Alaska Eliminates Status Match, Introduces Status Match Challenge

by Chris Dong

Alaska Airlines has an awesome loyalty program that is still miles-based instead of revenue-based. With most frequent flyer programs now, the number of redeemable miles you earn is determined by how much you spent on your ticket, not how many miles you actually flew.

Alaska’s Mileage Plan bucks the trend — your butt-in-seat miles is the minimum number of miles you’d be earning.

While Alaska isn’t in a specific airline alliance, it has an incredibly diverse array of airline partners that are great for earning and redeeming Alaska miles, like on Cathay Pacific for example.

And up until September 30, 2019, it had a great status match program that could map you directly to Alaska’s top-tier MVP Gold 75k level. However, starting October 1, 2019, that all changes. Goodbye Alaska Status Match, hello Alaska Status Match Challenge

Alaska Status Levels

Alaska has three status elite tiers and here are the number of miles it normally takes to qualify.

  • MVP
  • MVP Gold
  • MVP Gold 75K

Here is a link to the benefits of each status tier.

Alaska Airlines Partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Icelandair
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Ravn Alaska
  • American Airlines
  • Condor
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • PenAir
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Qantas

The End Of Alaska Status Match 

Alaska Airlines had a fantastic status match program that would directly map your status with one airline to Alaska’s own equivalent status level. The Alaska status match could only be done once per lifetime of the account.

For example, a top-tier American Airlines Executive Platinum could be status matched to Alaska’s top-tier MVP Gold 75k, a mid-tier American Airlines Platinum could match to Alaska’s MVP Gold, etc.

There are quite a few eligible North American airlines, even low-cost carrier Frontier is included. All you had to do was go to the link, include your frequent flyer information and proof, and Alaska would process your request.

alaska status match challenge

Here was the old language for Alaska’s Status Match up until September 30, 2019.

alaska status match challenge

The Start Of Alaska Status Match Challenge

Oh, how one word can make all the difference. Starting today, Alaska is introducing the Alaska Status Match Challenge that is replacing the previous direct status match.

The additional requirement is that now, not only do you have to show proof of status with another airline to be granted the equivalent status with Alaska, you also have to fly a certain amount with Alaska. 

Here is how it works.

Alaska will grant you temporary status for a three-month period after matching you over from another airline. In order to keep your status after the initial three-month period, you’ll need to fly on flights marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon or SkyWest during that initial three-month period.

Here is the updated language on Alaska’s dedicated status match landing page.

How Many Miles Do You Have To Fly To Keep Alaska Status? 

The Alaska Status Match Challenge requires you to fly a certain amount during that three month period. Eligible flights to retain status are on Alaska, Horizon, or SkyWest marketed and operated flights only.

  • To keep MVP status, you must fly 5,000 miles
  • To keep MVP Gold status, you must fly 10,000 miles
  • To keep MVP Gold 75K status, you must fly 20,000 miles

When Should I Partake In The Alaska Status Match Challenge?

Like the previous status match, the status match challenge is also only once per lifetime of the Alaska account so choose when you want to do it wisely. However, now is a great time to take part. Why?

That’s because if your status is matched starting October 1, 2019 and the flight requirement is met during the initial three-month period, you will keep your status through the end of 2020.

The Upshot

The biggest downside to the Alaska Status Match Challenge is that you must fly on Alaska marketed and operated flights — partner airlines do not count. It’s now harder than before to earn Alaska status through a status match, but thankfully, Mileage Plan still remains a great option to credit and redeem for many flights. To get started on the status match challenge, click here.

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