Have Elite Status With an Airline or Hotel? You Can Have SkyTeam Status, Too.

Earlier this year I wrote A Guide to Asking Airlines to Give You Elite Status based on status you have with a competitor.

Travel providers are interested in acquiring their competitors’ best customers, but elite status has a lock-in effect. You might want to defect from United to American or from Delta to Alaska, but it’s pretty tough to do that and start from scratch with a new airline. You’re well treated as an elite, and it’s rough out there flying without any status — although bottom tier of status can be approximated in many cases with the airline’s co-branded credit card.

It’s hard to move your business when you’re used to getting upgrades! So in order to lure your business some travel companies will give you status right away, or offer an expedited path to earn it, by demonstrating you’re a valuable customer of a competitor.

Right now SkyTeam member and Delta partner Aerolineas Argentinas is promoting an aggressive new status match offer. They will give you a year of elite status based on the status you have with another airline (that is not a part of the SkyTeam alliance) or a hotel chain. Willingness to match against, say, Hilton Honors is unique, easy, and aggressive.

  • They are matching to Elite Gold and Elite Platinum as long as your current status has more than 3 months of validity left

  • Status will be valid for a year

  • They will consider matching status from pretty much anyone outside of a SkyTeam airline,

    The airlines and hotel chains participating in the challenge are: Latampass de Latam, Smiles de Gol, LifeMiles de Avianca, Iberia Plus of Iberia, MileagePlus of United, Aadvatange of American Airlines, Executive Club of British Airways, Hilton Honors de Hilton This list is not exhaustive and any other airline or hotel chain sent by the applicant will be subject to approval by Aerolíneas Plus.

If you’re interested, submit:

  1. Aerolíneas Plus member number (you need to join the program first)
  2. Full name and email address
  3. Copy of most recent competitor account statement or membership card showing status

Aerolineas Argentinas appears to say they will literally give you elite status based on Hilton Honors status you can get from a credit card.

SkyTeam Elite status gets you preferred seating, priority check-in and boarding, and extra baggage. SkyTeam Elite Plus also gets you lounge access (but not flying Delta domestically) and priority baggage handling.

Granted when this airline flies on time it is a source of great national price. However you do not need to fly the airline to benefit from their status.

(HT: Marambio)

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. Anyone one world airlines that will easily match Aerolineas that don’t involve having to actually fly the airline first or show proof of future travel?

  2. Took an extra couple of minutes to join, due to language. I did get my new number. Now the waiting game begins.

  3. @bzv how about you actually try it and find out? this space is getting increasingly filled with spoon-feed-me’ers

  4. We don’t know what they will match for Hilton Diamond or anything else. Maybe they purposely left it vague in case the whole world asks for a status match.

  5. Submitted request yesterday for match to Aerolineas Pro Platinum based on my Marriott Plat Premier Ambassador status. Will report back.

  6. Interesting article — thanks for posting.

    I’m flying Delta from JFK to AMS. If Aerolíneas Plus matches me to gold or platinum, will I receive those benefits when I fly on Delta to AMS? Do I have to include my Aerolíneas Plus number in the reservation in order to receive the benefits? I’d prefer to keep my Delta number in the reservation as I’d rather earn Sky Miles instead of miles with Aerolíneas Plus if possible.

    Candidly, I’m really only interested in the lounge access courtesy of the platinum status. Would I need the Aerolíneas Plus number on my Delta ticket to access the lounge, or would just showing my Aerolíneas Plus status at the lounge be sufficient for entry?

    Finally, I’m Hilton Diamond. Do you know what level that would match to in Aerolíneas Plus?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  7. hi: I am having trouble registering for an aerolineas account. I keep getting and “Email address invalid” error. I’ve tried several email addresses.

    Has anyone else encountered this or am i just doing something stupid?tx

  8. Sarah, is there a capital letter in your email address? When I first tried to register it automatically capitalized the first letter of my email and I got the error. I manually uncapitalized it and it went through.

    Anyone get a response back from their request? I sent a message Monday night for a status match (I’m AA EXP) but haven’t heard anything back yet.

  9. I had no problem with the e-mail or with opening a new account. I was assigned a number almost immediately.

    The problem I have is finding on their website, any information about frequent flier status. Even if I switch the site to English, no where can I find anything about the FF program.

    I registered Tuesday. I sent in my request to the e-mail address along with my proof of elite status.

    Today I got an e-mail from the airline but I have no idea what is says. Even using Google translate does not help me.

    Could the e-mail be merely be a welcome e-mail to me for opening a new FF account the other day? As I wrote, I got a FF number at the time I opened the account.

    Curious if anyone actually got a high status through this match.

  10. Sent my Hilton Gold proof. Got a Spanish email back. Google Translated it. After logging in (nightmare), I still didn’t know what status match I got. Where can I see it?

    How do I take advantage of it when traveling via other Skyteam airlines? Thx.

  11. I’m using the email listed and making sure it’s all lowercase but sitll getting a response that this email does not exist? It’s Microsoft Outlook email servers sending me this reply.

  12. And tried to follow up with another email and this time it’s bouncing. And yes, I have the correct email address.

  13. @Pam: I’m in the same boat. I also tried to follow up with an email yesterday and got a bounceback. I successfully logged into my frequent flyer account and it doesn’t show Platinum either. I wonder if this is just a delay from the deluge of emails during the holiday (something that’s quite possible) or if it’s just not going to happen.

    Has anyone successfully obtained a status match from this offer?

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