Status match to Alaska MVP Gold 75K? Don't forget to nominate an MVP!

Last month I reminded my readers who are abandoning Delta and United next year to request a status match to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which will continue to award redeemable miles based on distance flown — including on the same Delta flights that would earn revenue-based miles if credited to a Delta Skymiles account!

As a Delta Platinum Medallion, I was matched to Alaska's top-tier MVP Gold 75K status, which has a host of incredible benefits, like being able to redeposit any revenue ticket into your "travel bank" for use on future travel (a benefit shared with MVP Gold).

Some benefits, as you might guess, are only available to members who earn MVP status through flying, rather than a status match. For example, I didn't have 50,000 bonus miles deposited into my account when I was matched to MVP Gold 75K!

Another benefit of MVP Gold 75K status is the ability to nominate another Mileage Plan member to Alaska's bottom-tier MVP status. At first I assumed that, like the bonus mile award, this benefit was limited to members who had earned their status through flying.

Last weekend in San Antonio, however, a colleague shared that he had no problem matching his wife to MVP status. Sure enough, after a little poking around on Alaska's website, I was able to find the nomination form (log into your Mileage Plan account first to access the form).

While my partner has Delta Silver Medallion status and thus could theoretically request her own status match to Alaska MVP status, there are two advantages to instead nominating her from my account. First, there is a 0% chance she would ever actually request her own status match. Second, status matches are limited to once per lifetime, so it's strictly speaking preferable to preserve hers in case a more lucrative future opportunity comes along.

Although, as the old joke goes, "once per lifetime? Mine, or the airline's?"

Reminder: status match to Alaska Airlines

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?

In September one member claimed the cutoff date was November 1, while all the way back in July another member quoted an e-mail from Alaska saying the cutoff date was October 1.

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
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!