Who doesn't love getting a great tip? It doesn't matter what the tip is, they're helpful. When flyers with elite status ask me for my "one great tip", it's always to match to as many statuses as possible, while you currently hold your swanky status. After all, you don't lose your current status, you just gain extra status for nothing. In that pursuit there's a tremendous resource for potential matchers at StatusMatcher.com, where you'll be able to see first hand accounts of others experience in matching various programs. Here are some exciting new opportunities...
Alaska Airlines Match With Benefits On American, Delta
Alaska Airlines is its own alliance. You'll receive elite benefits not only on Alaska, but on Delta, American and Icelandair. Yes, that does mean priority check in, security, upgrades, preferred seating and extra free checked bags. The matching process can be hit or miss as far as success, but it's absolutely worth trying, with a fairly high success rate. Sometimes they match British Airways, sometimes they don't, sometimes they only match US airlines, other times, they don't. I'm seeing a trend of taking in more programs and matching to very high tiers, with complimentary upgrade certificates. Try your airline and luck. All the details to match: HERE.
Virgin America Elevate Match, Virgin Atlantic Benefits
Virgin America has traditionally only matched US programs, but it appears they're branching out. Many users mentioned successfully matching from Alitalia (another match), British Airways, Turkish Airlines (another match) and others. The best part? You get benefits on Virgin Atlantic if matched to Gold, where you'll receive priority check in, security and boarding while flying in any cabin. The only downside is that the match is more like a challenge. They'll comp you the status for 90 days, but you'll need to fulfill a required amount of flying in a 90 day period to mint it further. That can only be done within their US network. In my opinion, if you have business travel throughout the states, it's a great opportunity to have instant benefits at the start, with the opportunity to lock in the status for over a year once completed. Points are five points for every dollar spent. Request a match to Gold. All details to match HERE.
LAN One World Status Match
LAN has dabbled in the world of frequent flyer matches. They may require some additional emails and effort, but you have the chance to secure One World Emerald status, the highest level available, giving you nothing but the First Class treatment on all OneWorld Airlines, including British Airways, Cathay, American, Japan Airlines and more just for sending a couple emails confirming your status. Your best bet is to email firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy or scan of your elite card, some mileage activity, a story about increased use of LAN routes and being a frequent flyer. Request a match to Comodoro or Comodoro Black.
Turkish Airline Star Alliance Status Challenge
Turkish Airlines has been a thorn in the side of anyone attempting to match their One World or Sky Team status for the last few months. Some were successfully matched to Star Alliance Gold with ease, others never heard back, some were denied. It's been chaos. They seem to have gotten their ducks in order and are now offering a status challenge, generally requiring only one flight to have the status full granted for over a year. It's not something I would forgo my preferred airline to take, but if you find yourself in a position where you'll be flying Star Alliance, it's a good opportunity to secure a great Gold status with tons of benefits across all Star Alliance airlines. Contact them with copy of elite card and details of request HERE.
American Airlines OneWorld Status Challenge
We highlighted this a couple weeks ago and it's a ripe opportunity for anyone. I say anyone, because you don't need status with anyone to take the challenge. You're simply being a smart consumer and locking in the same benefits, sooner, for less flying. You'll need to fly 12,500 elite qualifying points, which are like miles, in 90 days. If you fly business class on any OneWorld airline you'll earn at least 1.5x EQP, economy fares generally earn 1 EQP. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain Platinum status, giving you OneWorld Sapphire, lounge access and all the good stuff across many of the world's best airlines. Details HERE.
Status matches and challenge are free or greatly discounted opportunities to secure meaningful benefits, generally requiring tons of expense and butts in seats for nothing. Some of these will go as smoothly as a straight blade shave. Others will require some grooming. Keep at it, stay diligent. You can't expect to complain about something that's being handed to you for free based off previous work (flying). Enjoy..