Have Elite Status With United, American, or Another Airline? Here’s How You Can Get Elite Benefits With Delta, Too

Points to be Made says that China Airlines – a member of Skyteam and thus partner of Delta – is offering status matches.

As usual, you will need to provide details of the airline and programme you are matching from, your account number and a screenshot of your activity page. To initiate the process, send an email to ndfp@china-airlines.com who should match your status for one year..

China Airlines’ Emerald status, that they appear to be matching to at least for Star Alliance Gold members but presumably for oneworld Emeralds as well, is “Skyteam Elite Plus” which gets priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling as well as lounge access when flying internationally. (Unlike top tier status with oneworld or Star Alliance with an airline outside the U.S., you do not get lounge access on a purely domestic itinerary.) Delta /also gives you a free checked bag (or extra checked bag when you’re otherwise entitled to fee-free baggage).

Here’s my discussion of airline status matches. I’ve written about past Air France status match offers here and here, and about Skyteam member Aerolineas Argentias offering status matches a year ago as well.

If you fly Delta, don’t yet have status, but want some benefits you could get a status match and get your benefits and still accrue points with Skymiles (perhaps you live in Atlanta or the Upper Midwest and would want to do so).

You’d enter your Skyteam elite frequent flyer number when you book the tickets or at least prior to check-in. Use the number when you check-in for the baggage benefits, and even print your boarding pass to show the status (and thus take advantage of priority boarding more easily than having to show your membership card).

Then once you’ve checked in, have an agent change your frequent flyer number over to Delta or whatever airline you’re crediting to. Get a new boarding pass in case the flight doesn’t post to your Delta account automatically and you need to submit for credit later (it will be much easier to get if you have a boarding pass showing your Delta number on it — rather than one that showed another airline’s number!).

After the flight if it’s a roundtrip, add your Skyteam elite number again to take advantage of benefits on the return. Rinse, repeat.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. I flew China Airlines in January for the first time, and as Delta Diamond Medallion was treated like royalty on-board. Even though I was in coach on a 747-400, the crew moved the person in the center seat to another seat so I had plenty of room to stretch out and relax. I was served meals first before the cart came out, and they offered me so many refills on drinks I though my bladder my burst.

    The Pilot in Command came back during his break and welcomed me on board and thanked me for flying them and being top level in SkyTeam, and the Lead Purser invited me, even though I was in coach, to come up to FC anytime if I wanted a drink, snack or anything at all.

    Delta could learn a LOT from how China Airlines handles elite customers !!

    Overall, very impressed and can’t wait to fly them again.

  2. It’s my understanding that Alaska will match most any Star Alliance status as well. Moreover, Alaska MVP will get you upgrades on Delta, and the miles on Alaska are much more useful. Any reason that someone shouldn’t match Alaska rather than China if they plan to fly Delta?

  3. Interesting idea.

    Question though, why change your frequent flyer number to Delta, especially if you are flying in 2015 as wouldn’t you earn more miles on China.

    I was looking at some business class tickets for Christmas and only UA and Delta had flights available. I have status with AA but for some reason their flights were much more expensive. Anyhow I am thinking about purchasing the UA flights as it sounds like Delta’s miles and earnings are going downhill next year, but this article made me think maybe I should look at some non north American airline programs.

    Any suggestions for someone who might fly Delta but wondering if there is a better program for creating the miles to. In particular I would like to fly Korean airlines especially in First class.

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