New SkyTeam Frequent Flyer Program Starts Monday, Offers Status Matches

Air Europa is launching its own frequent flyer program, Suma on Monday, December 14.

Like Copa and United, Air Europa has decided to build its own program rather than renting the loyalty engine of a larger partner carrier.

After 8 years of a succesful colaboration between Flying Blue and Air Europa and thanks to the experience accumulated over the last few years with Air France and KLM, we’ve decided to launch our own Loyalty Programme, SUMA.

They’re explicitly stating they’ll offer to status match Air France Flying Blue elites — and ironically they say it’s because “Flying Blue and Air Europa are still cooperating.” Heh. We’ll see, once people start registering and submitting requests, whether they’ll status match elites from other programs as well.

Don’t expect lounge access on domestic US flights as a SkyTeam elite. 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).

And whether Air Europa Suma status matches or not, SkyTeam member Alitalia has a formal status match program. Aeroflot has one that lasts 3 more days (and requires a flight).

I’ll be looking forward to seeing whether Air Europa matches broadly, and what their award chart (as well as partner airline earning) looks like on Monday!

(HT: Paul D.)

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 tried status match to my AA platinum membership. They indeed denied it stating they only status match to Flying Blue.

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