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How Alaska Airlines Is Supporting Jet-Setting New Parents

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Maya Bibi and Her Son Enzo, Photographed by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids

Jet-setting mamas (and papas), this one’s for you! Don’t want to lose your hard-earned mileage status and rewards due to maternity and paternity leave? Alaska Airlines is launching a new benefit that allows parents to take a “pause” on their status while they are doing the oh-so important work of raising littles, then picking their status back up again once they return to work.

The benefit, called Elite Leave, is open to all folks on parental leave—moms, dads, and those going through the process of adoption. It came to fruition after the airline started noticing that its guests were losing their status while on leave, then having to start over from scratch once they returned. In order to celebrate and encourage parents to take a “pause” from work, Alaska will now hold their guests’ status for a year if they go on leave.

“This is just one less thing for new parents to worry about. It’s such a high stress, high emotion, low sleep time in your life that the last thing you want to be worrying about is losing your status,” says Natalie Bowman, Alaska’s managing director of brand marketing and a parent of three young children.

Interested? Here’s how it works. Email your full name, date of birth, Mileage Plan number, and proof of leave to [email protected]. Once your eligibility is verified, you’ll be registered for Elite Leave for new parents. Then, once you’re back in the skies, you’ll have your baller status in tow.

Which will be the next big company to extend benefits—instead of penalties—for parents taking a pause from work to focus on their growing families? Here’s hoping legions will follow.



This post is brought to you by Mother x Alaska Airlines

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