I’m tempted to take advantage of the generous status match offer from Alaska Airlines, but not convinced now is the time considering the way 2021 is unfolding. My only object: preserve oneworld emerald status.
Tempting Status Match Offer From Alaska Airlines
When I lived full-time in Frankfurt, Star Alliance Gold Status was easily the most valuable status. My weekend trips always started in a Lufthansa Lounge, no matter what cabin I flew in. In fact, on the days that I flew I would head to the lounge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since my office was right in the airport. Those were the days…
In 2019, Hyatt granted me a free status match to American Airlines Executive Platinum status, which I took full advantage in early 2020 to visit lounges like Qantas First Class Lounge in LAX, The Pier in HKG, or the Finnair Platinum Wing in HEL. These lounges are all amazing and frankly better than any Star Alliance Gold lounge in the system. It opened my eyes to how valuable oneworld status was, even if I still preferred to fly United Airlines over American.
All bets are off in our new pandemic world. My favorite lounges have been closed for nearly a year and thinking about putting in the miles and dollars necessary to re-qualify for status this year seems premature at this point, especially with so many travel restrictions still in place.
But I can tell you this: oneworld emerald status opens so many great doors. I love it.
And that is why the latest status match offer from Alaska Airlines is so intriguing. Currently, Alaska Airlines is offering status matches (no challenge required) for elite members of Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus.
Alaska will officially join oneworld on March 31, 2021, and with that will come oneworld priority tier status. While the status will only remain good through the end of 2021, re-qualifying for MVP Gold 75K, Alaska’s current top-tier status, is much easier than re-qualifying for Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. That’s because AA does not have dollar spending minimums. So for 2021 re-quaifcation (meaning status good through all of 2022), I would need to fly:
- 75,000 miles on Alaska Airlines or partners (including American Airlines)
- six segments must be on Alaska itself
Alternately, I could fly 90 segments. Well, the 75,000 miles seems quite doable this year with no minimum dollar amount. Heck, that makes those $62 mileage runs on American Airlines suddenly much more valuable…
However, I still find myself gravitating to United Airlines. Unless international borders suddenly swing open later this year, there’s no way I’ll be able to spend the requisite amount to re-qualify for 1K status. I’ve done more travel than most, it seems, and I’m not anywhere close. That just makes Alaska suddenly much more attractive.
Will Airlines Extend Status Into 2022?
Even though I am personally ready to explore the world again, the world is not ready for me. All these status matches may not even be timely at the moment. I’d hate to play the status match card this year when I could save it until next year.
While just a gut feeling at this point, I tend to think that airlines will be forced to extend status for one more year or at least offer extremely generous promotions. As I mentioned above, right now I’m not even close…and I just cannot see myself doing it. But we’ll see.
I’ve never held elite status on Alaska Airlines and always respected the carrier as independent and a bit old fashioned (in a good way). I’ll certainly consider the status match opportunity before the April 15th deadline. Still, I’m not sure now is the time…
Will you take advantage of the status match offer from Alaska Airlines?
image: Alaska Airlines