Alaska Airlines announced a great promotion a few days ago: From now through May 31, 2014, you can get double elite qualifying miles on several flights departing Seattle. This will make it easier to get elite status in 2013 and 2014. Alaska already has one of the more generous loyalty programs with the opportunity to get MVP status after accumulating just 20,000 EQM or MVP Gold status after accumulating just 40,000 EQM; most domestic airlines require 25,000 and 50,000 miles, respectively.
So if you were to start right now, you could get all the EQM you need for MVP Gold status after flying just 20,000 miles. And existing reservations count, too! Just make sure you register before you fly.
There are several catches:
Only nonstop flights operated by Alaska Airlines and with an Alaska Airlines flight number are eligible. No connecting in Portland on your way to Santa Rosa, or booking an American Airlines codeshare.
Only flights between Seattle and select West Coast cities are eligible. These are: Santa Rosa (STS), San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), San Jose (SJC), Los Angeles (LAX), and Las Vegas (LAS).
Only double elite qualifying miles will be awarded. You will not get double redeemable miles. My mistake. The language of the promotion heavily emphasizes EQMs and barely mentions the redeemable miles, but you will get both:
Enjoy our excellent service while earning Double Miles to spend on your next award trip, and double qualification towards Elite Status in our award-winning Mileage Plan™ program.”
I need to do some mileage runs anyway to requalify for MVP Gold this year. And while Alaska has a great West Coast presence with nonstop flights, that actually makes it harder to find a good mileage run unless I travel with one of their partners. This new promotion should make it easier for me to achieve my goal without making annoying redeye flights to Palm Beach and Washington, DC. I might even consider trips to more a more popular (and expensive) city like Las Vegas in order to get a few mattress runs in for my Hyatt Diamond status.