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It’s not uncommon for airlines to offer status matches or challenges in an attempt to lure high-value flyers from other airlines. However, United’s current program is ending soon. You’ll need to submit your request by March 31, 2016 to take advantage of the airline’s current status match + challenge.
If you’re looking to switch loyalties — especially with the changes American Airlines is making to its program in 2016 — now’s your chance to do so without starting over “from the bottom.” One advantage of matching now is that you can hold elite status on two different airlines for the rest of 2016, since you don’t have to give up your current status to get status with United.
First, you need to have status on Delta or American Airlines to be considered:
|Level matched to in MileagePlus||Premier Silver||Premier Gold||Premier Platinum|
|Delta Air Lines Medallion level||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
|American Airlines AAdvantage elite status||Gold||Platinum||Determined upon review|
|US Airways Preferred level||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
No, that’s not a misprint. United still includes matching from US Airways Preferred. This is probably from simply copy-pasting the chart from a previous promotion, but perhaps lifetime US Airways former elites can still match to United under this provision.
One thing to note is that these conversions aren’t set in stone. This month, I’ve worked directly with United to match an AA Gold (lowest level) to a United Gold (mid-level) by demonstrating that this traveler has significant travel coming up during 2016.
Once your request is accepted, you’ll gain provisional United MileagePlus status for a 90-day “Offer Period.” This Offer Period starts when you request — but must be within 14 days of the date you submit your request.
During the Offer Period, you won’t get a membership card or have full Star Alliance benefits. After the 90-day Offer Period, you’ll lose this provisional status altogether unless you meet the challenge.
Within the 90-day Offer Period, you must meet the following requirements:
|MileagePlus Premier status||PQM (Premier Qualifying Miles) or PQS (Premier Qualifying Segments)|
|Premier Silver||Fly 7,000 PQM or 8 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Gold||Fly 12,500 PQM or 15 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Platinum||Fly 18,000 PQM or 22 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
No matter how many PQMs or PQSs you earn during the Offer Period, you won’t be able to get a higher status than you matched to. That means if you’re a current American Airlines Platinum and match to Premier Gold, you can’t fly 18,000 PQM and get United Premier Platinum.
If you meet the challenge, you’ll keep the matched status for the remainder of 2016 program year (until January 31, 2017).
– Current Star Alliance Silver and Gold members are excluded from this offer. From experience, it seems that United can waive this requirement under the right circumstances.
– If you’ve done a OnePass or MileagePlus status match within the past five years, you won’t be eligible for this offer. This is a general rule for United matches, so make sure to be strategic about when you request a challenge.
– United notes that it can take 7-14 days for the provisional status to go through. So, make sure to submit your request with enough time before you hope to take advantage of the status.
– The terms and conditions state: “The MileagePlus status is valid through January 2018 for customers who earn Premier status through this promotion on or after July 1, 2016.” So, technically, you should be able to submit a request on March 31, set the challenge start date to April 14 and cross the required threshold on or after July 1 to get status through January 2018. However, there’s no guarantee that this will be allowed by United.
Will you be taking advantage of this offer?
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