alaska airlines plane
Courtesy Alaska Airlines

We now know for certain how Alaska Airlines elite MVP status tiers will map into the oneworld alliance effective March 31, 2021 when Alaska Airlines officially joins oneworld.

Qualification Criteria for Alaska Airlines MileagePlan MVP Status is Changing

Alaska has just three elite tier levels:

  • MVP
  • MVP Gold
  • MVP Gold 75K

Alaska’s qualification criteria allows for you to earn status with the lowest total flown mileage of any North American mileage program.

Until now, you needed 20,000 flown elite qualifying miles on Alaska or 25,000 on partners to qualify for base MVP and 75,000 on Alaska or 90,000 miles on partners to earn top tier MVP Gold 75k.

They are rejigging that for 2021, per the MileagePlan website.

Qualifying for elite status – 2021 qualification for 2022
Qualifying flights MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Eligible miles earned on Alaska Airlines* and partners 20,000 40,000 75,000
Segments flown on Alaska Airlines* and partners 30 60 90

Annual qualification period is January 1 – December 31.

*must fly a minimum number of segments on Alaska Airlines to earn or retain status. 2 for MVP, 4 for MVP Gold, 6 for MVP Gold 75K

So, they are actually making things much easier. You’ll be able to fly, for example, American Airlines nearly exclusively and earn status at these low levels.

Two Segments on Alaska are Now Required

The one “catch” is a new requirement: instead of giving you a higher mileage requirement to earn status flying partners, you can fly them all you want – but you’ll need two segments per qualifying year on Alaska to qualify. Not exactly onerous, but if Alaska doesn’t fly to your home airport and you plan to use this as a substitute for crediting to American’s AAdvantage program, it could be a small wrinkle to deal with.

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How Will Alaska Elite Tiers Map in Oneworld?

  • MVP Gold 75K = oneworld Emerald
  • MVP Gold = oneworld Sapphire
  • MVP = oneworld Ruby

This means that Alaska elites with MVP Gold 75K status will get all elite benefits afforded to American’s top tier Executive Platinum flyers on oneworld, which fly 125,000 miles a year.

That may be why American Airlines today announced that their Platinum Pro 75,000 mile tier would now also get oneworld Emerald.

The Emerald tier gives you the following, per the oneworld website:

  • Access to First and Business Class lounges
  • Access to First Class priority check-in
  • Fast track at select security lanes
  • Priority baggage handling**
  • Extra baggage allowance***
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority on waitlists and when on standby*
  • Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating*

***Extra baggage allowance for Emerald frequent flyers

As an Emerald frequent flyer, the following special checked baggage privileges will apply when you fly on oneworld airlines:

  • On itineraries using the baggage allowance “weight” system – 20 kgs in addition to the ticketed-cabin allowance.
  • On itineraries using the “piece system” – one additional bag for free in addition to your ticketed baggage allowance.

Note: This benefit is not available on British Airways’ ‘Hand Baggage Only/Basic’ fares.

*In accordance with the individual policy of the oneworld airline operating the flight.  **Priority baggage handling is not currently available on flights operated by British Airways

These benefits will kick in for Alaska flyers immediately when Alaska formally joins oneworld on March 31, 2021.


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