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]