Another Successful Status Match
Back in 2013 I was able to sign up for a promotion with American Airlines that gave me Platinum status after earning 12,000 EQMs. This promotion was supposed to be targeted, however it was opened up to everyone for a short time and I managed to register for it. American decided to honor the promotion for all members who signed up.
To actually earn the Platinum status I found a ~$400 fare from Las Vegas to Asuncion, Paraguay via Miami. It was a lot of flying, but I made the most of it and stopped for a day in Miami to see a friend. The people in Asuncion were a little perplexed at me landing and turning around immediately, however there were other “mileage runners” on the flight so it worked out.
Earned My Fare Back in Miles
That flight actually earned me about 25,000 redeemable miles since I earned elite bonuses for part of it and American gave everyone on my return flight 5,000 miles proactively since we had to make an unscheduled stop in Aruba to have the bathrooms serviced. (Someone forgot to do it in Asuncion.)
So with a quick registration, a good deal on a flight to South America and about 20 hours of flying I was a mid-tier elite. Unfortunately I don’t fly enough on paid travel to re-qualify through normal means. Last year when I realized I wasn’t going to retain my American status, I matched it to Alaska. They matched me from AAdvantage Platinum to MVP Gold! Good stuff.
Status Expiring Once Again
Of course my Alaska Airlines MVP Gold status will expire, so my focus recently shifted to how I could keep this going longer. To do that I decided to contact Alitalia. They have been know to be very generous with status matches, so I sent them over a copy of my Alaska MVP Gold card and waited.
It has been about three weeks since I sent my card and they haven’t even acknowledged receipt of it. Thankfully that doesn’t matter because I fired up Award Wallet this morning to check and saw something that warmed my heart. I am now a mid-tier elite with Alitalia (FRECCIA ALATA) and a SkyTeam Elite+. Better yet, my status is matched through the end of March, 2017!
Benefits of This Status
SkyTeam Elite+ status isn’t the best in the world, however it will give me lounge access when flying on SkyTeam airlines, free baggage and access to preferred seating. More importantly it is status with one of the major airline alliances, which means I can possibly use it to gain status with another alliance/airline.
How to Match to Alitalia
Alitalia is one of the easiest airlines to match status to. In fact, they have a webpage dedicated to the process. Currently their site says the status match program will run through December 31, 2015. The site says status is good through March of 2016, however I received it for an entire extra year.
To get the status match send an email to StatusMatchMilleMiglia@alitalia.com with your first and last name, your Alitalia MileMiglia number (sign-up if you don’t already have an account) and a legible copy of your current frequent flyer card. It takes a few weeks, but they should match your status without any issues.
At this point I have turned one $400 flight into almost four years worth of elite status. While getting SkyTeam Elite+ isn’t the pinnacle of my overall strategy (I’m working on trying to get Star Alliance Gold as well), it is valuable for me to have. I actually flew Alitalia last year in economy and thought it wasn’t bad. Perhaps I’ll give them another try now that I am up in their elite ranks.