Renewing MVP GOLD or option to purchase?

Old Nov 10, 17, 9:10 pm
  #1  
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Renewing MVP GOLD or option to purchase?

Okay so hear me out before getting mad at me haha because I know I should have planned it out beforehand and not leaving it up to chance.

So I was MVP Gold this year and I am trying to renew to MVP Gold next year and I am somewhat close.

Year-to-date Alaska miles
Flown: 25,568 miles
14,432 miles to Gold
Year-to-date Alaska/partner* qualifying miles
Flown: 34,280 miles
15,720 miles to Gold
Year-to-date Alaska/partner* qualifying segments
Flown: 39 miles
21 segments to Gold
Alaska miles toward million mile flyer Details
Flown: 84,956 miles
915,044 miles to go

So I live in Houston now (moved here for work with Marriott) and so now I am very limited in being able to earn Alaska Miles with only the IAH to SEA route.

I have one Sea to SFO round trip planned in about two weeks
One IAH to SEA round trip day trip (literally just to get me closer)
and One IAH to SEA on AA and then SEA to IAH on Alaska Airlines (Same reason haha)

Do you think Alaska would give me the option to either buy myself to MVP Gold or just bump me up if I asked nicely?

I asked on twitter and got this response "Hi Aj! Thanks for being Gold with us. I would recommend actually double checking how close you are at the end of this month and if you're pretty close, then you can contact our Mileage Plan team at 800-654-5669 to take a look at what kind of options (if available) we can offer. -Suli
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Old Nov 10, 17, 10:27 pm
  #2  
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Sounds like someone should go check out BOS for some clam chowdah

Haven't heard about any buy-up offers this year.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 12:27 am
  #3  
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I was wondering the same thing about the buyups.
My end of year will be about 1100 miles short for MVPG and I could fly down to the bay area on a turn around flight for just over $100, but would rather buy up and save the day at the airports if possible. When have they announced the buy ups in the past?
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Old Nov 11, 17, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by LHG View Post
I was wondering the same thing about the buyups.
My end of year will be about 1100 miles short for MVPG and I could fly down to the bay area on a turn around flight for just over $100, but would rather buy up and save the day at the airports if possible. When have they announced the buy ups in the past?
IIRC they were never announced. Just offered to people who called and asked. They were usually limited to small mileage amounts, definitely less than 5k. The usual advice is just fly. What is your history with Mileage Plan, would this be the first miss after years of status?
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Old Nov 11, 17, 10:50 am
  #5  
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I have been MVP Gold the past two years and MVP before that. So not that long haha but I'm only 22.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 3:11 pm
  #6  
 
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Last year, we sat next to a person whose wife received an email offering miles to get to Gold status. I don’t think she needed it as she had just completed a MR.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 3:25 pm
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Just do a mileage run. Going down to LAX on a $62 OW fare next weekend to earn the 300 miles I will need. Will catch the Bills game on Sunday too.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 7:30 pm
  #8  
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I'd think very hard about spending money to retain status on an airline that doesn't efficiently serve your city, and where you're having to spend hundreds of dollars in MRs AND possibly buy up to a status level, to where it's four digits, when you already have MVP in the bag for 2018 and can figure out 2019 as you go along.

Most of the benefits of MVPG are useless if you don't fly AS (even more so now that the AA/DL partnerships are effectively toast, save for international earning EQM/RDM on AA and booking AA awards). You can buy 10k miles on top an AS ticket for $190. A change/cancel fee on an award is $125. So you could spend $1,010 in conjunction with some "natural" AS travel, and get 40,000 AS miles and change/cancel two award tickets (or maybe just change just one award ticket and SDC five flights).

My travel (personal, mostly) slots me in somewhere around MVP and MVPG. I've found from experience that MVPG isn't worth more than a few hundred dollar premium on MVP, based on my travel patterns (I'm on a fair number of flights where F is a "meh" compared to Y)... and I'm based in SEA, not HOU/IAH. I just pay for what I could have gotten as a Gold if I really want it (mostly SDCs or extra miles). A cheap trip to LA and/or Vegas over a weekend (or to get some In 'N Out) if I am close is about all I will do.

If I was looking at being in IAH/HOU I'd probably just fly some combo of WN (to everywhere else) and AS for coming to visit SEA, with UA an outside possibility (problem being that unlike WN/AS they have $ requirements for status, the credit card could work for some of that though).

