Alaska Airlines will launch new frequent-flyer level for top travelers

Alaska Airlines is expanding the benefits it gives to travelers who fly more than 100,000 miles per year, the company said this week.

By the end of January 2022, the company will launch “MVP Gold 100K,” adding a new top tier of benefits atop its existing structure. The current frequent-flyer program tops out at “MVP Gold 75K,” for travelers who fly at least 75,000 miles in a calendar year.

The new 100K program requires travelers to fly a minimum of 24 Alaska Airlines flights to reach the mileage requirement.

Travelers who reach that level will be given the highest priority when Alaska Airlines considers who to upgrade to first class and premium. They’re also receive more bonus frequent flyer miles, a free alcoholic drink and snack in the main cabin, and two international upgrade certificates for American Airlines flights.

The new 100K program means the frequent-flyer programs operated by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines now have the same levels.

The two companies have increasingly tied themselves together over the past year.

American Airlines’ chief revenue officer told investors last month that his company envisions Seattle as a hub for international flights across the Pacific. Over the past year, it has added flights to Shanghai, London and India from the city.

Alaska Airlines’ hub is in Seattle, and in March, Alaska joined an alliance of frequent-flyer programs that includes American Airlines.