Mileage Plan is Alaska Airline’s loyalty program. Although it is often regarded as a major carrier, Alaska Airlines, headquartered in Seattle, is not a part of the three major airline alliances. However, they have mutual agreements with other airlines and members of other airline alliances including OneWorld and SkyTeam members British Airways, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air France and LAN airlines among others. Because it is not a member of a global airlines alliance, Alaska Airline’s Mileage Plan frequent flyer program offers frequent flyers an opportunity to earn points and redeem them for miles as well as receive other great benefits and perks from different airlines and airline alliances.
A look at Mileage Plan
Horizon Air is Alaska Air’s sister carrier and is integrated into its operations. These two airlines share a number of routes and rewards program. This means no matter which airline you are flying with, the benefits, perks and reward points will be exactly the same. Even on routes that Alaska Airlines do not ply, loyal customers will still get to accumulate their points when they fly on sister airlines. However, it gets complicated way ahead as the airline partners with several airlines, the most notable being American Airlines and Delta in the US.
Customers can redeem their mileage points on Alaska Airlines or partner airlines only. It is complicated in that customers cannot mix and match the partners’ award tickets. For instance, when you fly to a destination on Delta and you can only return with a different airline, even if it is a partner airline, you cannot purchase the return ticket using your Mileage Points.
Every mile you fly on Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air or partner airlines earns you one point on the Mileage plan. Unlike most other reward programs, the loyalty rewards program offers a minimum of 500 miles points even on short flights, so if you are travelling 200 miles then you would get points for 500 miles for this flight. Here is how the Mileage plan points are awarded:
- First class fare earns 1.5 points per mile.
- Full Flex Y class fare earns 1.25 miles per mile. Since Fuel Flex Y Class is fully refundable, there is no change in ticket fees for preferred seating and priority boarding.
- You can buy additional points from Alaska Airlines at $27.50 for 1,000points (that’s $0.0275 per mile, twice the intrinsic value of the miles).
- Up to 30,000 points earned can be transferred to another user at the rate of $10 for every 1,000 miles and an additional processing fee of $25.
When you have earned sufficient mileage points, you can redeem them directly from Alaska Airlines or on a partner airline such as American Airlines and Delta. Most partner airlines will insist on points being redeemed over the phone, a process that attracts $15 processing fee. Elite and MVP Gold and above are exempted from the $25 phone fee but they have to pay the $25 fee to the partner airline. The good thing is that the Mileage points do not expire as long as they are earned or redeemed at least once every 2 years (24 months). Accounts that remain inactive for over 2 years may be closed and miles in them forfeited. However, for a fee of $75, you can reinstate your account and points within a year of the account closure.
Elite-Level Tiers of the Mileage Plan
The Mileage Plan program has three tiers: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75k.
a) MVP Tier
To get an MVP Tier, you need to have flown 20,000 miles or 30 segments on Alaska Airlines or on a select airline partner within a year. These partners include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, LAN, KLM Air France and Emirates. This tier offers complementary upgrades on Full Flex fares in Y or YAS, Value Fares booked in S or B or 48 hours before departure on other fares. It also offers a complementary upgrade on Deltra Airlines within he US, priority boarding on a number of airlines and first bag free on Delta Airlines or two bags for Alaska Airlines.
b) MVP Gold Tier
You need 40,000 miles or 60 segments on one airline (Alaska or partners) to have this MVP status. You will receive all the perks of MVP plus: unlimited ability to upgrade 1 companion to first class when travelling with them, first class check-in benefits on Delta and Alaska Airlines, express security lines, a complementary premium beverage of your choice and double bonus flight miles on Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, LAN, American Airlines, Air France, Emirates and KLM.
c) MVP Gold 75k
The highest echelon of allegiance for Alaska Airlines is MVP Gold 75K which requires at least 75,000 miles or 90 segments within a year on Alaska Airlines or 90,000 miles or 90 segments on some airlines. Holders of this account get all the benefits of MVP Gold Tier including: Top priority on first class waiting list, a chance to nominate one person to the MVP status, 50,000 bonus points when the 75K level is attained and a complimentary in-flight entertainment in the main cabin.
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