Free agency has its benefits…

From time to time, airlines, hotels, car rental brands and other travel companies seem hellbent on making loyal customers feel unloved. Just like any relationship, when this happens, people tend to wonder what life might be like in a more rewarding arrangement, but are often dissuaded by the notion of “starting all over again”. We promise, this is still about travel. Enter the status match. A status match is a tool to gain “matched” travel benefits with a competitor, without giving anything up. If only travel brands spent as much time on keeping customers, as they did stealing them…

How It Works

You’ve worked hard, stayed loyal and earn your way to triple aluminum bonded diamond with extra chocolate sauce. Naturally, you don’t want to lose the benefits and start over again. With a status match, a competitor offers to bring you in to their program at a tier identical or better to triple aluminum bonded diamond, with extra chocolate sauce – so that you can see what life is like on the outside, without sacrificing priority boarding, suite upgrades, or whatever it is you value.

You Lose Nothing

The big important thing to remember is that you lose nothing here, other than perhaps future opportunity. You always keep the status you’ve earned, and don’t have to do any burning ritual to enjoy your new one. Generally speaking, airlines will only grant a status match once, so the only thing you potentially lose, is the chance to take one with that particular brand at a later time. With that in mind, it’s generally foolish to take advantage of a match before you have any use for it.

You Potentially Gain A Lot

Been hearing rumors that the other airline, hotel chain or car rental company takes much better care of their guests? A status match is your ticket to see for yourself. You still hold onto your original status, but a match makes you a free agent, able to test the waters. You can go ahead and book that competitor flight and see what their offering is like, while still enjoying the elite perks like extra miles, upgrades, lounge access and whatever else. Same goes for hotels. If it turns out not to be great, you’ve still got your original status to fall back on.

Securing A Travel Status Match

We’ve written about 10 status match opportunities which are still floating around. To initiate a match, you first need a program, like one of those 10, which is offering a match, or at least a fast track. A fast track is where you’re temporarily granted status, and asked to jump through a few hoops to keep it. Once you find a program that’s matching, you email, fax or use their customer service portal to submit a copy of your current elite status card and any other requested info, like travel patterns. StatusMatcher.com is a brilliant user based resourced for finding out which programs are offering opportunities, and how to best get in touch.