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[Speculation] Alaska Mileage Plan Future?

[Speculation] Alaska Mileage Plan Future?

Old Jul 23, 22, 4:53 pm
  #1  
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[Speculation] Alaska Mileage Plan Future?

Hi all, wondering what everyone is thinking about the future of Alaska Mileage plan. Will they go the way of America with Loyalty points ?

I very much like Alaska, but the AA program might be a better fit for me and I need to decide which path to take. My flying patterns have changed post COVID, I now take many shorter flights so hitting top tier status on Alaska will be nearly impossible for me. I am at about 35K EQM so far this year, but will likely only hit MVP Gold.

I really do not like American all that much, but their loyalty points program with spending will certainly get me to Executive Platinum with ease. I charge all my company expenses to my personal card and have a pretty decent side business. So with all my credit card use combine I charge about $125K per year. I know many people have mixed feelings about credit card spending toward status (I did) , but this seems to be the name of the game now, revenue.

So what are your thoughts will Alaska come out with a similar scheme ? If they did , I would be team Alaska all the way, but not sure they are my best bet based on how my travel has changed. As we are half way through this year, I need to start formulating a plan for 2023.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 5:04 pm
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Dont forget for the AA upgrade certs you still need to hit the minimum segments in additional to loyalty points.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 5:07 pm
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I dont think AS will adapt this in any significant way in the foreseeable future. Baby steps with EQM for credit card charges have been made (last year and this year).

I am going to assess later this year whether to switch to AA for OW status. This year I will earn just enough to make it to MVP (from currently 75K), and I dont think my travel patterns next year will likely lead to higher AS status.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 5:07 pm
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I found the SWU almost impossible to use, not really a consideration for me.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
I dont think AS will adapt this in any significant way in the foreseeable future. Baby steps with EQM for credit card charges have been made (last year and this year).

I am going to assess later this year whether to switch to AA for OW status. This year I will earn just enough to make it to MVP (from currently 75K), and I dont think my travel patterns next year will likely lead to higher AS status.
OIddly , I did not get the invitation for the EQM based on spend offer from BofA. I have both personal and business Alaska cards, booo hoo for me
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Old Jul 23, 22, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Hi all, wondering what everyone is thinking about the future of Alaska Mileage plan. Will they go the way of America with Loyalty points ?

I very much like Alaska, but the AA program might be a better fit for me and I need to decide which path to take. My flying patterns have changed post COVID, I now take many shorter flights so hitting top tier status on Alaska will be nearly impossible for me. I am at about 35K EQM so far this year, but will likely only hit MVP Gold.

I really do not like American all that much, but their loyalty points program with spending will certainly get me to Executive Platinum with ease. I charge all my company expenses to my personal card and have a pretty decent side business. So with all my credit card use combine I charge about $125K per year. I know many people have mixed feelings about credit card spending toward status (I did) , but this seems to be the name of the game now, revenue.

So what are your thoughts will Alaska come out with a similar scheme ? If they did , I would be team Alaska all the way, but not sure they are my best bet based on how my travel has changed. As we are half way through this year, I need to start formulating a plan for 2023.
Loyalty Points also means no longer awarding RDM for distance flown, you wont find a ton of people happy about a if you find a cheap flight you get a pittance in earnings scheme around these parts.

Also, theres a shoe to drop for AA, a change to Delta-style elimination of award charts. Sure, youre earning EP but you might not enjoy paying 250,000 for one way flights in business class to Europe.

I think a lot of people would be unhappy with watered down aspirational redemptions and frankly not everyone can churn six digits of business expenses through a credit card (more power to you though). Also, Alaska seems to value flying as a core part of their business and money making, whereas American regularly loses money on the flying and prints money in the frequent flyer program which is I think part of why they have actively reduced the miles you earn flying while making all the partner activities lucrative (that make partners buy miles). Its definitely a different approach.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 7:39 pm
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As I mentioned I am not big fan of AA, much prefer AS, but trying to see whats my best option to maximize my situation.

As a side note, I actually benefit from the revenue based model on tickets, due to the nature of my work I book a lot of last minute trips that end up being a rather high fare, just a cost of doing business for my company and the nature of the beast. I wouldn't be a fan of this model otherwise, but it actually works in my favor due to my current circumstance.

I can see Alaska moving to some type of credit card spend tie in, the promo last November and the current one is a test balloon for them. I for one changed my spending habits starting last Sept - Nov when the last EQM promo was running and barely have used the card since as my primary card is a sapphire reserve. I mainly keep the cards for the companion fare which I get really good value out of.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 8:21 pm
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It all depends on what you want. On AA as EXP the upgrades arent that frequent, especially hub to hub or busy days of week. So many elites and now likely to be more from CC spend and Rocketmiles. Plus they moved away from requiring the 500 mile certs for lower elites so upgrade lists are super long now.

