Alaska Airlines just gave another reason for its flyers to smile. New parents can take advantage of the new Elite Leave program and put their status on hold. This means that new parents can take time off to enjoy their new bundle of joy, all without losing their hard-earned airline status.

If you are a new parent and part of Alaska's Elite program, you can now put your status on hold during pregnancy or parental leave, for up to one year. After the year has passed, you will be able to pick up where you left off and get your status back.

If you qualify for Elite Leave and want to take advantage of the program, all you need to do is send an email to In the email, just include your Mileage Plan number, full name, DOB and proof of pregnancy or parental leave. A note from your employee or doctor will suffice.

According to the terms and conditions of Alaska, Mileage Plan members with MVP, MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75K can qualify for Elite Leave. Whether you are going on parental leave for maternity or paternity or you are adopting, you can take advantage of this program.

Any new parents who want to take advantage of this program should be pleased. Offering to put flying status on hold is catching on, and British Airways actually just recently announced a similar program. Other airlines have also been offering to put flying status on hold, including Air Canada and Qantas, and hopefully this is a trend that catches on.

Adam Luehrs is a contributing writer at based in California. He likes traveling to new and exciting destinations, preferably on his credit card company's dime. When not on the road, Adam enjoys hiking around the mountains of San Diego, trying out new food and reading history books. Email: