In an effort to retain customers, Alaska Airlines recognizes that some of their most valuable customers are still not traveling at pre-pandemic levels. In an effort to help entice customers to stay loyal and to make it easier to retain status, Alaska Airlines is extending their elite bonus mile promotion. Alaska Airlines is offering its members a 50% bonus in elite qualifying miles (EQM). That means for every mile you fly on Alaska Airlines you’ll earn a minimum of 1.5 elite qualifying miles. First class fares earn additional EQM already and will also get a 50% bonus. The promotion was initially launched in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic. Already extended several times, Alaska Airline is offering a further extension. Instead of ending on June 30th, it’s now goes through the summer. Now ending September 30, 2021.
Registration is not required for this promotion. Just fly and earn the bonus elite qualifying miles. The bonus is only for flights operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. This promotion does not include partner flights. See all term and conditions on the promotion page.
Elite Status For Everyone? Not so Fast
Many frequent flyers might be surprised to see promotions like this. Yet, although you may have retained status for 2022 already, many have not. Especially business travelers. TSA daily screening numbers are still nearly a million fewer per day than pre-pandemic levels. Leisure travel has rebounded, but business travel has not. Business travelers tend to buy last minute airfare which is more expensive. In addition, business travelers spend more and travel more frequently than leisure travelers. According to Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines CEO, Business travelers accounted for nearly 30% of Alaska’s pre-pandemic passengers. Today, they are at only 25% of 2019 levels. Which is only about 7.5% of all travelers.
Instead of shunning those who bring Alaska Airlines the most cash, they are extending an olive branch. If a business traveler loses status, they are likely to become a free agent. For every passenger lost, tens of thousands of dollars could flow to a competitor. Airlines are expecting business travel to ramp up this summer. Vaccine rollout and the reopening of many states and offices will help this rebound. More connections and business gets done in person and people are eager for in-person meetings. Hence why this extension is necessary.