Regular readers may remember my intention to request a status match to Alaska Airlines' MVP Gold status from my current (and soon to expire!) Delta Platinum Medallion status.
Platinum Medallion status is certainly the best value in Skymiles elite status, since it gives free award changes and redeposits (outside of 72 hours of departure). That has long been an invaluable benefit, allowing you to book each leg of an award trip as it becomes available, instead of relying on an entire, round-trip award reservation being available at the low level at the time of booking.
On January 1, 2014, Platinum Medallion status is about to become much less valuable. That's for two reasons:
- On the earning side, Delta's Skymiles program is going to become "revenue-based," meaning you'll no longer earn twice the number of miles flown in redeemable Skymiles as a Platinum Medallion.
- On the redemption side, Skymiles will be redeemable for one-way tickets, meaning there's no need to "lock in" low-level seats on one leg of your trip; instead, you can just book one-way reservations as low-level award seats become available.
Alaska Airlines status matches are good through 2015
While I've long planned to request a status match from Alaska Airlines, the FlyerTalk thread on the subject is surprisingly sparse. Most importantly, there's no definite answer to the following question: starting on what date are Alaska Airlines status matches valid through the entire following membership year?
To be safe, yesterday I sent in my status match request without the supporting documentation, so that I could wait if the critical date turned out to be November 1. I wrote:
"Dear sir or madam,
I’m currently a Platinum Medallion elite member of the Delta Skymiles program, and I’m disappointed with the changes Delta has planned for the Skymiles program in 2015.
I’m switching as much of my travel as possible to Alaska, and I’d like to know whether it’s possible to request an elite status match or challenge to Mileage Plan MVP or MVP Gold status based on my current Platinum Medallion status?
If so, could you inform me of the procedure and any additional documentation Alaska requires to process a status match or challenge?"
I almost immediately received back the following automated response:
"Thank you for your interest in our award winning Mileage Plan. To submit your request for a Tier Match, send a copy of both sides of your current elite card, an e-Statement showing current status and your drivers license. If your original email did not include all of these documents, please resubmit with all three attached. Allow 2-4 weeks for processing once we have received your documents. When your Tier Match is complete, you'll receive a welcome email and can check your status at alaskaair.com/myaccount.
Please note that Tier Matches can only be extended once during the life of your account and the status is valid through 12/31/2015.
We look forward to welcoming you into our program and flying with you for many years to come!
Also note, we only offer a Tier Match for: AeroMexico, Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Southwest, United, US Airways, and Virgin America" (emphasis mine)
So it's official: get your status match started, and enjoy distance-based redeemable mile earnings for at least another year with Alaska's generous Mileage Plan!