Looking for an airline status match? Our guide to airline status matches and challenges in 2024

Most loyalty programs have a set expiration date for elite status, meaning that once the year is over, you’ll lose all the benefits that come with it. However, there is a workaround that can help you maintain your elite status and its perks by matching it to a competing loyalty program. This allows you to select different carriers and still enjoy the benefits that come with your elite status.

Many airline loyalty programs offer the opportunity to match elite benefits from other programs. For example, if your Delta Air Lines Medallion elite status is set to expire on January 31st, you might be able to match it to a competitor’s program. This typically grants you temporary elite status with the competing program, which can be extended by meeting specific flight or revenue requirements.

So if you qualify, you can gain complimentary elite status with another airline. Let’s take a closer look at some current airline status match and challenge opportunities that you can take advantage of in 2024.

What is an airline status match?

An airline status match involves getting an equivalent or lower status tier with a new airline based on your existing status with a competitor’s program. This is offered by airlines to attract travelers who have shown significant loyalty to another airline and program. It’s a way for them to entice these travelers to switch their loyalty by offering them similar benefits with their own program.

If you want to try out a new program but don’t want to start from scratch, a status match or challenge can be a great solution. It allows you to maintain your elite status benefits while exploring new options. However, there are some important things to know and consider before initiating a status match or challenge.

Key strategies and principles for getting an airline status match

When applying for a status match, you will typically need to provide a photo of your membership card and a mileage statement to prove your current status. It’s crucial to avoid altering or falsifying your credentials, as this can lead to severe consequences, including account suspension.

A status challenge may or may not require you to have existing status. The airline will specify the number of elite qualifying miles or dollars you must earn within a specific time frame to achieve a particular elite tier. It’s important to thoroughly understand the requirements and which activities count toward the challenge, as some cobranded credit cards or partner airline tickets may be excluded. Keep in mind that status matches and challenges are often limited to once per lifetime per account, although some carriers may have exceptions.

It’s usually advised to complete a match or challenge after June to enjoy status for the rest of the year and potentially retain it for the following year. However, some recent airline status match challenges, like the one Delta offers in 2024, allow you to maintain status through January 2026.

It’s worth mentioning that airlines may not always publicize their status match and challenge opportunities. You may need to call or email the airline’s customer service or check websites like StatusMatcher to find out about these opportunities. Also, keep in mind that the outcome of your request may vary depending on the agent processing it.

Now let’s take a look at some specific status match and challenge opportunities offered by major airlines.

Alaska Airlines status match

Alaska Airlines used to offer straightforward status matches, but now their status match process includes a challenge component. They will match elite status from various programs, including Aeromexico Rewards, Air Canada Aeroplan, American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, Frontier Airlines Miles, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and United Airlines MileagePlus.

When you request a status match, you will be granted the corresponding status level in the Alaska Mileage Plan program for 90 days. To retain this status beyond the initial period, you must fly a specific number of miles on flights marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, or SkyWest Airlines, depending on the tier you match.

The required flight thresholds for each tier are as follows:
– MVP: 5,000 miles
– MVP Gold: 10,000 miles
– MVP Gold 75K: 20,000 miles

Unfortunately, Alaska’s MVP Gold 100K tier has no status match opportunity. To submit a request, you can visit the dedicated status match page on Alaska Airlines’ website and provide a screenshot of your current mileage statement displaying your name, status, and miles earned this year or flown in the prior year to achieve elite status.

It’s important to note that if you’re matched to MVP Gold 75K, you won’t be eligible for the 50,000 bonus miles associated with qualifying for that status, even if you successfully reach the 20,000-mile threshold. However, if you match to Gold and fly enough to keep that status, you will receive four Gold guest upgrades. If you complete the MVP Gold 75K challenge, you will receive those upgrades plus four Alaska Lounge day passes and the ability to nominate someone for MVP status.

If you request a status match by the end of June and fulfill the requirements, your new status will be valid until the end of the calendar year. If you initiate your status match on or after July 1st through December and fulfill the requirements, your status will be valid until the end of the following year. Applying in July or August of this year would maximize the length of your status.

American Airlines status match

American Airlines offers a status challenge program called Instant Status Pass to Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Diamond Medallion members and United MileagePlus Premier Platinum and Premier 1K elite members. To participate, you can apply on American Airlines’ website and be matched to either AAdvantage Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum.

The program consists of three phases, each lasting four months. Upon registration, you will immediately enjoy the benefits of the chosen status tier. To maintain the temporary status for another four months, you need to earn a prorated number of Loyalty Points, which is around one-third of the full requirement for a year.

The Loyalty Points required for each tier are as follows:
– AAdvantage Gold: 13,000 Loyalty Points
– AAdvantage Platinum: 25,000 Loyalty Points
– AAdvantage Platinum Pro: 42,000 Loyalty Points
– AAdvantage Executive Platinum: 67,000 Loyalty Points

During each phase, you can earn Loyalty Points through qualifying activities with American Airlines, its partners, and cobranded credit card spending. All these activities count toward your status challenge.

The status you achieve in the first phase determines your starting point in the subsequent phase. This means that regardless of the initial tier you registered for, you will begin the second phase with the benefits you unlocked in the previous phase.

Delta Air Lines status match

Delta SkyMiles is currently offering a status match, up to Platinum Medallion, to elite members of various airlines, including international programs like British Airways Executive Club, Lufthansa Miles & More, Virgin Australia Velocity, and major U.S. programs.

To request a status match, you will need to submit your information and proof of your current elite status. Once approved, you’ll be matched to the corresponding Medallion tier, complimentary, for three months.

With Medallion status moving to a Medallion Qualification Dollar-earning system in 2024, to extend the status beyond the initial three months, you would need to earn a specified number of Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) within the three-month period. The requirements are as follows: to extend Silver Medallion, you need to earn $1,500 MQDs; to extend Gold Medallion, you need to earn $3,000 MQDs; and to extend Platinum Medallion, you need to earn $6,000 MQDs.

If you qualify and complete the challenge’s additional requirements, your Medallion status will be extended through January 31, 2026.

Frontier Airlines status match

While not yet available, you can join the waitlist for Frontier Airlines’ 2024 status match. The landing page reveals some details of the new match program, including the ability to match from 45 different airlines, hotels, and cruise lines. A new “Elite Silver” tier will provide 12 points per dollar spent and Zone 2 priority boarding. Further details have not yet been released for 2024, but Frontier has previously charged members for the “administrative costs” of approving a status match.

Hawaiian Airlines status match

HawaiianMiles has previously offered status matches up to top-tier Platinum status on a case-by-case basis via its online contact form. While not publicly advertised, it doesn’t hurt to ask. To request a status match with Hawaiian Airlines, you will typically need to provide proof of your current elite status and documentation of flights completed that earned the elite status, including flight activity to at least one of Hawaiian’s destinations.

These are just a few examples of the airline status match and challenge opportunities available. Keep in mind that these opportunities may change over time, so it’s important to stay updated on the latest offerings from each airline.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to maintain your elite status and its benefits beyond the current year, a status match or challenge is a great option. It allows you to explore new loyalty programs while still enjoying the perks of your current elite status. Just make sure to follow the guidelines and requirements set by each airline and take note of any limitations or restrictions.

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