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Nov 11, 17 at 7:39 pm
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Old Nov 11, 17, 7:59 pm
  #9  
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depending on how volatile your travel schedule is, unlimited free changes for MVPG can quickly offset the price of a couple late-year MRs ... yes, WN has some level of flexibility but imo doesn’t offer anywhere near the overall value of AS
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Old Nov 11, 17, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
depending on how volatile your travel schedule is, unlimited free changes for MVPG can quickly offset the price of a couple late-year MRs ... yes, WN has some level of flexibility but imo doesn’t offer anywhere near the overall value of AS
Huh? Dirt on WN gets the exact same change benefit as MVPG on AS: unlimited free changes/cancels, just pay add/collect if the change results in a higher fare. In fact, WN also has the same GARR AS has; flight gets cheaper, collect the $ back in future travel credit. WN is pretty darn flexible (it's why it's probably going to be where I run to if AS decides to add spending requirements to elite status).

Yeah, there's no standby/SDC for WN unless you're A-List, but OP has a grand total of two AS flights a day to choose an SDC on involving IAH. Free SDC is a lot more useful if you're on a route where you have more choices than that, when you live in an AS hub (like I do, and I actually use SDC)...but it's $25 for an MVP (and works the same way at MVP as it does with MVPG, just $25 fee). If you're spending a thousand dollars in airfare + buyups to Gold, that's 40 SDCs. I use SDC a fair amount. I don't use it 40 times a year. I went back and looked, I use it maybe 5-10 times a year. So that's like a couple hundred (like I said, flying SEA-LAX/LAS some). But it's sure not a thousand dollars/forty times.

Anyways, the whole "upgrades/free changes/SDC/GGUs/more miles/benefits vs. what you spend to get it" has to be done and thought out for every individual to go "is it worth it to sit in aluminum tubes for no real reason other than to sit in more aluminum tubes"... but IMO contorting yourself to fly AS/retain status to the tune of a LOT of money has the distinct possibility of being irrational from an economic sense, especially if AS service to your city isn't very good. Not that airlines mind us spending money irrationally. And it's certainly your own money to spend irrationally if you want.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Nov 11, 17 at 8:39 pm
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Old Nov 11, 17, 10:29 pm
  #11  
 
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Iíd use your current MVPGold to do a challenge to the equivalent at UA or WN both of whom are big in your market, like now while you still have it. Your loyalty to AS is admirable but does not make sense where you live now.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 10:41 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by lg20 View Post
IIRC they were never announced. Just offered to people who called and asked. They were usually limited to small mileage amounts, definitely less than 5k. The usual advice is just fly. What is your history with Mileage Plan, would this be the first miss after years of status?
I have been MVPG for 3 years now I think. And I will def be short by only a small amount, so maybe should just call and ask them. Thanks
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Old Nov 13, 17, 2:27 am
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In my opinion thereís a big difference between MPV and MVPG. Houston isnít the easiest city to be loyal to Alaska.

There are a couple flight options now in DAL/DFW on AS/VX.

If you can get a cheap mileage run in, might be worth it. Although with looming AA/AS partial divorce ahead, makes this difficult in 2018.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:39 am
  #14  
 
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2017 is my second year as MVPG, and I've definitely found it worth it, even done a mileage run or two in my first two years.. This year'll I'll pass the threshold for Gold easily, but willl be 10-15K away from 75K once the year ends. Would love the opportunity to "buy up" or use 2017 progress above Gold as "rollover" as I've heard AS has offered in the past. Anyone have experience w/ those "rollover" beginning of year challenges? Any way to opt-in to a challenge like that?
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Old Nov 13, 17, 10:01 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by be_rettSEA View Post
2017 is my second year as MVPG, and I've definitely found it worth it, even done a mileage run or two in my first two years.. This year'll I'll pass the threshold for Gold easily, but willl be 10-15K away from 75K once the year ends. Would love the opportunity to "buy up" or use 2017 progress above Gold as "rollover" as I've heard AS has offered in the past. Anyone have experience w/ those "rollover" beginning of year challenges? Any way to opt-in to a challenge like that?
If 10-15K away- I'd look at another run. 50K bonus RDM is pretty sweet, plus you can nominate someone for MVP ^
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