Alaska as a 100k or 75k your upgrade changes likely much higher but fewer routes. Less top tier elites overall as well.

Personally I can hit AA exp with 6-10 hotel stays so actually flying them is basically unneeded but also then lessens the values of elite status.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
OIddly , I did not get the invitation for the EQM based on spend offer from BofA. I have both personal and business Alaska cards, booo hoo for me
perhaps you charge too much, and they felt you didnt need extra motivation.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 11:13 pm
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The moment AS goes to a spend based model like AA I'll be completely done with trying to go for status until I'm more settled into a career. My current ability to hit MVP Gold every year is predicated on taking relatively cheap, but long distance transcons between BOS and SFO several times a year to get between home and university; I can only accomplish this due to 100% EQM earning on all AS marketed flights. As a student, I don't have the ability to indiscriminately spend on a cobrand credit card.

Since my flying is between BOS and SFO, I lock myself into only one possible schedule by flying AS (i.e. a morning SFO-BOS and early evening BOS-SFO). I'm fine with this as it allows me to earn and utilize status, but the moment I can't do that anymore I might as well jump ship to B6 or UA which run 5-6x flights a day on that route.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
I found the SWU almost impossible to use, not really a consideration for me.
I thought the AS GGUs were tough to use, but yeah, I agree, SWUs are WAY more challenging.
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Old Jul 23, 22, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by JetAirways77W View Post
The moment AS goes to a spend based model like AA I'll be completely done with trying to go for status until I'm more settled into a career. My current ability to hit MVP Gold every year is predicated on taking relatively cheap, but long distance transcons between BOS and SFO several times a year to get between home and university; I can only accomplish this due to 100% EQM earning on all AS marketed flights. As a student, I don't have the ability to indiscriminately spend on a cobrand credit card.

Since my flying is between BOS and SFO, I lock myself into only one possible schedule by flying AS (i.e. a morning SFO-BOS and early evening BOS-SFO). I'm fine with this as it allows me to earn and utilize status, but the moment I can't do that anymore I might as well jump ship to B6 or UA which run 5-6x flights a day on that route.
Totally agree....I left UA when they switched to a revenue-based program and I too need 100% EQM earning on cheap mileage runs for status....I have no desire to spend more money for the same status.
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Old Jul 24, 22, 12:25 am
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I strongly suggest flying the airline that best suits your schedule. Then figure out how to make the loyalty program work for you. It doesn't really matter how much you like an airline if they can't get you where you want to go.

AS was great for me when I lived in SF. Then I moved to PHX and they added the segment requirement, so bye-bye AS and hello AA. They have been good to me. FWIW I find that most domestic airlines (not including LCCs) are basically the same; loyalty towards any one is a mistake. My flying experience has not changed in any significant way since I switched. I guess I miss the chocolate.
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Old Jul 24, 22, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I strongly suggest flying the airline that best suits your schedule. Then figure out how to make the loyalty program work for you. It doesn't really matter how much you like an airline if they can't get you where you want to go.

AS was great for me when I lived in SF. Then I moved to PHX and they added the segment requirement, so bye-bye AS and hello AA. They have been good to me. FWIW I find that most domestic airlines (not including LCCs) are basically the same; loyalty towards any one is a mistake. My flying experience has not changed in any significant way since I switched. I guess I miss the chocolate.
You know you miss the chocolate. But the big picture is to fly the airline that best suits you today and redeem the spoils of the program sooner rather than later, because those spoils may devaluate before you wake up in the morning. At this point, I can't be concerned about spekulashens, and just ride the ride, until I want to get off of any particular airline's ride when it decides I'm no longer "worthy."

I have the benefit of not being in a captive hub for anyone, so I can sleep around as need be, whether or not I'm sleeping around in a lie flat seat. If I worried about the future of these programs, I'd sleep more poorly than I currently do.
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Old Jul 24, 22, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
I thought the AS GGUs were tough to use, but yeah, I agree, SWUs are WAY more challenging.
The GGU I find , with a little patience, searching and flexibility, pretty useful. Last year I booked a trip from Vegas to Jackson Hole using GGU and companion fare. Got two confirmed tickets in first for $484 over July 4 weekend. Had to adjust my dates by one day if I remember but I seem to find space. Only route I can NEVER find U space on is San Diego to Lihue, never once have I been able to book that. I just did book LAX or OGG in September using GGU Thur - Tue travel and again, great value with companion pass, two confirmed seats, r/t for $605. That is a great value, just had to be a little flexible
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