Have Elite Status? Get Free Access to American and United Clubs!

Airlines are interested in poaching the best customers of their competitors.

Frequent flyers sometimes want to switch airlines, but it’s tough — you’ve flown enough to earn perks, you don’t want to give up those perks and start from scratch with another carrier.

So many airlines will offer a status match: show that you have elite status on a competitor airline, and they’re willing to give you similar status to make it easier to move your business over.

To avoid getting ‘gamed’ the airlines may:

  • Make you prove your status with another carrier first
  • Possibly give you status for only a limited time, while you have to fly a certain amount to keep that status
  • Honor the offer only once per person.

In general airlines have gotten more restrictive in making these offers over time. And the very existence of status matches and status challenges is predominantly a U.S. thing. Very few foreign airlines offer status matches.

(Some do. Historically Air New Zealand has, if you’ve got travel on the airline booked, and Turkish Airlines will although it can take awhile for them to get around to processing you. Etihad regularly makes status match offers as well.)

Here’s what’s useful in getting status matched to a non-US airline: if they are a Star Alliance member, you get access to United’s clubs even when flying domestically — and if they are a oneworld member, you get access to American’s clubs even when flying domestically.

American’s oneworld partner airberlin will status match

  • If you have status with another airline outside of the oneworld alliance (but not including Etihad, as those are considered conflicts) you can get status with airberlin.
  • They used to offer a challenge, with status lasting only a short time. In recent months they’ve begun offering status for a full year.

So send in your United or Delta status to airberlin, and you should be able to get a status that gives you access to oneworld lounges when flying oneworld airlines. That means getting access to American’s clubs when flying American.

  • Join airberlin’s topbonus program.
  • Send an email to service@topbonus.de with a scanned copy of your program activity and elite frequent flyer card.
  • Tell them you’d like a status match so you can make the switch.

You should be able to get them to match Turkish, even if you got Turkish Miles&Smiles status via a match because reports are generally that a scanned frequent flyer card is enough even without a scan of your account activity.

United’s Star Alliance partner Turkish will status match

Join Turkish Miles&Smiles and use the web contact form on their site to submit a scan of your frequent flyer elite card and statement.

Turkish can take a few days or even three months to get back to you but they’re a soft touch with the match for a status that lasts two years.

They’ve matched status for quite some time. And sometimes they will even match status from another Star Alliance airline. They’ll generally even match airberlin status..

Want to see others’ status match experiences? StatusMatcher.com has crowd-sourced reports on who is matching whom.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Has anyone had any luck using their Jetblue Mosaic status as a match to either of these or any other airlines?

    Beginning to think this status is totally useless besides getting free changes and cancellations on Jetblue, which is kind of nice.

  2. @ Gary — Does Air Berlin match up to their OW Emerald level, thereby opening access to AA’s US Flagship lounges? That would be very nice, especially since the BA status from our old friend bmi has finally faded away.

  3. While it doesn’t give much benefit TK does a soft landing to their Classic plus (Star Silver equivalent) status for at least a year after your 2 year Elite (Star Gold) status expires.

  4. While it doesn’t give much benefit, TK does a soft landing to Classic plus (Star Silver equivalent) status for at least a year after your 2 year Elite (Star Gold) status expires. All without crediting a single flight.

  5. if one succeeds in getting a Turkish match, can you still use the lounge if you are flying a Oneworld airline that day?

  6. Is it better to wait until 2015 to request a match on TK or do they do two years from the date of the match? In other words, if matched on 12/20/214, will the status be valid until 12/31/2015 or 12/20/2016?

    Does TK only need the statement as a proof of status or do they look at activity as well? I’m AA Platinum from my flights in 2013 but didn’t fly much in 2014.

  7. I have United Silver. I assume airberlin will match me to their Silver status (OW Ruby). But will this get me access to AA lounges?

  8. Signed up for Miles & Smiles and then submitted my status match request e-mail to Turkish today (currently AA Platinum).

    Now ready to wait a few days or three months for Turkish to get back to me, but Star Gold is well worth the wait for me. Thanks Gary.

  9. Hi. I have Delta platinum medallion status. If I status-match with Turkish, what Star Alliance status would they grant? Thanks!

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