Alaska Elites’ Status Extended Thru April, But December 2022 for Canadians

Some big news from Alaska Airlines today! They updated their Mileage Plan membership benefits page with information about status extension. However, there is more to this, especially if you are Canadian. In this case, the news is much better for them.

MVP Status Extended Through April 30, 2022 for Americans

To begin with, only MVP members who held elite status on January 1, 2021 will have their status extended through April 30, 2022 in the event they are unable to re-qualify for status by this year’s end. Alaska also implies there could be additional promos between January to April next year to help retain status.

However,  if you attained your status via a status match from another airline this year, your status will still expire on December 31, 2021, unless you have flown enough to qualify for status in 2022.

Here is the exact language from Alaska:

For members who held elite status as of January 1, 2021 that are unable to re-qualify by year end 2021, we will extend your status through April 30, 2022***. You’ll have another opportunity to retain your status by flying January – April 2022. Look for more details later this year.

***Available to members with elite status as of January 1, 2021, excluding members in status match promotions.    

Canadians Get Full Extension Through December 31 2022

In emails received by some Canadian contacts of mine, as seen in a screenshot below, Alaska Airlines indicated they will be doing a straight-up status extension for all Canadian elites through December 31, 2022 (highlighted in green):

Screen capture from Alaska's email

Of course, only Canadian Alaska elites who held status on January 1, 2021 should be expecting to receive this email. So those who status matched to MVP status will once again be left out.

While this is fantastic news for Canadians, some Americans may feel not feel the same way, especially, unlike Delta Air Lines, with no rollover qualifications being announced at this time.

Will Other Airlines Follow?

Airlines were quick to extend elite statuses last year, when they announced extensions at around April after the COVID-19 pandemic decimated travel worldwide. This year, airlines have taken a more cautious approach, with Delta being the first major US airline to extend status for all elites through 2022 in late July. Alaska is the second airline to do so (but not giving a blanket extension as Delta did).

Meanwhile, American Airlines reduced re-qualification requirements to $2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD), and United Airlines has an ongoing Fly to the Finish promotion, where its Premier 1K members can earn 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points to retain their statuses.

However, as the Delta (the COVID variant, not the airline) continues to slow down travel, it would not be surprising to see American and United also extend status to a certain degree, or at the minimum, further reduced requirements. Question is, will they follow Delta or Alaska’s approach?