How I got @United to Match My @USAirways Status…and other status match news

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?

Other news:

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?




10 Comments on "How I got @United to Match My @USAirways Status…and other status match news"

  1. For me there’s no question, take the United Gold. Then fly to BKK via Singapore Airlines, the timing is better and SQ is a brilliant carrier. If you’re on the east coast the A340 EWR to SIN & on to BKK is great. From the west coast the LAX departures are equally pleasant. And they have the A380 from JFK now.

    You could also do ANA or even Air Canada, all much better choices than United.

  2. @Kevin, great idea about EWR to BKK, especially since SQ allows upgrades on that flight now using miles!
    Air Canada would probably be good for my flights to SYD too!

  3. United rarely, if ever, gives challenges for 1K. In fact, you can’t even use Flex EQM from their credit cards to get 1K status anymore. I would consider myself very lucky.

  4. Personally, I love Star Alliance and switched over from US Air to United (via AA, granted) over the years. On the other side, I’m in SFO where arguably United is my best choice.

  5. How did your friend get a status match to SPG? I thought all they do is status match?

  6. @Andy, she just called up SPG and requested they match her Hilton Status. And they did.

  7. Why don’t you ask USAir to give the 30K mileage credit you have already flown over to United? It will take a bit of work, but considering it is less than 6 months old, it should be do-able.

  8. @David that’s an interesting thought. I might give that a try!

  9. Yes, I switched from AA to Continetal 4 years ago. Just sent an email with my AA info and they matched it right away. I never looked back…it worked out great for CO and for me!

  10. Frenchita | July 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    Has anyone had any success in getting a status match from the same airline more than once? I got a status match back in 2008 from United. I now have the choice of flying United again after a 3 year hiatus, but they just rejected me for a new status match because of the 2008 match. I thought I would at least ask, but not sure if it’s a losing proposition.

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