Alaska Airlines is doing some big things with its loyalty program. Alaska Airlines' loyalty program is already famed for its rare distance-based earning options. However, some new incentives are being introduced to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan this spring that are really changing the game.

Alaska Airlines announced a new promotion last month that makes it easier to attain elite status. Travelers flying out of select hubs in California and heading to select destinations on the East Coast will be able to take advantage of the promotion. The promotion allows travelers to gain low-level elite status within the Mileage Plan after just two roundtrip flights. Mid-level Gold status can be achieved once four journeys have been completed.

That's a pretty big deal when you consider that the only way to earn low-level elite status in the Mileage Plan up until now had been to fly 20,000 miles. It would take flying 40,000 miles to earn the program's highly coveted Gold status. Keep in mind that a trip across the country usually only earns you around 5,000 miles. Alaska Airlines is essentially cutting the earning threshold in half with this promotion.

You have until the end of May to take advantage of Alaska Airlines' generous promotion. However, another way to earn more miles is also in the mix.

Alaska has also announced another promotion that will allow Mileage Plan members to double all of their miles when they shuttle between select California and East Coast destinations. That particular promotion is running from now until the end of 2019. One thing to keep in mind is that elite-qualifying miles cannot be earned during this promotion. It is strictly good for earning award miles. However, we don't think anyone will be complaining.

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: