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Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Is Curtailing Perks for Some Elite Flyers

Alaska Airlines Is Curtailing Perks for Some Elite Flyers
Jeff Edwards

Alaska Airlines has slowly started to place limits on some popular amenities offered to Mileage Plan members with elite status. MVP Gold 75K members will no longer be able to pass unused complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes to unaccompanied friends and family. Also, complimentary in-flight entertainment players are now available only on coast-to-coast and Hawaii flights.

Alaska Airlines has added a few restrictions to popular benefits available for its elite Mileage Gold 75K members. The changes will affect lounge access and the availability of complimentary inflight entertainment players.

According to the website Million Mile Secrets, Alaska Gold 75K members will still receive four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes. However, flyers will no longer be able to pass this benefit along to other air travelers. The rule change does not affect passengers’ ability to bring guests with them into clubs – as long as the passenger who was originally issued the day pass accompanies the guests.

Additionally, the airline has reduced the availability of complimentary in-flight entertainment players. The personal tablet computers had previously been available free-of-charge to Gold 75K members on most flights. Now the airlines says the devices will only be offered on long-haul coast-to-coast and Hawaii flights.

Tightening lounge access (even for elite passengers) is very much inline with recent airline industry trends.  Alaska waives initiation fees and offers a steep discount on Alaska Lounge membership, so the transferable day pass perk was as likely to be enjoyed by friends and family as it was by Gold 75K members anyway. Phasing out the inflight entertainment players seems to be more a case of slowly discontinuing a largely obsolete service than devaluing elite status (air travelers are fairly likely to be traveling with a laptop or mobile device of their own). The travel site points out, however, that these seemingly minor policy changes actually reduce two of the five perks that differentiate MVP Gold 75K status from MVP Gold status.

 

[Image: Alaska Airlines]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. j2simpso

    December 17, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    With this new restriction on lounge passes I fail to understand what’s the purpose of giving them out in the first place. Presumably if you’re going to the AS lounge with someone else you’ll “guest them in” – no need for a lounge pass for that! Under what circumstances could you legitimately use a lounge pass with someone else in your presence? That being said, AS lounges are nothing to write home about, especially compared to the various Priority Pass lounges accessible c/o of name your favourite travel CC.

  2. diver858

    December 17, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Alaska elite benefits are still the most generous (domestically), continue to earn my loyalty.

  3. Scottyrocket

    December 18, 2018 at 1:38 am

    There should be a women only section, lets make it economy. Men to Business. No more sexist then the premise of this article.

  4. edgewood49

    December 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

    There is always someone!

  5. FlightLizard

    December 24, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I just flew on several trips on Alaska Air from Dec 17 through Dec 22. The tablets were gone from ALL flights going from or going to AK, Except for AK to HI service. There was a quiet mention of the new policy in the inflight Magazine. The Tablet digital players previously were available on flights with a scheduled flying time of 3 hours or more. Gold 75Ks got complementary Digital tablets, everyone else had to pay. Those 3 hour + flights included all flights going to or coming from Alaska and going to another state, (ex: SEA, PDX, ORD, LAX, Hawaii Destinations etc.).

    This change is for the 737 aircraft. Alaska Air is providing players to only transcon flights and HI flights.
    As mentioned in the post, most people have tablets or laptops so they can view the movies on their own devices.
    The airbuses that came from the former Virgin America still have seat back players. Those aircraft do not fly to AK, but do have transcon service.

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