How to Get Upgrades and Elite Status With the Alaska Airlines MVP Program | CreditShout

How to Get Upgrades and Elite Status With the Alaska Airlines MVP Program

By Kevin / October 6, 2011

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If you fly frequently on Alaska Airlines, you may be eligible for upgrades and other benefits through their Most Valuable Passenger (MVP) program. Those who fly at least 20,000 miles and/or 30 flight segments in a given year are eligible for benefits under this program. Statuses that can be achieved are MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K. Each will be explored along with how you may go about getting upgrades.

MVP Status

In order to achieve MVP status, you’ll have to fly 20,000 miles and/or 30 flight segments in a calendar year on Alaska Airlines. You can also achieve this status by flying 25,000 miles and/or 30 segments on select Alaska Airlines’ partners, including Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM and LAN.

So, let’s say you fly from Los Angeles to Phoenix weekly for business purposes. After 15 weeks (15 round-trip flights totaling 30 segments), you’ll be eligible for MVP status. Similarly, if you fly from Los Angeles to New York frequently on business, you’ll be eligible after a few round-trip flights, as several thousand miles will be earned each time.

MVP status includes the following benefits:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades on Y or YAS (Full Flex) fare tickets at anytime or 48 hours before departure on other tickets
  • Complimentary upgrades on Delta Air Lines flights in the US (excluding Hawaii), Canada, some Caribbean destinations and Mexico
  • Fifty percent bonus miles on flights on Alaska Airlines and those of it’s partners
  • Preferred seating on Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines flights
  • Priority boarding on Alaska and Delta flights
  • Checked baggage fee waiver for up to 2 bags for you and those traveling on your reservation
MVP Gold Status

Once you’ve flown 40,000 miles and/or 60 flight segments on Alaska Airlines or 50,000 miles/60 segments on flights of it’s aforementioned partners, you’ll be eligible for MVP Gold Status. This status includes many of the same benefits of MVP status along with the following and more:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades on the following type of tickets: Y, S, B, M, H, Value and Full Flex at anytime or 72 hours before departure for other tickets
  • Unlimited upgrades of 1 companion into first-class
  • Four complimentary guest upgrades for guests who are not traveling with you
  • First-class check-in on Alaska and Delta flights
  • Priority standby and waitlist on Alaska and Horizon flights
  • A complimentary premium beverage of choice when traveling in the main cabin
  • 100 percent bonus miles
MVP Gold 75K Status

Once you’ve flown 75,000 miles and/or 90 flight segments on Alaska Airlines or 90,000 miles/90 flight segments with it’s partners, you’ll be eligible for MVP Gold 75K Status. In addition to all of the benefits that come with MVP Gold, you’ll be eligible for the following:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades on the following types of tickets: Y, S, B, M, H, Value and Full Flex at anytime or 120 hours before departure on other fares
  • Four complimentary Board Room (Alaska’s version of an airport lounge) day passes
  • 50,000 bonus miles
  • Top priority on first-class waitlist
  • Ability to nominate a friend or family member to MVP status
  • Complimentary digEplayer while flying in the main cabin
How To Get Upgrades

Your upgrade will be given at the time of booking if it falls within the type of ticket listed in each of the above descriptions, also known as a qualifying fare. For example, if your ticket type is “B” and you have MVP Gold status, you can get your upgrade as soon as your ticket is booked. Your upgrade will be immediate if it is available. Otherwise, you will be put on a waitlist.

If your ticket is not under a qualifying fare, you’ll become eligible for an upgrade according to your status. For example, if you have MVP Gold 75K status, you’ll be eligible for an upgrade on a non-qualifying fare 120 hours before departure. In this situation, upgrades are given on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that someone who booked a flight before you will be given first-priority if you are both currently eligible for an upgrade.

If you have not received an upgrade at least 24 hours before your flight, you’ll be placed on the airport waitlist in the order that you were originally in. So, if it’s 10AM on Tuesday and your flight leaves at 10AM on Wednesday, you’ll be placed on the airport’s waitlist for an upgrade in this case. At this point, the boarding agent will be responsible for clearing your upgrade.

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