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United MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge

by on March 6, 2012 · 35 comments

in Elite Status, United

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As I’ve written about before, status matching and challenges can be the quickest, easiest way to achieve elite status on a new airline, especially if you know you have a lot of flights coming up and can choose the airline on which you complete your travel. For anyone unfamiliar, a status match is when an airline will comp you elite status if you have elite status on a competing airline and a challenge is when they make you complete a set of short-cut requirements before giving you comped status.

United just officially merged the OnePass plus program into their Mileage Plus program and they just updated the terms of their offer to elite customers of other airlines to match their status for 90 days while they complete a challenge starting anytime now through December 31, 2012. Note: United just gutted the benefits of their Premier Silver members (such as not allowing them to choose Economy Plus seats until 24 hour check-in mark), so understand which program serves you best before doing a status match/challenge.

The challenge flight requirements for all three levels of status matching.

Number Crunch
Delta Silver Medallions and American AAdvantage Gold members can go for Premier Silver and must complete 10,000 qualifying flight miles or 15 flight segments to retain their status after the 90 days are up.
Delta Gold Medallions and American AAdvantage Platinum members can go for Premier Gold, and have to complete 17,500 qualifying flight miles or 22 flight segments during the challenge period to retain it.

Platinum Medallion and AAdvantage Executive Platinum members can receive Premier Platinum Status and retain it by flying 25,000 qualifying flight miles or 30 flight segments.

Looks like there’s no way to earn Premier 1K or Global Services status.

Terms and Conditions
-The flights must be operated by United, United Express or Copa.

-If you already have Star Alliance Silver or Gold status, you are excluded from this offer. So, for instance, you can’t be a Premier Silver with United and a Platinum Medallion on Delta and hope to jump to Premier Platinum with this challenge. They’re looking for all-new members here. Since it is also part of the Star Alliance, US Airways elites get left out in the cold.

-You cannot participate if you have status matched on United or Continental in the past 5 years.

-You won’t be issued an elite status card for the 90-day trial, so you won’t enjoy benefits like lounge access, and your elite status is only good on United, United Express and Copa.

-If you are matched to Premier Silver or Premier Gold status based on your current status with another airline, you can’t earn a higher level of status through this match, even if you fly the qualifying miles to do so. Likewise, if you are matched to Platinum or Gold status, but only fly enough miles to qualify for Silver in the challenge, you cannot earn the lower status level through this challenge. In other words, you must complete the status challenge for your level and your level only.

For Your Consideration
To be considered for the status challenge, you must either:
Email [email protected]
Fax: (605) 341-6140
Mail: Mileage Plus Service Center
Attn. Premier Status Match
PO Box 6121
Rapid City, SD 57709-6121

Include the following:

-Your MileagePlus account number. If you don’t have an account, join here.
-Your name, complete current mailing address and email address.
-A copy of your most recent mileage summary, or your 2012 membership card identifying your current elite level in Delta’s program.

Confirmation will be sent by email in 7-14 business days (so get your request in early if your travel is coming up soon!).

You can find out more about the new MileagePlus program post-Continental/United merger here.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Kevin

    I sent in my request for this a week or so ago after I booked a trip from IAD -> HKG -> SIN and back. Will cover the requirement for me to meet Gold with UA. (Currently Gold w Delta.) I was wondering how long it would take them to get back to me, sounds like I should hear from them soon!

  • DBest

    Could you clarify the Star Alliance exclusion? If you are doing a status match from say, Delta Gold, but also have status on any other Star Alliance airline (e.g. Aegean, Air Canada, etc.), then you are disqualified?

  • thepointsguy

    You’d be fine. It just means you can’t use solely another star alliance carriers status to match. They don’t run a background check to make sure you don’t have status with other airlines

  • Sean

    I’ve been in the challenge since January. I have flown >25k. Will status expire in 2013 or 2014?

    FYI… they didn’t let me know until Feb that I was in a challenge, and did NOT retro-actively credit me 2x award miles for my January asia trips

  • Stepahn

    They seem to be running behind schedule on status matches — I put in my request on February 13. Hopefully I’ll hear back before my flight SFO-FRA next week! Otherwise I don’t think I’ll fly enough to meet the challenge.

