Alaska Airlines MVP Elite Status Guide

Alaska Airlines elite status has three elite status levels: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K.

This post will cover everything you need to know about how to earn Alaska elite status and each status level’s benefits.

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    Alaska MVP Status

    Alaska Airlines’ low-tier status is MVP, which gets you the ability to get upgraded to Premium or First Class, two free checked bags, and a 50% miles bonus.

    How to Earn MVP Status

    You can earn Alaska MVP elite status by either:

    • Flying 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines OR
    • Flying 25,000 miles on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines OR
    • Flying 30 segments on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines. 
    Alaska MVP elite status

    MVP Elite Status Benefits

    There are a lot of nice benefits for MVP members:

    50% Miles Bonus

    MVP members earn 1.5 Alaska Airlines miles for each actual mile flown, which is a 50% bonus over members.

    For example, MVP members would earn 7,425 Alaska miles on a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York, covering a distance of 4,950 miles.

    Instant Upgrades at Booking

    MVP members are eligible for space available first class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked a Y, S, or Z fare class.

    MVP members are also eligible for space available Premium Class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked a Y, S, B, or Z fare class.

    Alaska’s Premium Class is an upgraded economy seat that offers four extra inches of legroom, early boarding, and complimentary alcoholic drinks.

    You can find the eligible fare classes easily when booking a flight. Just select your elite class level.

    The example below shows that it is very expensive to book a fare class as eligible for upgrades when you are only an MVP member.

    The main cabin price is $110, but to book a flight eligible for an instant upgrade to First Class costs $774. (You could also book First Class directly for only $669). 

    But the higher your Alaska status, the cheaper it is for an instant upgrade since more fare classes are eligible.

    Alaska Airlines MVP Upgrades

    Complimentary Upgrades Within 48 Hours

    You are still eligible for upgrades if you booked the cheaper ($110) flight above. 

    But you will have to wait until 48 hours before departure to see if there is available seats in Premium Class or First Class.

    You will be upgraded immediately if one is available. If not, you will remain on the waitlist until one is available.

    MVP members will also be behind MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members in the upgrade priority list.

    Additionally, Saver (basic economy) tickets are not eligible for Premium Class or First Class upgrades.

    Priority Check-In and Boarding

    All elite members enjoy priority check-in and boarding when you fly on Alaska Airlines.

    Two Free Checked Bags

    You and your travel companions on the same reservation are each eligible for two free checked bags when traveling on Alaska Airlines.

    Cardholders of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines or Alaska Airlines Business credit card already get a free checked bag for up to six travel companions. 

    This is a nice benefit if you need to check multiple bags for your travel party.

    Preferred Seating

    All elite members may select “preferred seats,” which are typically more desirable seats towards the front of the aircraft or aisle or window seats.

    This benefit is not available if you booked a Saver (basic economy) ticket.

    $50 Alaska Lounge Discount

    MVP members receive a yearly $50 discount when buying an Alaska Airlines lounge membership, which brings the cost down to $400 per year.

    Dedicated Elite Line for Reservations

    All elite members have access to a dedicated elite phone number, which provides shorter wait times than non-elite members calling Alaska Airlines. 

    Elite Leave for New Parents

    Alaska’s Elite Leave program  allows new parents with reduced travel to keep their current elite status for the following year.

    For example, if you are MVP Gold and you have reduced travel due to a pregnancy or parental leave, you can keep your MVP Gold status next year, despite not completing the required number of miles flown to maintain the status.

    There are a few steps you need to go through for Elite Leave:

    Step 1. Once you’re back from parental leave, email Alaska Airlines at elite.flyer@alaskaair.com with your:

    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Mileage Plan number
    • Proof of pregnancy or parental leave – a note from your doctor or employer will do.

    Step 2. Alaska Airlines verify that you’re eligible and extend your current status through the following year, so you can focus on your bundle of joy.

