Have Airline Elite Status? Get Priority Services Flying Delta and Other Skyteam Carriers

Last week I showed you a foreign airline in each of the 3 alliances that will match your current elite status. That’s useful because it may get you free lounge access (even on the airline you usually fly), or at least airport priority like check-in and boarding when flying an airline that isn’t your usual carrier.

  • airberlin will offer status matches for a year, and that’s useful because it can mean getting free access to American’s Admirals Clubs
  • Turkish will offer status matches for two years if you have top tier status with a competitor, and that can mean free access to United’s Clubs
  • What was new (although it’s been offered in the past): Delta’s Skyteam partner Alitalia introducing a formal status match program.

It’s not surprising to see Alitalia offering status matches, since the airline is now effectively controlled by its investor Etihad — and Etihad has aggressively offered status matches.

When I wrote about the Alitalia status match option there was a suggestion of whom to email to process the match.

Via Head for Points, there’s now even an official website promoting the match opportunity.

They outline what competitor status levels map to which levels in Alitalia’s program.

  • Silver level – Ulisse Club
  • Gold level – Freccia Alata Club
  • Platinum level – Freccia Alata Plus Club

They don’t say “first tier, mid tier, and top tier” and they don’t explain how they’ll treat programs with four elite tiers. This can easily get confusing. American’s bottom elite tier is called Gold. British Airways’ top tier is called Gold. I’m not confident in Alitalia’s ability to understand and distinguish these.

Here’s how to obtain the match:

Getting a status match is very easy. Send an email to StatusMatchMilleMiglia@alitalia.com by December 31, 2015 with the following:

First name and last name
MilleMiglia code
A legible copy of your existing valid Frequent Flyer program card

They promise a two day turnaround on this, but since it’s Alitalia I’m skeptical of that as well.

Key things to know:

  • They will not match Skyteam elite status. Don’t send them a Skymiles or Flying Blue account and expect them to match it.
  • The program is available through December 31.
  • If your member year ends before March 31, 2016 then your status will last only until the end of March. If your member year ends after that, your status will last through March 2017.
  • They’ll mail you a card even without any activity in your Alitalia account.

New members start out with 2000 miles in their account (sometimes Alitalia offers more generous promotions than that). Alitalia is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, there are some attractive sweet spots on their award chart, but their call centers can be frustrating to deal with. They add fuel surcharges to awards where those would apply on paid tickets.

Don’t expect lounge access on domestic US flights. Skyteam isn’t as generous with lounge access as Star Alliance or oneworld. Skyteam status can get you airport priority services and free checked bags, but Skyteam lounge access benefits apply to international itineraries only. If you are flying a purely domestic itinerary in the United States, your Skyteam status will not entitle you to Delta lounge access although there are always reports of exceptions being made (usually on a ‘one time basis’ although offered over and over).

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. I sent an email for status match to Alitalia Jun 29 @ 1pm PST and I haven’t heard back yet.

  2. My understanding is that foreign SkyTeam elites do not have access to Delta SkyClub while traveling within the U.S. Some other Skyteam airlines have similar policies. For instance, China Southern and China Eastern do not allow SkyTeam elites to access their lounges when traveling within China.

    So an Alitalia top elite status is not very useful.

  3. I still have Aegean Gold / StarAlliance Gold… got it before they overhauled their program. I’m wondering if anyone had luck getting a status match to OneWorld or SkyTeam with Aegean Gold?

    Any luck anyone? Any advice?

  4. @Pat – You can’t expect an airline to match you at lesser requirements than their own program would subject you to. For this reason, Aegean Golds are very rarely matched.

    Personally though I’m also an Aegean Gold, and did apply for a status match with Alitalia, but made it crystal clear to them that even though I qualified before the change in terms, I’ve accumulated more than enough miles to not only qualify for the next year, but also to easily qualify me for the Alitalia top tier if this flight activity was with SkyTeam.

    If that’s the case for you as well then I’d recommend you to make it clear to them, and also send them a screenshot of the transaction overview page in your Miles&Bonus account.

  5. @Pat – airberlin matched my A3 Gold to their Gold (oneworld Sapphire). Which I consider quite reasonable.

  6. Hi,

    I have Jet airways Gold and moving to US west coast, can anybody suggest which airlines would offer status match.

  7. Hmmmm. Registration site for MilleMiglia — error message when hitting final “submit.” I guess not a surprise. I’ll keep trying.

  8. I have a delta domestic award reservation using delta miles.
    Now I got Alitalia Ulisse Club as a match to my united silver.
    How do I get free checked bag on my united itenary? Do I need to change to Alitalia number on my delta reservation? I did not find a place on delta reservation to change when I checked now.

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