Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Announces New 100K Elite Tier Level For 2022

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has sent an email out to members surprising with a new feature that would be rolled out in the next year (2022), namely a new top tier elite level with 100,000 miles requirement.

Alaska Airlines is also in the process of joining Oneworld Alliance on March 31, 2021 and has already implemented changes to its Mileage Plan frequent flier program to align itself with partners carriers.

Now that 2021 has started Alaska has lost no time to inform their members about yet another whopper to come in the following year – a new 100K membership level which the carrier has so far avoided (likely due to network size).

The email reads:

… For members who fly 100,000 miles per year, we’re also introducing a new tier starting in 2022. This will recognize our absolute top echelon road warriors and offer perks such as increased bonus miles, top upgrade priority on Alaska flights, lounge benefits, and more. Look for more details later in 2021.

There are very little details about what Alaska Mileage Plan is planning here right now, just that there will be more information forthcoming later this year.

This sounds fair enough given the new program won’t kick in until next year but when you compare it to the current benefits ot the 75k MVP tier:

So what could the new 100k Elites expect?

It’s realistic to expect some enhanced benefits such as 150% bonus on earned miles, a longer upgrade window compared to the five days MVP Gold 75Ks currently receive and maybe international upgrade certificates or awards that can be used on partners, although that’s a bit more complicated.They have previously floated the idea of introducing something like this with American Airlines. Also a full Alaska Club membership compared to the $150 discount for 75K members is almost certainly guaranteed.

Alaska already announced that its MVP Gold 75K members are to receive Oneworld Emerald tier so obviously the 100K level would be the same.

Mileage plan made some changes to the way members can qualify for status from this year onward.

You can access Alaska’s page for earning status here.

2021 Status Requirements

There was no Alaska Airlines flight requirement previously to earn the status, although you had to earn a higher number of elite qualifying miles.

2020 Status Requirements

Remember that Alaska Airlines network is very limited and it’ll be very hard to lock in 100k, however you can of course use their partner airlines to collect additional status miles and this is especially lucrative in long haul premium class on carriers such as Cathay Pacific.

I’m looking forward to finally be able to redeem my Alaska Miles on routes that were previously restricted. Like it was possible to book an award flight on Japan Airlines between Asia and North America but you couldn’t book between Asia and Europe. This will no longer be the case once Alaska is a full fledged oneWorld member.

Conclusion

I’m looking forward to more details of this new 100K tier level. You have to give Alaska Airlines some credit for keeping things exciting with their program and allow members to dream a bit while currently being more or less grounded in many instances.

As far as status qualification overall is concerned there is no difference whether you earn the elite qualifying miles on Alaska or partner flights in 2021, but you must have two, four, or six Alaska flights (or at least marketed flights once Oneworld kicks in) to earn status.

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