I am currently at the Calgary International Airport relaxing in the Aspire Lounge that I accessed for free using my American Express Platinum Card.

I received a very nice email from Alaska Airlines this morning notifying me that I have been upgraded to First Class on my flight to Seattle.

AS SEA F Upgrade

I mean, it’s only a 1.5 hour flight and it is only Domestic First Class but still … it’s a very nice thing to wake up to.

You may notice on the top of my screenshot that I am an MVP Gold member with Alaska but I rarely fly them … so how did I become an MVP Gold member?  Simple, I used a status match with WestJet.

If you don’t know the details of what a status match entails, I would invite you to read my post on how to status match so that you too can enjoy some of these perks as well.

As an MVP Gold Member, you receive automatic upgrades into First Class based on availability but more importantly to someone that books award travel a lot, you get access to the priority lines of the Alaska call centres, meaning no wait time.  Additionally, all change fees are waived … even on awards that are canceled an hour before the flight  This is a significant benefit as it allows me to book and hold reward flights on a speculative basis.  If my plans change, I can always call to cancel my award and have my points redeposited at no cost.

The main point of this post is to reiterate the idea that you need to earn a status with someone … anyone … and then use that status to leverage your way into other statuses.

As you can see, the perks are certainly there once you become a status member.



Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


    • Hi Naveen,

      My WestJet status was earned a few years ago when Westjet launched their program. I was a status member (Elite 25K) with Air Canada at the time so I used that status to leverage a status match with WestJet. Since that time, WestJet has had some pretty easy requalification criteria so I have been able to retain my status for the past couple of years. Hope that helps.



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