  • http://www.rapidtravelchai.com Rapid Travel Chai

    Too bad no 1K for DL Diamonds, maybe some day…not in a rush so I’ll save my shot.

  • ballardFlyer

    The United website says “For customers who qualify for this promotion on or after July 1, 2012, benefits are valid through January 2014.” – does that mean you must signup after July 1 or just hit the required number of miles after July 1?

    I’m wondering if I should match in May/June and then I will cross the 25K mark after July 1 or do I need to start the whole match after July 1?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3431439 JP Cross

    I read about this and was thinking of submitting the status match from my Delta Platinum around April 1 so that I could hit 25k miles around July 1 or so and have the status for 6 months in 2012 plus 12 months in 2013 (and two months in 2014).

    I previously had Premier Executive and per the emails United had sent was expecting to fall to no status at all this week. It appears they may have given me an unexpected soft landing to Silver, which I figured was worthless but harmless.

    Now it seems that I would actually be punished for having UA Silver as I am no longer eligible for the Status match program, is that correct?? Any chance I could persuade them otherwise?

  • Matt MSP

    So far I have found absolutely zero value for my Kingfisher King Club Silver….

  • theavidcruiser

    A few clarifications: You can get a card showing your status. I’m currently in a challenge phase (Delta Diamond -> Premier Platinum) and my iPhone App Tripit shows that I am Premier Platinum. I used it to get into the SAS Lounge in Copenhagen. You can track points with Tripit and if you turn the iPhone landscape, it will show an image of your card. Also, I status challenged last year and was allowed to do it again this year. Maybe they don’t remember. Shh!

  • ziondv

    I submitted my info nearly 4 weeks ago and haven’t heard back yet….So far I’m not too excited about switching from DL (Gold).

  • Kevin

    Yikes! Well with the migration over to their new system I could see a bit of a backlog, hopefully they get to it soon! I’m mostly just hoping to get the bump to Economy Plus for those loooooong flights.

  • AKold

    I sent an email with the exact same question to UA last week, but haven’t heard a response yet. I’m in the same situation since I have an 18K mile trip on UA starting in late June and ending in late July that would push me over the threshold on the return.

  • AKold

    Have you tried calling? Getting a live person may push up your request: http://pss.united.com/web/en-US/content/contact/mileageplus/default.aspx?SID=58C6397772524197B378A59A154859F1

  • Mmt

    I requested match in January. Response received in early Feb that match was granted for 90 days from that date. Status is still not showing in United account. Two emails have not been answered.

  • Sean

    And so far, in my experience with their hard product, United < Delta

  • Sean

    Same thing for me, they waited until after my TPAC flights to tell me I was in the challenge. Should’ve requested the challenge before I booked.

  • tivoboy

    I honestly wouldn’t waste any time these days trying to get status on COdbaUA. Any benefits of elite are just gone. Just buy the premier access card and be done with it.

  • Lark

    Well, it’s time for you to step up to the big leagues….

    “Sir Turtle Club Membership Application”

    https://www.caymanairways.com/index.php?module=turtleapplication&view=

  • Landspeednyc

    From everything I’ve read on FT and elsewhere, there’s no rhyme or reason to how/when they approve requests, whether you call to follow up, or not. Until they get their act together, no way I’m signing up.

    I prefer the way the AA challenges are run, where there are fixed start dates (1st or 16th of any month, IIRC). You lose a little flexibility, but it’s worth it for the certainty, to me.

  • NBL

    The 7-14 business days mentioned above is far rom accurate in my experience. I am Executive Platinum on American Airlines (have been for several years in a row), turned in my forms to the united email address above multiple times showing that I flew 127,000 miles last year, and for over 2 months now they have not responded to me (other than an auto-email saying they would get back to me soon – that was around the first of the year). So, I’ve not been impressed with United so far.

  • ziondv

    Thanks, but with all of their integration and recent misteps the phone method was not very successful. The integration between Delta and Northwest was far less painful!

