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New Parents Keep Alaska Elite Status

Seattle, USA - April 28, 2012: Alaska Airlines jet at the D Concourse being loaded with passengers and luggage.

Alaska Airlines is now making it easier to be a frequent-flying parent with Elite status extensions.

New parents know well the crushing realization that they won’t be able to travel as frequently as they’d like now that they have a new baby. And unfortunately, on most U.S. carriers, that puts their loyalty status with airlines at risk. But one carrier, Alaska Airlines, sees this as an opportunity to make things easier on new parents.

The airline recently announced that new parents taking work leave this year will be able to extend their Elite status to the end of 2018. And if you’re a new parent that already has kids, you can take advantage, too. The benefit extends to parents as many times as they need it, provided they can prove the work leave.

“Having a new child in your household – whether it’s the first, second or fifth – is hard,” Alison Carpentier, Alaska’s director of brand loyalty, told Skift. “It puts your life on pause. You can’t do all the things you did before. You’re not traveling at the pace you did previously. There’s no need to punish folks for taking time off to care for their family.”

Other airlines outside the U.S., like Qantas, Air Canada, and British Airways, have similar policies – but no other airline in the States does.

Frequent flyers with Virgin America rewards will also be able to take advantage of Alaska’s program, though the extension will be Elite status on Alaska Airlines because Virgin’s loyalty program is going away January 1.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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