonus (1.25 extra miles for every mile) even on partners. So theoretically, if you took a British Airways flight in economy that was 4000 miles, where you’d earn a fraction of a mile with British Airways, you’d earn 9,000 miles in stead. That is lucrative. If you booked an expensive ticket, you could earn up to 430% miles.
50,000 Mlles for reaching MVP Gold75K- I don’t actually receive this, since I status matched, but my goodness, what a great reward for reaching status. This is enough miles to travel one way in business class on a very long haul flight with a top international partner. Very generous.
Complimentary Alcoholic Beverage On All Flights (Even In economy)- Isn’t it nice when someone buys you a drink? Each MVP 75K gets a complimentary alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage on every flight, even when they’re just sitting in coach on a cheap ticket.
Priority Check In, Boarding + other perks On American, Delta, Virgin America- On these three airlines you’re still a VIP! You get two free checked bags on any American Airlines flight, preferred seating on all three and priority boarding, check in with the others too. It creates that “alliance feel” to the benefits.
Complimentary Entertainment Tablet On 3.5 Hour + Flights- This is just thoughtful. I can’t think of another airline who offers free entertainment to their top elites, but Alaska does. On flights over 3.5 hours cabin crew will hand out in flight entertainment tablets loaded with all content for free.
Their Website And Call Center Is VERY Easy To Navigate. THE Virgin America Merger May Make Things Better.
Being able to book tickets using miles or cash with ease, use upgrade certificates or search for partner earning charts is essential to traveler happiness. I find that Alaska’s site makes finding the things I want and need very easy. Alaska’s phone reps are literally regarded around the airline community as the very best and absolute most helpful. This is huge. The merger of Virgin America and Alaska brought some exciting new routes and opportunity to the brand. Not only will there be more flights on which you can redeem miles and experience travel benefits, but they also may carry through some exciting airline partners into the new merger.