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This week I’ve been talking about airline status matches and challenges. While most airlines have published programs that generally prohibit top status matches/challenges, there are some current programs out there that will, like United’s 1k Challenge. I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org the following email:
I am a NYC based Delta Diamond and I am considering a switch to United, because I like your PS service on JFK-LAX/SFO. Do you offer a match or status challenge to 1K? If so, I would consider switching all of my business to United/Continental.
Thanks in advance!”
Their response 2 days later:
“Hello Mr. Points Guy,
We would be happy to consider you for 1K® status through our Elite Status Match promotion. This offer is open the members who hold the equivalent status on American Airlines, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, Delta or Eva Airways only.
To get started, email, fax or mail a copy of your most recent Delta Airlines summary and your United Mileage Plus account number to the address below. The Delta Airlines summary should indicate your current elite status level. If you fax or mail your summary, be sure to include your email address.
Fax: 605-343-4104, Attn: Elite Status Match
Mileage Plus Service Center
Attn: Elite Status Match
P.O. Box 6121
Rapid City SD 57709-6121
We’ll respond to your request within 5-7 business days. If your status match is approved, we’ll upgrade you to 1K status for 90 days from the date of approval. Here’s what you’ll need to do to keep that status:
- Fly 35,000 paid, qualifying miles or 40 segments within the 90-day conditional period.
- Qualifying flights must be operated by United, United Express, Continental, Continental Connection or Continental Express with a United or Continental flight number and credited to the member’s Mileage Plus account. Flights operated by United, United Express, Continental, Continental Connection or Continental Express that have a partner’s codeshare flight number do not qualify. Flights operated by any other airline do not qualify.
- Once you meet the appropriate threshold, you’ll remain a 1K member through January 31, 2013. If you don’t meet the threshold, you’ll return to your previous level of membership.
- Members who earn 1K status through this offer are not eligible for systemwide upgrades. Systemwide upgrades are earned when members earn 100,000 Elite Status Miles (EQM or 120 Elite Status Segments (EQS) in one calendar year.
- You may earn elite status through the Elite Status Match promotion a maximum of one time in a five year period.
We wish you success in qualifying for a status match.”
So there you have it – it is possible to challenge to top status, but I’m not sure it’s worth it because you don’t get the valuable Systemwide Upgrades. By challenging and not requalifying for Delta, I’d lose my valuable choice benefits – you get 1 when crossing the 75,000 MQM mark (say 20,000 miles) and then 2 when getting Diamond (another 25,000 miles and gifting Gold status to someone). To me, there’s just too much at stake to switch to United and not even get “the goods.”
However, if you don’t want to start from scratch, this offer is a decent deal, especially because they don’t charge co-pays like AA.