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Passengers flying cross-country between California and the East Coast can rack up double miles if they fly with Alaska Airlines during the next four months. The promotion is good on select nonstop flights between both coasts until Dec. 31, 2019.
What’s particularly appealing about this offer is that unlike its major competitors, Alaska still awards miles based on the number of air miles traveled, not the amount of money spent on a ticket. This means that miles can accumulate much quicker.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
Which routes are eligible?
Here are the routes that will earn you double miles during the promotional period:
How to register
Before taking your first qualifying flight, you must register with Alaska Airlines to receive your bonus miles. If you’re not an Alaska Mileage Plan member, the link also allows you to sign up for the program at the same time you are registering for the double miles offer.
» Learn more: How to get started with frequent flyer programs
How miles can pile up
Let’s say you’re flying between Los Angeles and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Since this flight is 2,468 miles long, each one-way flight would earn you 2,468 Alaska miles, for a total of 4,936 round-trip.
Doubling those miles under the promotion would mean you earn 9,872 miles for flying this itinerary.
Or if you’re traveling between Boston and San Francisco, each leg would earn you 2,697 miles for a total of 5,394 round-trip. With this promotion, doubling those amounts to a whopping 10,788 miles.
Elite Alaska flyers will do even better with this promotion
Though the double miles promotion only applies to base miles earned, Alaska Mileage Plan members with elite status will still receive mileage bonuses according to their status level.
Before we discuss how this promotion can look for elite flyers, here are the details of Alaska’s status levels:
Elite status level
Requirements to earn
Bonus miles earned on flights
Fly 20,000 miles or 30 segments
50% on base miles
Fly 40,000 miles or 60 segments
100% on base miles
MVP Gold 75K
Fly 75,000 miles or 90 segments
125% on base miles
Under this double miles promotion, an Alaska Mileage Plan MVP member would earn 9,872 miles for the Los Angeles to New York round-trip example shown above. Then, they would get an additional 2,468 miles because of their status (50% of the base miles before the promotion), for a total of 12,340 miles.
Gold members would do even better: Their bonus would be 4,936 miles (100% of base miles), for a total of 14,808 miles.
And with top status, Gold 75K members would receive the most miles on our example trip. Their bonus of 125% earns them an extra 6,170 miles, taking the total to 16,042 miles for a single round-trip flight from L.A. to New York.
» Learn more: Complete guide to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
The fine print
As with all bonus miles earned, the double miles earned through this promotion will not count toward elite status.
Still, it’s easier to reach elite status with Alaska than other major airlines. The three largest U.S. carriers (American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines) all require travelers to fly 25,000 miles to receive their lowest status level; Alaska only requires 20,000 miles.
Changing its fleet
This promotion is part of Alaska's effort to increase customer loyalty in key growth markets. Since acquiring Virgin America in 2016, Alaska has integrated Virgin’s routes into its own network, including the destinations featured in this promotion.
Alaska is also in the process of refitting Virgin America’s Airbus fleet, which includes changing the purple mood lighting and removing video entertainment systems. (The more traditional Alaska motif has a white interior and dark blue seats.) The Airbus fleet will be retrofitted throughout the remainder of the year and into early 2020; so far 19 of 70 aircraft refits have been completed.
Since you won’t know in advance whether or not your plane will have a built-in entertainment system, we suggest bringing your own device and charger so you can stream the latest movies while you’re earning your double miles.
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