Status matches are a great way to ease the transition between airlines for frequent flyers. Whether you get fed up with your initial carrier of choice, or you make a switch for other reasons, most airline programs will court you by offering a status match. Some of these are temporary offers, and others are standing invitations, which is the case with Alaska Airlines status match offer.
I’m fairly new to the whole world of airline elite status, only earning my first in 2018. That year, through offers and partnerships and work travel, I was actually able to hold status with all three of the major U.S. carriers: American, Delta and United. Of these, Delta Platinum was the highest I made it, and I really enjoyed the perks. I’m dropping to a far plainer Silver this year.
But I managed to pull off one final move with my Delta status: an Alaska Airlines status match.
How to Request an Alaska Airlines Status Match
Alaska Airlines has a standing status match offer, and they will match your status from a variety of airline programs. These include essentially every U.S. airline, as well as Aeromexico and Air Canada, which I find surprising.
To submit an Alaska Airlines status match request, you need to visit their dedicated page. You’ll need to select your current airline and the status you have with that carrier. For each airline, they have three options (some include more than one status). Although it isn’t explicit, each of these map to the three levels of Alaska Airlines status: MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K.
As 2019 was coming to a close and I only had a bit of time left with Delta Platinum status, I wanted to make sure I submitted my status match now rather than later, as it would get me top-tier Alaska MVP Gold 75K status. With a 125% bonus on miles, ability for complimentary upgrades, and other perks, it’s an excellent status tier.
To finish submitting your Alaska Airlines status match request, you need to provide proof of status. This can be done by taking a screenshot of your current status level and name either on your phone app or the airline’s website. The screenshot must include the miles flown and your name. You can use either the current year or previous year’s status.
Keeping Alaska Airlines Status
Once matched, you will enjoy the status for three months. However, you have the option to keep the status by completing a challenge. The challenge details will help inform when you want to request an Alaska Airlines status match. Here are the challenge requirements by tier:
- MVP – Fly 5,000 miles
- MVP Gold – Fly 10,000 miles
- Gold 75K – Fly 20,000 miles
Miles must be flown within the 3-month period, and must be marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by Alaska, Horizon, or SkyWest airlines (both regional partners branded as Alaska).
Currently, if you request an Alaska Airlines status match between October 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 and meet the challenge requirements in the initial 3-month period, your status will be good through the end of 2020. If you request a match between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 and meet the requirements, you’ll keep your status through 2021.
On the low end, you only get six months of status. On the high end, you get nearly 18 months. Big difference, depending on when you request a status match and qualify to keep it.
Also keep in mind that the Alaska Airlines status match offer is officially once per lifetime. Anecdotally, Alaska has granted exceptions to this rule.
How Long Does a Status Match Request Take?
Officially, Alaska says to wait about 4 weeks for a status match to process. This was a bit nerve wracking, as I’d already booked a couple flights to help meet the challenge within the window (using the amazing BOGO sale). If my status wasn’t matched in time, I’d be hard pressed to meet the MVP Gold 75K challenge requirements.
However, Alaska processed my status match request within about 10 days. This was roughly what I’d hoped. I flew my first round-trip with them the following weekend, earning ~12,000 redeemable miles and 5,400 elite miles in the process (on a ticket that cost me $100.
The coolest part was how quickly the benefits were put to use. I booked this trip (using a $100 discount voucher) in Main Cabin, which meant a potential for upgrades. I ended up flying to Boston and back in first class. Score!
Over the course of a few more flights, I’ll meet the necessary 20,000 flown miles to hit MVP Gold 75K. In the process, I’ll also earn 45,000+ redeemable Alaska miles. The cost of this is actually spectacularly low, given Alaska sometimes prices cross-country flights in Saver at ~$200 or less during their best sales.
An Alaska Airlines status match is one of the easiest in the hobby. If you have high tier status with another airline and are considering making the switch, this is a nice way to ease yourself into Alaska’s elite program.