Another Route for Free United Club Access!

If you’re a Star Alliance Gold member — with an airline other than United — you can use United’s lounges.

While United Gold elites and higher get access to the lounges of non-US Star Alliance partners in the US they do not get United Club access unless they’re flying internationally. But Star Alliance Gold members of all other frequent flyer programs (like Aeroplan, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Lufthansa’s Miles & More, etc) do.

Star Alliance member Copa was status matching both United elite members and elites with other alliances and giving not just Star Alliance Gold status (and thus United lounge access when flying United) for free but also confirmed upgrade certificates that can be used on United.

Copa has in many reports tightened up a bit, wanting accounts with addresses in their region before considering a match.

However another Star Alliance airline has started offering status matches broadly: Avianca.

They are even offering matches up to their top elite level. Email promo.amigo -at- with a copy of your elite status card, your full name, and your Avianca Amigo FRIEND number (you’ll need to register for one before submitting). Matched status will be valid through March 31, 2017.

(HT: Amol)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Between Avianca, Turkish, and Copa, I’m gonna bet the amount of “Star Alliance Gold” elites probably grew by multiples over the last month. And everyone can probably guess what will eventually happen.

  2. Multiples?!!? I’d guess 3% at max, but probably more like 1%. (And heck, probably even less than 1%) So I guess if you consider 1.01 to be a “multiple” then you are technically correct in your statement.

  3. Do you know what they are matching to? I am an AA gold, almost platinum. If I submit a match now, will it get me Star Alliance Gold or should I wait? Thanks!

  4. Does American Airlines send out Status cards? I haven’t gotten one in years. Will a screenshot work? Didn’t work with Copa.

  5. trying to do this (register) but it wants my CPF number, which being that I am not Brazilian, I don’t have. Any ideas?

  6. the problem is – I cannot sign up for an amigo account. The website asked for all kinds of bizarre information. Even if i complied, still cannot create the account. Any idea?

  7. Forget the Avianca route unless you live in Brazil – they mandate a CPF number (like an SS number) and you can only apply for one, online and in Portuguese only !, as a tourist IF you’re in the country!
    A LOT of hassle!

  8. To enter a United Club, would I simply show the Avianca Gold card or does the Avianca frequent flyer number also have to be on my United domestic boarding pass?

  9. @Robert AA Gold *should* get you their lowest tier (not high enough for lounge access) but sometimes non-US carriers misunderstand and assume Gold is mid-tier. You would need to travel on a Star ALliance airline same day to use the lounge access.

  10. Could you please point us to where at united this information is documented for domestic flights in the US? The lounge access policy at does not document this, (as best I can tell). I have been a Star Alliance gold for several years and have had matching status on Turkish Airlines about 2 years. I have never tried to access the club lounge this way, and would like to have as a backup some copy of a united document in which this privilege is defined.

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