    Alaska Airlines Elite Leave

    Alaska MVP Gold Status

    Alaska Airlines’ mid-tier elite status is MVP Gold, which gets you better access to upgrades for you and your companions, more airline miles, partner airport lounge access, and waived fees for several things.

    How to Earn MVP Gold Status

    You can earn Alaska MVP Gold elite status by either:

    • Flying 40,000 miles on Alaska Airlines OR
    • Flying 50,000 miles on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines OR
    • Flying 60 segments on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines. 
    Alaska MVP Gold elite status

    Elite Status Benefits for MVP Gold

    MVP Gold members get the benefits below plus the MVP benefits above, including:

    • Two free checked bags
    • Priority check-in and boarding
    • Preferred seating
    • Complimentary Premium Beverage in Main Cabin
    • Dedicated elite phone lines for reservations
    • Elite Leave for new parents.

    100% Miles Bonus

    MVP Gold members earn 2 Alaska Airlines miles for each actual mile flown, which is a 100% bonus over non-elite members.

    For example, MVP Gold members would earn 9,900 Alaska miles on a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York, covering a distance of 4,950 miles.

    Instant Upgrades at Booking

    MVP Gold members are eligible for space available first class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked a Y, S, B, M, or Z fare class.

    MVP Gold members are also eligible for space available Premium Class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked a Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z fare class.

    You can find the eligible fare classes easily when booking a flight. Just select your elite class level.

    In the example below, the cost to upgrade for MVP Gold members is much cheaper than MVP members ($292 versus $649 for Premium Class).

    Alaska Airlines MVP Gold Upgrades

    Complimentary Upgrades Within 72 Hours

    You are still eligible for upgrades if you booked the cheaper ($110) flight above. 

    But you will have to wait until 72 hours before departure to see if there is an available upgrade in Premium Class or First Class. 

    You will be upgraded immediately if an upgrade is available. If not, you will remain on the waitlist until one is available.

    MVP Gold members will also be behind MVP Gold 75K members in the upgrade priority list.

    Additionally, Saver (basic economy) tickets are not eligible for upgrades to Premium Class or First Class.

    Alaska Airlines First Class Seats

    Companion Upgrades

    MVP Gold and Gold 75K members may upgrade one companion traveling with them on the same flight, on the same reservation, and in the same class of service.

    However, if your reservation contains three or more people, you will not be eligible for complimentary upgrades.

    If that is the situation, you may want to request Alaska Airlines split your reservation to ensure that you are eligible for an upgrade.

    Four One-Way First Class Guest Upgrades

    Guest upgrades allow you to instantly upgrade friends or family when you are not traveling with them.

    You could also use guest upgrades on your own flight if you wanted to guarantee an upgrade. 

    You can search for eligible flights using Alaska’s flight search engine and selecting “MVP Gold guest” from the “Upgrade fare type” category.

    MVP Gold Guest

    Next, you need to find a flight with a blue box next to it to upgrade your guest to first class.

    MVP Gold Guest Upgrades

    Complimentary Premium Beverage

    If you don’t score a free upgrade to Premium Class or First Class, which offer free alcoholic drinks, you’re still in luck.

    MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75k members get a complimentary premium beverage (beer, wine, or cocktail) when traveling in the main cabin.

    Alaska Airlines Alcoholic Drinks

    Partner Lounge Access

    MVP Gold and MVP 75K members enjoy complimentary  lounge access when traveling through certain airports on those partner airlines:

    British Airways– Galleries Lounge in London Heathrow (LHR) in Terminal 3 and 5 for you and one guest.

    Emirates– Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai (DXB) for you and one guest.

    Hainan Airlines: You and one guest can access the following lounges:

    • Fortune Wings Lounge in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Terminal 1.
    • Fortune Wings Lounge in Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) Terminal 1.
    • Fortune Wings Lounge in Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK) Terminal 1.
    • HNA Club in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Terminal 2.
    • HNA Club in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) Area B.
    • HNA Club in Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport (URC) Terminal 2.

    Icelandair- Saga Lounge in Keflavik (KEF) for you and one guest.

