Frequent flyers really enjoy an airline status match. You have reached an elite level in one airline’s programme and another airline entices you over to them by offering to match that level for little or no work. What’s not to love?
While these kinds of things look good on the outside, I personally think they’re a bit of a waste of time. Sacrilege, I know, but here’s my reasoning behind it.
Is an airline status match worth it?
The short answer to the question is, it depends. Recently Italy’s new Alitalia replacement, ITA Airways, was offering a status match (now closed) to a wide variety of other frequent flyer programmes. Plenty of people jumped in to that, figuring “why not!” as it would give SkyTeam status for a year.
I am not planning to fly any SkyTeam airlines in 2022 – or ITA Airways for that matter – so why would I bother with an airline status match here? There is no need for an airline I am unlikely to ever fly to have my personal details. It would make sense if you were going to use them but otherwise not so much.
Virgin Atlantic are also offering a status match to a variety of airlines. In this case you need to book a flight with them in order to have the status given to you. Once again, looks good, but I am not planning to fly Virgin Atlantic at all this year. That makes it pretty niche in my book.
I can completely understand the allure of an airline status match. You are getting something for free, however to get the benefits of it, you need to redirect your spending to a company you usually wouldn’t use.
Maybe I’m mad, but loyalty is a bit of a two way street. I am very sticky to my British Airways Executive Club card and the oneworld alliance. Of course I fly other airlines when warranted, which does result in memorable experiences such as this flight on SWISS, but I almost exclusively stay within my alliance.
Having a shiny card in an unrelated frequent flyer programme is useless to me for the odd flight I might take. Nor do I get any satisfaction from having the card there just because. I’d rather use my time finding flight deals in my current ecosystem than doing this.
Have you ever taken advantage of a status match? Did it make you switch airlines? Did you use it at all, or just a couple of times? I’d be curious to hear your experiences. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Etienne Jong on Unsplash.
ITA Airways render from ITA Airways.
Virgin Atlantic image by Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons.