Is hitting MVPG worth a mileage run?

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by yaychemistry, Jan 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    Back story:
    I've got 35k flying on AS metal in 2013 (20k booked, 15k planned). That leaves me a transcon short of MVPG. I've also got 5k on AA flights booked, so I could feasibly hit MVPG on partner miles with a long transatlantic.

    The question (and I realize it changes from person to person): is it worth doing a MR?

    With a new job, my vacation time is less flexible, so a MR might not be the easiest thing to fit in.


    The benefits I found most useful when I was a United 2P, were the express security lines and the occasional upgrade.

    From what I understand, MVP doesn't get express security. And I live in BOS, and AS doesn't have an express security line there (hence, there's not a huge change there if I hit MVPG).

    I also figure, that the BOS-SEA nonstop (which is obviously the majority of my AS metal flying) is a tough upgrade. I don't expect to get an UG as an MVP - but will my chances improve significantly as a MVPG, or are there just too many 75k's on that route?

    I could hit MVPG with an extra BOS-SEA trip...
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    How often will you fly AS in the future? Mvpg has good benefits if you fly AS, but if you're restricted to one route that sorta limits things. Maybe better to go for AA plat?
     
    Jimgotkp and yaychemistry like this.
  3. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    I remember reading that all transcon flights are tough to get upgrades on, even for 75Ks, I believe PHL is the "easiest" route for complimentary upgrades.

    Is there a reason why you're trying to get MVPG? I'm assuming so you can get an award ticket with EK? Considering their First Class product isn't great.... :)
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  4. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    1,528
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Its worth it for free ticket changes, awesome SDC, upgrades (though hard on tcons), double mile accural, and killer customer service.

    Regardless of status if you get tsa precheck via global entry program you will get to speed through security on BOS and most other major spots. Even when you don't clear precheck, you get to cut back into the regular queue at the front.
     
    mo26, Jimgotkp and yaychemistry like this.
  5. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I've thought about going for AA or DL. But 75% of my flying is to SEA, as the AS route fits my schedule. I will reliably fly BOS-SEA-BOS 3-4 times a year. I also fly to JNU every couple of years, and to OAK/SFO (so routing through SEA, or even SAN, is not impossible).

    The rest of my flying is kind of scattered - ORD and MSP are my next frequent locations - and that usually ends up a mix of DL and AA (hence, why I tend to credit everything to AS).

    EDIT: I should also add - I reliably put 15-20k on the BOS-SEA route, but that might be the only flying that I do in a year. That's why I like AS - since I can get at least some status with only 20k EQM. Plus, I find the schedule convenient and love the Alaskan Amber.
     
    Jimgotkp and mattsteg like this.
  6. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I kind of figured that upgrades are going to be a longshot.

    The EK partnership certainly influenced my desire to credit as many flights to AS as possible :)

    My next big redemption will probably be LA to South America, though. EK will probably come next.
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  7. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    Given that BOS only has a couple flights on AS, I'm not sure SDC will be that big of a benefit for me. Double mileage, however, might be worth it...

    I will have to reconsider getting Global Entry - I don't fly internationally very often. And I really don't have all that many domestic trips - 40k tends to be my ceiling.

    I had heard that AS doesn't give PreCheck invites to MVP. Do most MVPG get PreCheck invites, or is Global Entry the only reliable way?
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  8. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    With that much of your activity on the one route AS serves, and the rest tending to split between routes naturally served by AA and DL, it could be a reasonable option. If the majority of the travel you do is on routes where AS is a natural choice, then I would say it would make good sense to go for it.

    SDC may be a dubious benefit with few options available, but free ticket changes is a huge benefit of MVPG that's pretty unique. The free changes could be a massive benefit to you if your plans are not always solid, or may not matter at all. I'd absolutely love such a benefit from an airline useful to me. The mileage accrual benefits are pretty easy to do the math to value. Say you normally do 20k miles you get an extra 10k miles over MVP plus the 15k or so you'd earn as an MVP from a MR - at a conservative value of say 1.5 cpm that's roughly $375 worth of miles. If you can find the right fare (IST for a weekend perhaps) I would think it could be well worth it, but it all depends on how much you value the benefits, as well as how much you'd enjoy an MR (or short vacation) vs how you value your time otherwise.

    If the big pull is priority security, then consider just getting GE for $100 or NEXUS for $50 as a great alternative.
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  9. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    You should maybe think about a PLAT challenge so you can get 100% RDM bonus. No award tickets on EK though :(
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  10. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    In my view, MVPG will be worth your while. You'll earn 4 confirmed guest upgrades, and I find the free SDC and as well as no change fees to be valuable. No change fees mean you can cancel a trip and deposit the value in your wallet to use later as you see fit.
     
    yaychemistry and sobore like this.
  11. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    These are used on any fare for an upgrade at the time of booking?
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  12. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    The confirmed upgrades require a minimum fare class, which is lower than that required for instant upgrades, and they require that "U" inventory be available. They are hard to find on transcons; easier to find on ANC, Mexico and many Hawaii routes, particularly ones that originate or transit from California.
     
    yaychemistry and sobore like this.
  13. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Status Points:
    1,470
    BOS-PDX is a much easier upgrade than BOS-SEA, so routing BOS-PDX-SEA might help some. ;)
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  14. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I'll have to look and see how BOS-SAN works out, upgradewise. Plus that routing would get me more miles!

    Kind of defeats the convenience of the BOS-SEA nonstop, but hey! That's why I'm on MP.
     
  15. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I've always wished I could route SEA-PDX-BOS to increase upgrade chances, but PDX-BOS departs too early for that to work. I imagine connecting via SAN would require an overnight.
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  16. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I think the real answer depends how much flying I plan to do in 2014 - I would had to MR for Gold, only to fly twice in 2014. But that's too far off for me to know definitively.

    That's a good point about PDX, though.
    but. .. I have friends in SAN that I want to visit - might be worth an overnight anyway.
     
  17. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status Points:
    420
    For MVP I'd say no unless you do a lot of short solo travel and could benefit from the upgrades. But for MVP-G I would say absolutely YES because you can get upgraded on most flights and you can upgrade companions, plus the upgrade certs.
     
  18. Colonel G
    Original Member

    Colonel G Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    73
    Status Points:
    245
    You could always do a mileage run to Hawaii. The expenditure seems a lot more justified when you are going someplace nice!
     
  19. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    Haha - Hawai'i is why I'm within MR distance of MVPG. I used my last F-eligible Companion Cert to go BOS-SEA-SJC-OGG-OAK-SEA-BOS in F :)

    As it turns out, I grabbed a promotional fare on BOS-SAN for the MR - BUT one of my trips to SEA that I was counting on been changed to OAK. Unfortunately, AS's BOS routes make it tough to connect to the Bay Area, and without that trip I'll be 3.5k miles short of MVPG (40k on AS metal)!

    I'll have to figure out a creative way to get 3.5k miles on AS metal, or pay through the nose for the one OAK-(SEA/PDX)-BOS routing that doesn't require an overnight.
     

Share This Page