Alaska Airlines Fights Back: Earn Up To Triple Elites Miles Offer Post-737 MAX 9 Crisis

When the Boeing 737 MAX 9 was grounded, following the Alaska Airlines flight that lost a door plug inflight and rapidly depressurized, Alaska was forced to cancel a significant portion of its trips. The MAX 9 represents over a quarter of the carrier’s mainline fleet.

They generally treated customers whose itineraries were affected by the cancellation well, but many passengers did book away from the airline. They believe they took a $150 million hit to their bottom line. And Delta reported during its earnings call that they were seeing the benefit of passengers booking on them instead of Alaska in Seattle.

Alaska, though, wants its regular customers and is promoting their flying the airline in a big way: with double and triple elite qualifying miles in February. No registration is required.

  • All Alaska Airlines paid fares except basic economy earn double elite qualifying miles for trips taken in February.

  • Corporate travelers on contract tickets booked through their company portal (excluding basic economy tickets) earn triple elite qualifying miles for trips taken in February.

Only Alaska Airlines operated flights (including Horizon and SkyWest regional flights for Alaska) are eligible, and codeshares marketed by another airline don’t count. The airline says it may be the end of March because the bonus qualifying miles post to member accounts.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — February only? What a joke. Most travelers (especially leisure ones) already have their travel booked for February. Maybe 3 months would have been a little more reasonable?

  2. @ Gary — Oh, and does this incident really cost AS $150 million? At the end of the day, won’t Boeing be stuck with that bill?

  3. @Gene
    Why do you hate on every airline except United?

    The article does not say travel had to be booked after the announcement, so travel that has been booked already should earn double/triple elite miles.

  4. @ Derek — Where did I express a dislike for AS? They are my favorite domestic airline. The only airline I really dislike is Delta. Yes, that is a nice giveaway of EQM, but the promotion doesn’t exactly incentivize anyone to buy tickets with Alaska.

  5. Omg double elite miles! I don’t think we’ve seen one of these deals in almost/over a decade right? Back before my time…

  6. AS and every other airline will get compensated by Boeing in credits for future orders.
    Boeing doesn’t have the cash to keep paying every customer for every delay – and every aircraft Boeing builds is delivered late.
    The whole reason United keeps placing massive Boeing orders is because they have so many credits from Boeing and cash in on them as soon as they can; they just are now realizing that customer credits don’t fly passengers and so do no good as long as Boeing keeps delaying orders.

  7. I have a transcon booked in February. Originally on the Max 9 (first time I had booked on it, reluctantly). It got swapped to a -800 last week. If they swap it back to Max 9 I’m moving on to plan B: more expensive flights on Delta, already booked as backup. Considering Delta has the A220 (and -800, both with PTVs) on my main route I don’t see myself flying Alaska a whole lot this year unfortunately.

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