8 Things to Know About Alaska Status Match

Wait until July to apply and make sure you're certain about your timing — you can only match once.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Many airlines offer elite status matches to tempt valuable flyers away from competitors, and Alaska Airlines is no exception. Alaska offers a standing elite status match — meaning there's no stated end date and you can apply whenever you want. 

If you're considering an Alaska status match, there are several important factors to consider before doing so — from timing your request to Alaska's once-per-lifetime rule. Here's an overview of eight things to know before you request an Alaska status match.

1. You can only status match to Alaska from certain airlines

Flyers can only complete an Alaska status match from nine airlines based in North America:

  1. Aeromexico.

  2. Air Canada.

  3. American Airlines.

  4. Delta Air Lines.

  5. Frontier Airlines.

  6. Hawaiian Airlines.

  7. JetBlue Airways.

  8. Southwest Airlines.

  9. United Airlines.

So if you have, say, British Airways Executive Club elite status — you're out of luck.

2. Only earned elite status can be status matched to Alaska

Alaska status match terms and conditions state that airline elite status must have been earned "through actual flight miles or segments in another program" to be eligible. Alaska specifically excludes status "granted based on credit card activity, transferred points or any other promotional offer."

Presumably, Alaska will let you status match from a program if you partially earned elite status through credit card activity. After all, American Airlines AAdvantage recently intertwined credit card spending into earning elite status. And flyers can earn Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars and United Premier Qualifying Points through spending on eligible credit cards.

However, this restriction means that you probably won't be able to leverage United Premier Silver status earned via Marriott Titanium Elite status to score Alaska MVP status.

3. You can't status match to Alaska MVP Gold 100K status

Alaska introduced a new top-tier elite status level in January 2022: MVP Gold 100K. This elite status level is designed to compete with American Executive Platinum, Delta Diamond Medallion and United Premier 1K. However, you currently can't status match to Alaska MVP Gold 100K.

Instead, you'll receive MVP Gold 75K elite status when matching from any of these three competitor top-tier elite status levels.

4. You'll only get temporary Alaska elite status for 90 days

An Alaska status match grants you Mileage Plan elite status for an initial period of 90 days after your status match is approved. Alaska status matches can take up to four weeks to verify and approve.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Be careful with the timing of your status match request if you plan to use it on an upcoming trip.

Since this is a provisional Mileage Plan elite status, you won't get all of the perks of that elite status. For example, flyers that match to Alaska MVP Gold 75K elite status won't be eligible to claim the 50,000 bonus miles offered to Mileage Plan members that earn MVP Gold 75K through flying.

Other perks — such as Gold guest upgrades, lounge day passes and MVP nominations — are only granted once you meet the requirements to extend your elite status.

5. Enjoy Oneworld elite benefits from day one

Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld alliance in March 2021. Now, Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold status or higher grants you certain benefits on Oneworld partner airlines — such as free checked bags, priority boarding, preferred seats and lounge access.

Even during your provisional 90-day status period, you'll get to enjoy these benefits when flying on Oneworld partners such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Qantas. That means you might want to consider an Alaska status match before flying a long-haul flight on one of these partner airlines.

For example, completing a status match to Alaska MVP Gold will get you Oneworld Sapphire elite status. That's enough to grant you access to American Airlines Flagship Lounges on qualifying international flights and business class lounges on all other Oneworld airlines.

6. Fly Alaska to extend your elite status match

You can extend your provisional elite status by flying Alaska Airlines during your 90-day provisional period. The mileage requirements vary depending on what tier you matched to Alaska:

  • MVP status: 5,000 miles.

  • MVP Gold status: 10,000 miles.

  • MVP Gold 75K status: 20,000 miles.

Note that only flights operated by Alaska Airlines count toward this requirement. That means flights on Alaska's many partners — such as American Airlines and British Airways — won't help you extend your Alaska status match. However, flights on Alaska's regional partners Horizon and SkyWest will count toward your requirements if the flight has an Alaska flight number.

7. July is the best time to do an Alaska status match

Timing is critical when applying for an Alaska status match. If you start your status match before the end of June, you'll only be able to extend your elite status through Dec. 31 of the same year. However, you can extend your Alaska status through the end of the following year by starting your status match between July and December. That can mean almost an entire additional year of elite status.

For example, say you apply for an Alaska status match in June 2023. If you complete the flying requirements, you'll only be rewarded with Alaska elite status through Dec. 31, 2023. However, if you wait until July 2023 to start the status match, you'll have the opportunity to extend that status through Dec. 31, 2024.

8. You can only status match to Alaska once

Before completing an Alaska status match, be sure that you are ready to switch allegiance to Alaska Airlines. The Alaska status match terms and conditions clearly state that "a member may only receive one status match for the lifetime of their account."

So make sure that now's the time that you want to use that golden ticket.

Alaska status match recapped

A status match lets you enjoy many of the perks of elite status without having to do any of the hard work to earn that elite status with the airline. And that's certainly the case with an Alaska status match.

You'll enjoy perks like first class upgrades, free checked bags and priority boarding when flying Alaska Airlines — plus you'll also get perks on Oneworld partner airlines.

However, from getting the timing right to making sure you’re eligible in the first place, there are a lot of factors to consider before you apply for an Alaska status match. Since Alaska only offers one status match per account lifetime, make sure you have all of the details sorted out before you click "apply."

(Top photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

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