Back in June I was given mid-tier elite status by Turkish Airlines, Gold in their Miles & Smiles program, as a result of my british midland Gold status.
The bmi program was winding down as a result of the airline being acquired by British Airways, and Turkish was making a play to acquire their customers.
What that meant to me is that I would continue to have lounge access with United and US Airways whenever flying either airline, even domestically. Because “Star Alliance Gold”-level frequent flyers with non-U.S. frequent flyer programs are entitled to that access. (Of course I already get US Airways lounge access from my American Express Platinum card. So for me this was about free United access.)
Here’s what’s interesting, though. It wasn’t just a limited-time offer to pick up British Midland’s customers. Turkish Airlines will offer status matches on an ongoing basis.
The status lasts two years and they give you two years to re-qualify (if you choose to).
Since I do not live in Turkey, the rules are 25,000 Status Miles in year one or 37,500 Status Miles in two years, and they will let you purchase 10,000 towards the 37,500 (either at 25 euros per thousand or 30 euros, the website separately lists both prices and I haven’t checked which one applies in practice). I did a bit more analysis in my original post on the status match.
What’s most interesting is who they will offer this to.
Reader Ron A., an American AAdvantage Platinum member, emailed a request which was denied. But the response he received outlined which members Turkish will offer the matches to:
Please be informed that only Star Alliance Gold , Skyteam Elite Plus and Oneworld Emerald members have an opportunity for Status Match.
They will match other Star Alliance Gold members. So a United or US Airways Gold (50,000 status miles) can get Turkish Gold, and thus free lounge access.
They will also match American Executive Platinums and also Delta Golds.
The idea here is they will offer their status which is equivalent to the top tier in the Star Alliance to anyone that has top tier in an alliance. Oneworld has three tiers, so only the very top will get matched by Turkish. Star Alliance and Skyteam have only two tiers, with top tier offered to 50,000 mile flyers at United and at Delta.
So, as Ron points out, “50,000 miles a year on Delta will get you
a match from Turkish but 50,000 on American won’t.”
To me it’s interesting that they will match United! Traditionally airlines haven’t been willing to ‘poach’ customers from within the same alliance.
If you want a status match from Turkish, registered for their Miles&Smiles program. Then send a request to email@example.com including a copy of your membership card and online statement showing your status.