  • A4k

    The way United is handling this is just terrible. I would like to make a match over from Delta, but I am not going to book any UA flights without knowing I have the status. The fact that is is taking them who knows how long to get back makes it impossible to plan how to meet this challenge. Poor job by UA.

  • Austincbeasley

    I actually managed to get a UA status match challenge from US Gold > UA Premier Exec in January of this year. I had been flying transcon out of SFO weekly on US and UA agreed to make an exception to the policy.

  • David Delaney

    I completed the challenge from AA Plat to Premiere Exec last Nov ’11- Jan ’12 (was just prior to unification of the programs so was under United rules but looks nearly identical to unified program).

    FWIW, it took about 4-5 business days after I faxed the info in for me to get status. Was pretty smooth process overall. No real communication around were I was in the status match progress but I tracked manually and knew when I hit the numbers. The status stayed. Only bummer is that they added another tier so went from premiere exec to Gold.

  • Guest

    I filed my United status match on Monday. After 2 days with no response and no ‘we received your request’ auto-confirmation email, based on the posts below, I decided to attempt a call to MileagePlus Customer service to expedite the request (http://pss.united.com/web/en-U…).

    By being polite to the service rep and requesting supervisor expediting, I was able to get an immediate status match over the phone (which was instantly visible in my online account). My efforts cost 1.5 hours of being on hold with bad music but, given my speakerphone and my travel situation, it was totally worth the time.

  • GeoTek

    I sent the email to request the matching status on March 9th. I am currently a AA Gold member. I was just “status matched” to Premier Silver. Seems to have taken about 5 weeks for the status match

  • GeoTek

    BTW – I never received a confirmation email….just noticed the status change on my account at united.com

  • Ct_huntr

    I sent by both email and fax to request for status match, but haven’t received any replies after 3 days. I have an oversea trip coming up the next week so I called MileagePlus Customer service to expedite the request as well. The hold time to speak to a rep is long, but I didn’t need to speak to a supervisor. The customer service rep I talked to was able to grant status match immediately over the phone. In about 10~15 mins, I see my new status online. They do need to check whether your other frequent flyer program is qualified though. I’m matching from China Southern (Skyteam).

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  • HKrelo

    Does “qualifying flight miles” mean actual miles or will they also consider class of service bonus? I am flying to HKG in C next month from US east coast. Actual is about 17k but with class bonus it puts me over 25k. Thanks

  • Melina71

    I had no problems doing status match via telephone, as a Delta Silver I did the Silver challenge and within 10 minutes of chatting to a very knowledgeable person I got my Silver Status on United Plus. It helps to contact them directly with this issue.

  • http://butyoureagirl.com adriarichards

    Boom! Six days later I get an email for Premier Gold status in the MileagePlus with United. I just achieved Gold Medallion status with Delta a few weeks ago and read ThePointsGuy blog to see what this weary work traveler can enjoy. Saw this and promptly emailed United at the email listed in the post. I now have until early March to fly 17,500 qualifying miles or 22 segments (versus the 50,000 miles or 60 segments) which is much less than if I had to start from scratch and I’ll still be able to work on my Delta status as well..

    Thanks again for posting this! I didn’t know about airline challenges until I read your blog earlier this year when I found myself on several flights a month for work. I just past 32k Priority Club points and will be buying ICH Ambassador status.

  • Plano_TX

    Fly 140k-150k per year with AA, but recently started working in a location where AA doesn’t fly. So I had to look for another airline and choose United (the more that I have 750k life-long miles before flying AA). Requested the challenge, but the day I received my meil, I got the message that my project was delayed by 3-4 weeks. Add 1 week work from home during Thanksgiving and 2 weeks forced shutdown of the project (vacation & work from home) and as a result I just didn’t make my challenge. Asked if it could be extended for 1 month or start on 01/01/13 (fly 15- segments and 12k / month), but got no for an answer. Also wrote explaining the situation, but dead silence. 3 more flights with UA and then I will switch to Delta. I totally had with United: from 03/01 it will be Delta and AA (which is the most convenient when flying out of DFW

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