Alaska Airlines hasn't waited long to jump on the Delta-hating bandwagon. In a move to win over Delta Medallion flyers and try to steal business away from Delta, Alaska is offering exclusive incentives and extended status matches for Medallion flyers.
While Alaska Airlines usually offers status match only up to MVP Gold 75K, they are now offering up to MVP Gold 100K to Platinum and Diamond Medallion members which has never been offered before.
On top of the higher tier match, they are offering incentives to maintain status for longer with almost no strings attached. If you can show you have Delta status through 2024 you can maintain status through 2024 with minimal requirements.
Status Match Upgrades
The Credit Card Matters
In a genius move Alaska is pushing their credit card on the status match flyers in an ingenious way. For the flyers that get a status match and pickup the Alaska Airlines credit card by December 31 will have their status automatically extended all the way through 2024. If you don't hold the credit card you only hold the status for 90 days unless you complete the status match challenge.
Delta pushes their credit cards so aggressively that I find this an amazing move to steal the disgruntled SkyMiles Medallions who have claimed to be cancelling their Delta American Express credit cards and instead convert them with incentives on their credit cards.
What status and how long?
The best possible status you can achieve is Platinum and Diamond Medallions who will have status through 2024, and also hold Alaska credit cards. These medallion members get Alaska's highest status MVP Gold 100K all the way through 2024. Honorable mentions include Gold Medallions who get MVP Gold 75k for an entire year. And if you're Delta's lowest status, you can still get MVP Gold through 2024.
Alaska is being aggressive with these offers, and as a Platinum Medallion through 2024 I am tempted myself to put in for this status match offer. While I live in a firmly held Delta-hub city, I still need to make my way to Seattle a couple times a year and would benefit at least half-dozen times throughout 2024 having Delta status.
Will this actually make a difference?
For the next year I think the biggest difference to be made will be Medallion flyers in the Seattle and Portland areas, these two cities are hotly contested by Delta and Alaska. While Alaska doesn't have the international network like Delta does, their domestic offerings are pretty much neck-and-neck. For international flyers this may push more business to American Airlines, with reciprocal benefit agreements between the two Oneworld carriers ex-Delta flyers will get the same upgrade benefits on those two airlines.
While the offers are juicy now, I don't think we will see the full repercussions of Delta's changes and Alaska's offers until towards the end of 2025. Over the next year we will have to pay close attention to Delta's financial outlooks and their earnings. Remember that most of these changes to Delta's loyalty program won't become effective until 2025, leaving Delta flyers with at least one more year of status before it becomes infinity more difficult to attain status. Some flyers may maintain their loyalty until their status runs out, and decide to jump ship after.
My personal plan, I will be a Platinum Medallion next year and I will enjoy all of my diluted benefits until the end of the year. After that I will be a free agent and I won't be chasing status. All that being said, over the next year I will be more of a free-agent. If there is a significantly cheaper flight on United or Alaska over next year I will probably choose that over Delta. In 2025 I will be a free agent, mostly buying tickets in the class I want to fly rather than relying on complimentary upgrades. My goals of achieving status are over, it's clear that airlines don't like mid-tier flyers like me, so it won't be my focus anymore.
I applaud Alaska Airlines on their attempt to steal Delta Medallion flyers, they are being serious about Delta's devaluations and I think their position will likely be successful to steal Delta flyers away. It's disappointing with Delta's changes and we will probably see similar offers from other airlines that compete with Delta in other markets.