Skip to content

This status match opportunity could get you SkyTeam benefits

March 21, 2022
5 min read
SkyPriority sign at JFK airport's Terminal 4
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A new status match opportunity could make it easier for you to earn SkyPriority benefits on SkyTeam alliance flights.

Italy-based carrier ITA Airways, which took over operations from former Italian national carrier Alitalia last fall, is offering a status match to elite status members on two dozen airlines, including fellow SkyTeam carrier Delta Air Lines.

The promotion started March 15 and you have until April 15 to submit a request for ITA Airways to recognize the same elite status in its Volare frequent flyer program that you enjoy on another eligible airline. The carrier plans to let customers know if they qualified for elite status by May 15.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

(Photo courtesy of ITA Airways)

A new airline

Based in Rome, ITA Airways is owned by the Italian government. It began service in October after replacing Alitalia, which had been in bankruptcy since 2017, and was later nationalized by the Italian government early in the COVID-19 pandemic. ITA took over Alitalia’s brand and livery, and planned to employ fewer workers than Alitalia did.

The airline is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, and in December announced codeshare agreements with several major international airlines, including Delta Air Lines and Air France.

ITA Airways operates direct flights in its own livery between Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The airline is also planning flights between JFK and Milan.

The status match initiative

On March 15, ITA Airways invited elite status members of 24 other airlines to apply for a potential status match in its frequent flyer program. The eligibility applies to elite status members of SkyTeam and non-SkyTeam partners, including major U.S. programs like American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus.

The status match promotion requires that elite members sign up for Volare and complete a status match request form where they upload proof of their status on another airline. If the status match is approved, ITA said it plans to recognize membership at that status level for one year.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: Current airline elite status match and challenge options

ITA’s elite levels 

ITA has four levels within its Volare frequent flyer program, although the initial Club Smart is just entry-level. The Club Plus level is where SkyPriority benefits through SkyTeam begin to kick in. Members of Club Plus get priority boarding and baggage delivery, additional baggage allowance and check-in privileges at airport business-class counters.

Above Club Plus is Club Premium, and then Club Executive, which is where lounge access comes in. Each level earns the member an increasingly higher number of reward points.

SkyTeam benefits

A big reason this status match initiative will be intriguing for customers of other airlines, especially in the U.S., is the opportunity to use the status match at ITA Airways to gain SkyTeam elite status. As a reminder, SkyTeam has two status levels: SkyTeam Elite and SkyTeam Elite Plus. ITA’s site did not have specific details on which status levels would correspond to particular SkyTeam status levels.

Related: Best websites for searching SkyTeam award availability

However, in the Volare section of ITA's website there is a note that says, "SkyPriority services are recognized only on flights operated by ITA Airways; Club Plus Members will soon be able to enjoy the benefits reserved for ElitePlus Members on SkyTeam alliance flights."

SkyTeam’s website says that once a flyer earns elite status in one member airline’s program, you then become a SkyTeam Elite member, which is recognized across all 20 carriers in the alliance. That makes this initiative a unique opportunity for elite members of other airlines' frequent flyer programs to gain elite benefits when flying on SkyTeam flights, including Delta.

What this means for lounge access

ITA Airways operates its own lounges in Rome and Milan, which it opens to business-class passengers, as well as Premium and Executive members of the Volare program. SkyTeam Elite Plus members also have access.

Additionally, ITA’s website specifies the airport lounges that its members can access, including multiple Delta and Air France lounges in the U.S. and Europe. Generally, SkyTeam first-class, business-class and Elite Plus members traveling internationally have lounge access if they’re flying on an airline that’s a member of the alliance.

The Delta Sky Club at JFK's Terminal 4. (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

If ITA Airways does grant you a status match through this initiative, you will still have to earn enough points through its Volare program to maintain that status beyond one year.

But for elite members at two dozen airlines — including major airlines in the U.S. — this could be a good opportunity to gain elite benefits while flying on SkyTeam airlines.

Featured image by (Photo by Andrew Kunesh / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees