My United Platinum Status Match Outcome

by on August 22, 2012 · 26 comments

in Elite Status, United

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In a previous post I discussed the different ways you can use your current elite status to get status on another carrier by simply asking or completing a “challenge”- a shortuct toward elite status that airlines offer to lure customers away from their competitors. Elite status is extremely valuable and generally when you request a match or challenge after July 1 of each year, that status is then good until February of the year after next. That means if you were to get matched/challenged to status today, it would be good until February 2014. Last month, I sent a request to United for Premier 1K, their top tier status, using my current American Airlines Executive Platinum status. In response, United confirmed that couldn’t match me to 1K, but they would still match me to United Premier Platinum. I then sent another email confirming that I would like to be go ahead with the match, and another representative responded that they had signed me up for a Untied status challenge that would require me to fly 25,000 paid, elite-qualifying miles, or 30 segments, within 90 days. Nowhere in their initial response did they indicate that it would involve a challenge, so I sent back another email asking them to honor their original decision to match my AA Executive Platinum to United Platinum. I received a response that my request was being escalated to management and after about two weeks I got a response stating that they would honor what they said in their initial email and simply grant me a status match to Platinum, even though the representative offering me the match was incorrect. While I think this was a one-time exception from United prompted by the mistake of one of their MileagePlus customer service representatives, I still appreciate that United made good on its original terms and granted me Platinum status until February 2014.

The normal status challenge and match information for United including levels and requirements.

My United Platinum Experience So Far My elite status has already paid off in several ways so far – getting me upgraded twice and saving me a ton in award ticketing fees. I had purchased a cheap economy class ticket recently from Los Angeles to San Francisco and I was able to make a same-day flight change for free (normally $50) and was upgraded to first class. Then I redeemed 25,000 miles for a last minute business class award from Los Angeles to JFK and my Platinum status saved me the $75 last minute ticketed fee and I got upgraded from business to first Class, which I assume was because the flight was oversold and they bumped elites from business to first class. I was also able to change a recent award ticket back from Europe on United to Lufthansa so I could experience the airline’s new first class product without paying any late award booking fees (normally $75 for non-elites within 21 days of departure, and $50 to change award tickets even for lower-level elites). Overall, being Platinum has saved me money and allowed me to fly more comfortably- something I’ll continue to enjoy for another 17 months!

I was able to change my flight from United to experience Lufthansa’s new first class without incurring any ticketing fees thanks to my new elite status.

Other Top-Tier Match Opportunities American allows challenges for a co-pay and requires challengers to earn a certain number of Elite Qualifying Points (not miles) within a three-month period: 5,000 for Gold and 10,000 for Platinum. You must also pay to enter a challenge: $120 for Gold and $240 for Platinum. You can enroll by calling AAdvantage customer service at 1 800-882-8880 or emailing [email protected] American does not generally do challenges for Executive Platinum, though earlier this year they were matching United 1K to Executive Platinum, and more recently they have begin matching Delta Diamond Medallions to Executive Platinum. The most current offer I’ve heard is a match to Executive Platinum for the remainder of the year with a challenge that requires 45,000 Elite Qualifying miles by the end of 2012 to retain the status until February 2014 and to receive the 8 SWU’s.  While there is no indication on their site, it can’t hurt to ask by emailing them at [email protected] as well! Delta also allows challenges up to Platinum Medallion status from AAdvantage Executive Platinum and United Premier Platinum and 1K. To achieve it, you will need to accrue 26,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM’s) or 35 Medallion Qualifying Segments within 90 days. If you register and complete the challenge now through June 30, 2013, your status will be good through February 2014, so now is a good time to take this on if you have a lot of travel coming up since you could earn status for another year and a half. If you do complete the challenge and are awarded Platinum status, you will not receive a choice benefit until you fly 75,000 miles though. United ordinarily only offers challenges up to Premier Platinum, which you have to be  Platinum Medallion with Delta to qualify for (it’s not offering status matches with American now). Within 90 days, you will need to fly 10,000 qualifying flight miles or 15 flight segments to retain Premier Silver status, 17,500 qualifying flight miles or 22 flight segments to retain Premier Gold status, or 25,000 qualifying flight miles or 30 flight segments to retain Premier Platinum status. Right now, if you complete a status challenge and qualify, your status with United will be good until February 2014.

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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  • Pink

    “While I think this was a one-time exception from United prompted by the mistake of one of their MileagePlus customer service representatives, I still appreciate that United made good on its original terms and granted me Platinum status until February 2014.”

    Think it may have also had something to do with the fact that you’re a well-known blogger? ;)
    Hey, more power to ya though…if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

  • Guest

    I could buy enough PQMs to make the difference between Premier Gold and Premier Platinum for about $2800. Do you think it’s worth it?

  • thepointsguy

    Ha I really don’t think the email customer service reps knew that I was a blogger (I certainly didn’t mention it or email anyone at United).

  • Pink

    They had your name and email and your request was “escalated to management”. It’s not that hard to connect the dots.

  • AL

    For the Delta status match, wouldn’t it be possible to apply for the match, and try to reach the MQM using credit card spend on some of the Amex Delta cards? Or do these have to be BIS miles

  • thepointsguy

    Personally, I wouldn’t do that

  • thepointsguy


  • FullMoon

    U/G on an award ticket is a mighty rare thing

  • Jondysse

    Silly question since most people ignore them but what about status match to or from US airways

  • AClark

    I agree with @fullmoon on the award upgrade. Even more, though, I flew the LAX/JFK route and lobbied with the Club attendants, gate agent, customer service, and customer service on the phone to get upgraded from Business to First Class on that flight…all said that I couldn’t with my Platinum status.

    B/c it was three cabin classes, they said that it counts as a global upgrade, not regional. The JFK&DCA/SFO&LAX routes have these cabins. I thought that was an odd and silly rule for domestic flights, especially since neither premium cabin was full.

    You definitely got a few perks, man, that I haven’t gotten in my UA Plat experience…congrats! I am dying to try that LUTH1st class with my 6’2″ frame!

  • Mike33

    Congrats to you but unfortunately I had tried replying in 3 separate emails to get them to MATCH my American Plat Exec status and all three times they would only agree to the status challenge.

    I even asked to have it escalated but no luck. Oh well….hope I can get there in 90 days.

  • Asdfasdf

    what’s cooler than being cool? TPG

  • Dan Nainan, Comedian

    Not if you are elite on Delta!!!

  • Dan Nainan, Comedian

    I have Diamond Medallion status on Delta and I get upgraded on every single award ticket, and I will more than likely get upgraded on my upcoming award ticket to Liberia, Costa Rica.

  • Dan Nainan, Comedian

    Don’t you think The Points Guy deserves it, to say the least, because of the wonderful public service that provides for all of us (for free, to boot)? If the airlines had any sense, they would give him first-class tickets to anywhere in the world, anytime he wanted to go.

  • Bo

    how long did it take them to respond you after your first email? I’m flying 25,000 miles in a 89 days period so i’d like to get the match as close to my trip as possible. Can they process within one day (even though the website says 7 business days)? Thanks

  • Turbahn

    As far as I’m concerned, the Mileage Plus Status Match is a complete and total scam.

    I am an AA exec platinum as well as a DL Diamond Medallion and submitted these asking for a status match. Instead i received the following challenge:

    “For Premier Silver, fly 10,000 paid, qualifying miles or 15 segments
    within the 90-day conditional period.
    For Premier Gold, fly 17,500 paid, qualifying miles or 22 segments
    within the 90-day conditional period.
    For Premier Platinum, fly 25,000 paid, qualifying miles or 30 segments
    within the 90-day conditional period.
    Qualifying flights must be operated by United, United Express or Copa,
    with a United 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.
    Once you meet the appropriate threshold, you’ll remain a Premier Silver,
    Premier Gold or Premier Platinum member through January 31, 2013. If you
    don’t meet the threshold, you’ll return to your previous level of
    You may earn premier status through the Premier Status Match promotion a
    maximum of one time in a five year period.

    We wish you success in qualifying for a status match.”

    Fair enough. So I earned 35,357 Premier Qualifying Miles during the period of which, 33,495 were on COPA in business class. Today my temporary 1K status was replaced with Silver. When I sent an email to [email protected] I was told that only the 18,262 actual flown miles counted (no business class or other PQM bonuses).

    So, even by this absurd measure, I should have gotten Gold. Instead i got Silver, which I qualified for without the stupid status match. After a series of emails back and forth asking for the adjustment to at least Gold if not Platinum, I got the following:

    “Thanks for your reply.

    We’re glad to know that you find great value in our Premier program, but sorry to hear that you’re disappointed with the change in your status level. It’s our goal to reward customers like you who reward us with their loyalty.

    The thresholds for premier status are challenging to achieve. In fairness to members who have met them this year, we’re unable to make an exception based on your individual circumstances. ”

    I didn’t ask for an exception, I asked for what I was entitled to by the rules of the status match. I got absolutely nothing, not even the Gold status I’m entitled under the BS “flown miles” definition.

    Don’t waste your time with this status match, Mileage Plus, United, or COPA.

  • Pa Robert
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  • Cris Fishback

    Greetings from Omaha, NE!

    Many thanks for this useful “article” regarding status matching. Included above was the specific email address ([email protected]) for United. Might you have similar addresses for AA and DL?

    In advance, many thanks for your time and all of the incredibly useful information you provide each and every day,

    Cris Fishback

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