The Alaska Airlines Status Match
One of the keys to success in this space is learning how to utilize different promotions to get ahead. Once you have been around awhile things tend to fit together like a puzzle.
Last year I wrote about my $420 flight to Asuncion, Paraguay and how it earned me American Airlines Platinum status since I was able to register for a special promotion.
For that flight I ended up earning almost 25,000 redeemable miles & the Platinum status. This year I have used American Airlines Platinum status often to get free Main Cabin Extra seats and to waive the close-in booking fee on award tickets. It has paid off.
Elite Status Running Out
Unfortunately I am not too much into paying for flights, so I faced a dilemma. My Platinum status runs out in February and while I will qualify for Gold due to a few other tricks, most of my benefits will run out.
Fortunately I have found a way to parlay my American Airlines Platinum status into something that works for me. Alaska Airlines has a status match program where they will match status for a year up to their mid-tier MVP Gold.
The Status Match
Alaska Airlines matches elite status of the following airlines: AeroMexico, Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Southwest, United, US Airways, and Virgin America.
In general if you have mid or top-tier status with one of those airlines then they will match you up to their MVP Gold. If you have lower level elite status they will give you their entry level MVP status.
The Alaska Airlines status match is a fairly straightforward process. To be considered for a match you must send an email to email@example.com. The email must contain scans of the front and back of your elite card, a current elite statement showing your status and a copy of your id. Here is the actual language from their email.
To submit your request for a Tier Match, send a copy of both sides of your current elite card,
an e-Statement showing current status and your drivers license. If your
original email did not include all of these documents, please resubmit with all
three attached. Allow 2-4 weeks for processing once we have received your
Other Details of the Alaska Airlines Status Match
In the past you would need to wait until November 1st to apply for the status match in order for it to count for the next calendar year. This year that has changed. As of now, they are extending status until the end of 2015 if your match is accepted.
The email states that it can take 2-4 weeks for a status match to be processed. In my case, it took 7 days. I sent the request on October 3 and received the acceptance email on October 10.
What Is MVP Gold
MVP Gold is actually quite lucrative for a mid-tier status. It comes with complimentary upgrades 72 hours out on Alaska flights and free ticket change/cancellation on both award & revenue tickets. That is huge!
In addition, Alaska is a partner with Delta & American. MVP Gold earns you Priority Access on American along with free Main Cabin Extra seating. On Delta you get a number of benefits including complimentary upgrades, although you are at the bottom of the priority list. You can see the full list of benefits here.
If you currently have elite status that is running out, the Alaska status match may be a good avenue. In my case it is a way to keep most of the benefits of my American Airlines Platinum status going.
Whether the Alaska Airlines status match works for you or not, being aware of the different status match programs which are available is one way to get ahead in this game. You never know when a promotion like the one I registered for last year can be turned into years of elite status!