Last week I blogged about the fact that I am ready to leave behind my Chairman Status with US Airways and make a move to a new airline. It’s a hard decision, I’ve held Chairman and Platinum status with US Air for many years now. However, there are two factors driving my decision 1) US Air doesn’t really fly the routes I need over the next two years and 2) they’re customer service stinks lately. I love the Star Alliance, but was completely frustrated that United wouldn’t match my US Air status since they’re both in the Star Alliance.(seems unfair that they don’t offer challenges within Star Alliance or some way to transfer airlines.)
I contacted American Airlines (via twitter) and Delta Airlines (via email) . The AA Twitter Team did respond and said they would send me a status challenge via email, but I never got anything. Delta responded via email and asked a ton of follow-up questions about my business travel and today I got an email offering me a status challenge. I have Platinum Status for the next 90 days and to keep it until Feb 2013, I need to fly 26,000 Medallion Qualification Miles OR 35 Medallion Qualification Segments on flights operated by Delta or Delta Connection
Since it took so long to hear back from Delta and I still haven’t heard from American, I decided not to give up on United and reached out to the manager of my company travel desk. I explained to her what type of travel I would be doing over the next 9 months, explained that United was a better fit, provided her with my current status with US Air and asked what she could do. After a few emails back and forth (between me and her and between her and the airline rep) she was able to get United to give me an outright status match to gold. No challenge required. Now, I’m Chairman on US Air, so Gold is a step down. Nice of them to do an outright match, but….an equal match would have been better. So the moral of the story is don’t give up! I didn’t think United would match, and sure enough, after I found the right way to go about it, they made the match.
Now, I’m in the position that I have to choose which way to go. I have flown 30,000 miles on US Air since Jan 1, 2012, that feels like wasted miles towards status. I have already booked 1 flight from CHS to BRU in two weeks on United and I would probably easily reach at least 75k on United between now and end of year, maybe even 100k.
And then there’s Delta. Everyone has said Delta’s international product is terrible, and I do hate flying through ATL. The majority of my travel is to BKK over the next three moths and that would mean over 30 hours of travel time due to the # of connections and layovers with Delta. And since the flights would have to be on Delta to qualify, that would be challenging.
While United doesn’t offer much better routing for me, since I wouldn’t have to fly on United (no status challenge), I could fly any Star Alliance Partner and still earn miles on United. Since Thai got rid of their direct from LAX to BKK, I’d probably go with Asiana.
So, as I see it I either stick with US Air and put up with them, or switch to United and deal with Gold status for a while until I make it to a higher status level on miles. I also have to say, that in the last two days, US Airways social media team has been responding to tweets. That’s a great sign…but they’ve got a long way to go in the customer service department.
Which way would you go?
Recently, several of my coworkers have asked for help with status matches of their own. Happy to report, all of them had some success. Starwood did an outright match for a Hilton Diamond member to SPG Platinum. All she did was call SPG and ask!
Another coworker emailed Frontier Airlines and asked them to Match American Status. They offered a status challenge. Fly four one-way trips in two months and to maintain Ascent status (normally acquired by flying 15,000 miles for 20 flight segments.) Amazing challenge – and so easy for someone in my industry to complete.
Another coworker had their SPG Platinum status outright matched by IHG at the same level. She did an online chat session with them and then emailed her current SPG status and was granted the status for one year.
Have you had any success with status matches?