Update: My United Status Match That Wasn’t

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Earlier this week I blogged about status matching and challenging elite status and that I recently was offered a match to United Platinum, simply by emailing them my American Airlines Executive Platinum information. Here’s my email exchange – as you can see, this didn’t end up as planned and I’m not happy about it.

My original email to premiermatch@united.com:
I am currently an American Airlines Executive Platinum member and would like to bring my business to United. Will you match me to 1K? If so I will switch to United.
My MileagePlus is 12345
Brian Kelly

A copy of my AA statement is attached (I had taken a screenshot of my online account statement and attached the JPG). Please let me know if you need anything else. Thanks!”

Response less than 24 hours later:
“Hello Mr Kelly,

We’re always glad to hear from MileagePlus® members like you. Thanks for writing.

We would be happy to grant you status in the MileagePlus program.  The one consideration we would have, we match American Executive Platinum at Platinum.  You would have Platinum for the rest of this year and all of next.  Let us know if that is what you would like to do.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.


Shelly XYZ”

My response:
Is there any way to get to 1K- even with a challenge? If not, I’ll take Platinum. Thanks!”

Within 36 hours I get the following:
“Hello Mr. Kelly,
Congratulations! You have been awarded Premier Platinum® status in the MileagePlus® program! This will make your travel with us comfortable, simple and more rewarding than ever.
Your status will be effective for 90 days. Your 90 day time frame will be July 11 through October 9, 2012. To remain a Premier Platinum member through 2012, you will need to fly 25,000 paid, qualifying miles or 30 segments on qualifying flights* within that 90-day timeframe.
If you meet the above required paid flight miles or segment threshold, a Premier Platinum kit will be issued and mailed to you. Until you have a card, be sure to add your MileagePlus number to your reservation in order to benefit from your Premier status.
*Qualifying flights must be operated by United, United Express, or Copa with a United or Copal flight number and credited to the member’s MileagePlus account. Flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa that have a partner’s codeshare flight number do not qualify. Flights operated by any other airline do not qualify.Premier Platinum status can be earned each year by flying 75,000 Premier status miles (PQM) or 90 Premier status segments (PQS) between January 1 and December 31 of each calendar year. You earn PQM and PQS on qualifying purchased flights on United and United Express and the Star Alliance members. For a current list of Star Alliance member airlines, please visit www.united.com/staralliance. For details about the MileagePlus premier program, visit www.united.com/premier. MileagePlus members are only allowed to earn premier status through the Premier Status Match program just one time.
Regards, Tammy XYZ”
So the good news is that I now have United Platinum status and that United is responding quickly to these requests (right after the merger they were taking weeks to respond). The bad news is that it’s not 1K and it’s actually challenge – not the match I reported on Tuesday. This is aggravating because I am racking up a bunch of United MQM’s on the Star Alliance Mega Do in November, but that falls outside of this 90-day challenge window.
I already sent an email back requesting a match instead of a challenge, but something tells me this is going to be an uphill battle. I think it’s very misleading that I emailed premiermatch@united.com and they agreed to give me Platinum and then once I agreed, they spring a 90-day challenge on me. I’ll keep you all updated, but wanted to clarify that it seems like United is not actually matching American or Delta elites, but is instead requiring challenges – something I don’t think is a bad idea, but they should be more up front with the process.
My first experience so far has not been pleasant – perhaps a sign of things to come?

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