    Qantas– You and two guests can access the following lounges:

    • Adelaide Airport (ADL)
    • Auckland Airport (AKL)
    • Brisbane Airport (BNE)
    • Darwin International Airport (DRW)
    • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
    • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
    • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Tom Bradley Terminal
    • Melbourne Airport (MEL)
    • Perth Airport (PER)
    • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
    • Sydney Airport (SYD)
    • Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
    • Wellington International Airport (WLG)

    You can find more information about partner elite benefits on Alaska’s partner page.

    Emirates Business Class Lounge
    Emirates Business Class Lounge (Photo: Emirates)

    Free Same-Day Flight Changes

    You can change your flight to an earlier or later one on the same day as travel for free, which normally costs $25. 

    Waived Change Fees

    Alaska Airlines advertises waived change fees as a perk for MVP Gold and 75K members, but in 2020, Alaska Airlines eliminated change fees for everyone, including non-elite members.

    Alaska Airlines may change their mind on no change fees for everyone, making elite status more valuable.

    Waived Phone Ticketing Fee

    MVP Gold and 75K members avoid paying a phone ticketing fee of $15, which can be beneficial when booking partner award flights.

    Express Security at Select Airports

    MVP Gold and 75K members are eligible for express security at the following airports:

    • Anchorage
    • Atlanta
    • Chicago (Checkpoints 8 & 9)
    • Fairbanks
    • Los Angeles (LAX)
    • New York/Newark
    • Phoenix
    • Portland
    • San Francisco
    • Seattle
    • Spokane
    • Washington, D.C. (Reagan National)

    Standby and Wait List for Full Flights

    MVP Gold and 75K members are eligible to standby for an alternative flight on the same day as you are booked to depart.

    $100 Discount for Alaska Lounges

    MVP Gold members receive a yearly $100 discount when buying an Alaska Airlines lounge membership, which brings the cost down to $350 per year.

    Alaska MVP Gold 75K

    Alaska Airlines’ top-tier status is MVP Gold 75K, which offers more access to upgrade, the ability to gift MVP status, four lounge passes, and 50,000 Alaska Miles upon qualification.

    How to Earn MVP Gold 75k Status

    You can earn Alaska MVP  Gold 75K elite status by either:

    • Flying 75,000 miles on Alaska Airlines OR
    • Flying 90,000 miles on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines OR
    • Flying 90 segments on a combination of Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partner airlines. 

    Elite Status Benefits for MVP Gold 75K

    MVP Gold 75K members get the benefits below plus the MVP Gold benefits above, including:

    • Two free checked bags
    • Priority check-in and boarding
    • Preferred seating
    • Complimentary Premium Beverage in Main Cabin
    • Dedicated elite phone lines for reservations
    • Elite Leave for new parents
    • Free same-day flight changes and standby
    • Partner airport lounge access

    125% Miles Bonus

    MVP Gold 75K members earn 2.25 Alaska Airlines miles for each actual mile flown, which is a 125% bonus over members.

    For example, MVP Gold 75K members would earn 11,138 Alaska miles on a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York, covering a distance of 4,950 miles.

    50,000 Bonus Miles

    MVP Gold 75K members earn 50,000 bonus miles upon reaching the required number of miles or segments for Gold 75K.

    That’s enough for a one-way business class flight to Asia!

    Members who received a status match or complimentary status are not eligible for this bonus.

    Instant Upgrades at Booking

    MVP Gold 75k members are eligible for space available first class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked a Y, S, B, M, H, or Z fare class.

    MVP Gold members are also eligible for space available Premium Class upgrades at the time of booking if you booked any fare class except Saver (basic economy) fares.

    You can find the eligible fare classes easily when booking a flight. Just select your elite class level.

    In the example below, the cost to upgrade for MVP Gold 75k members is much cheaper than MVP Gold members ($110 versus $292 for Premium Class, and $465 versus $535 for first class).

    Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75k Upgrades at Booking

    Complimentary Upgrades Within 120 Hours

    You are still eligible for first class upgrades when you book “Premium Class Upgrades” at booking.

    But you will have to wait until 120 hours before departure to see if there is available upgrades in First Class.

    You will be upgraded immediately if one is available. If not, you will remain on the waitlist until one is available.

    If there are multiple MVP Gold 75k members (or other members of the same elite level) waiting for the same upgrade, there are a few tiebreakers:

    • First it goes by fare class in the following order: Y, Z, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, G, T, R, W.
    • If the elite members booked the same fare class, the person who booked their ticket earlier will win the upgrade.

    Additionally, Saver (basic economy) tickets are not eligible for upgrades to Premium Class or First Class.

    Gift MVP Status to Someone

    One of the best benefits of 75K elite status is the ability to gift MVP status to a family or friend.

    All you need to do is fill out this form, including their name, Mileage Plan number, email address.

    Four Day Passes for Alaska Lounge

    MVP Gold 75K members receive four free day passes to the Alaska Lounge.

    You can use the passes for yourself or gift it to someone else.

    If you gift your day pass, you need to provide the person with a voucher code, which is available in your Alaska Mileage Plan account under “Alaska Lounge passes.”

    Alaska Airlines credit card holders can normally purchase day passes for 50% off or $25 each, so this benefit is worth about $100 per year.

    $150 Discount for Alaska Lounge

    MVP Gold 75K members receive a yearly $150 discount when buying an Alaska Airlines lounge membership, which brings the cost down to $300 per year.

    Alaska Airlines Lounge
    Photo: Alaska Airlines

    Million Miler

    An Alaska Mileage Plan member who flies 1 million miles on Alaska Airlines is entitled to MVP Gold status for the rest of their life.

    Flights on partners, bonus miles, and travel using airline miles do not count towards the 1 million miles.

    You can also easily track your Million Miler status inside your Alaska Airlines account. 

    As you can see, I have a very long way to go. 

    Alaska Airlines million mile flyer

    Elite Status Match

    Alaska Airlines will match your elite status with another airline.

    You can only match your elite status once to Alaska Airlines, and the elite status lasts for 90 days unless you meet the requirements below.

    To keep the elite status, you need to fly a certain number of miles on Alaska Airlines within the next 90 days:

    • MVP status – fly 5,000 miles
    • MVP Gold status – fly 10,000 miles
    • MVP Gold 75K status – fly 20,000 miles

    The best time to match your airline status is between July and December, because you can keep your status through the end of the next calendar year.

    If you start your status match between January and June, you only get to keep the status through the end of the current calendar year.

    How to Match Your Status to Alaska Airlines

    To match your elite status from another program to Alaska Airlines, you need to visit their status match page and upload:

    • A screenshot of your online elite account showing your name, current status, and your year-to-date miles flown.
    • Your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number.

    Match to MVP Status From:

    • Aeromexico Gold
    • Air Canada Altitude 25K (Prestige) and 35K
    • American Airlines AAdvantage Gold
    • Delta Silver Medallion
    • Frontier Elite 20K
    • Hawaiian Pualani Gold
    • JetBlue TrueBlue Mosaic
    • Southwest A List
    • United Premier Silver and Premier Associate

    Match to MVP Gold From:

    • Aeromexico Platinum
    • Air Canada Altitude 50K
    • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum
    • Delta Gold Medallion
    • Frontier Elite 50K
    • Hawaiian Pualani Platinum
    • Southwest A-List Preferred
    • United Premier Gold

    Match to MVP Gold 75k Status From:

    • Aeromexico Titanio
    • Air Canada Altitude 75K and 100K
    • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum
    • American Airlines ConciergeKey
    • Delta Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion
    • Frontier Elite 100K
    • Southwest A-List Preferred & Companion Pass
      (must hold both)
    • United Platinum, 1K, and Global Services

    The Verdict

    Alaska Airlines elite status is valuable especially for MVP Gold and MVP 75K members, who have better access to upgrades, and can earn a lot of valuable Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.