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There are ways to get the Southwest Companion Pass without flying a mile, mostly through credit card signup bonuses and spending – though there are ways to get the Companion Pass without getting the Southwest credit card. Since this seemed like a bit of a loophole, I actually thought twice about whether or not to post anything, but eventually posted it since there are several other articles talking about it
Alaska now only matching to MVP Gold
According to Flyertalk, it appears that it is a somewhat recent development that Alaska will now only match a Southwest Companion Pass holder to Alaska MVP Gold status, which is Alaska’s mid-tier status, instead of the MVP Gold 75K, Alaska’s top-tier status
But is it even worse?
I got a note on my Facebook page about this
Thank you for contacting Alaska Airlines Customer Care. We need additional documentation in order to review your request. Please re-submit a copy of your flight history that would show you earned Companion Pass status by flying either 110,000 miles or 100 flights. Once received we’re happy to review your request. Unfortunately, we no longer offer 75K status based on Companion Pass status but we will offer MVP Gold. Please be advised that a Tier Match is only offered to a member who has achieved elite status by actual flight miles flown and has not earned status from credit cards, transferred points, or any promotion that Southwest may be offering for elite status.
(emphasis mine). According to this report, in addition to only being matched up to MVP Gold, Alaska is asking for proof of frequent Southwest flights instead of just documentation of having the Southwest Companion Pass.
I looked on Flyertalk and other sources to see if I could corroborate but could not find any other reports of asking for proof of flights in addition to the Companion Pass, but it’s possible I missed it, or it may be a recent development. Or, it may just be a case of HUCA (Hang Up, Call Again) where a particular agent is just making up his/her own terms.
All in all, I can’t argue with Alaska’s logic here. The whole point of airlines status matching is to (theoretically) entice frequent fliers on one airline to leave their airline of choice but still have the same frequent flyer benefits. Giving top-tier status to someone who has potentially not ever even flown a mile (like someone who has the Southwest Companion Pass just from credit card signups and spend) doesn’t really make sense.
Have you tried to status match from Southwest to Alaska? Do you have any data points on the Companion Pass status match to share? Leave them in the comments!