Get Free United Club Access AND 3 Confirmed United Upgrades If You Have Status With Another Airline

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Star Alliance member Copa, the Panama-based airline that used to use United’s MileagePlus as its frequent flyer program, is offering status matches.

Since all of their frequent travelers are United elites and their program is new, they’ve needed to offer a status match program.

You can send an email or ring their service center at 1-844-287-0304 to request a match. And if you have top status with another carrier, they’ve been giving out status up to their ‘Platinum’ status level.

Copa has four elite tiers. Their Gold level is Star Alliance Gold, which means you can access United Clubs when flying United or other Star Alliance airlines same day — even on a fully domestic itinerary.

Top tier elites at other programs have been matched to their Platinum level, they have declined to give out their ‘Presidential Platinum’ status on a match.

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.

One Mile at a Time reports that as a matched Platinum member he received (3) “Connect Regional Upgrades” in his account. They’re valid for a year from the date they were issued to him.

Copa’s confirmed regional upgrades will soon be valid on United, although not on the cheapest of all fares (they can also be used on Copa of course!).

These upgrade certificates confirm into the same upgrade inventory – R class – that United elites use. However, a certificate may only be used for a single United flight segment. Connecting flights require more than one certificate. United economy fare classes S, T, K, L, G and N are not upgradable with these certificates.

It’s big news not only that Copa is status matching, but that if you get matched to their Platinum level you get confirmed upgrade instruments valid on United as well!

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I tried to match my Alaska status and they denied. They said they only match airlines “from their region”

    Seems like they are tightening up.

  2. Received status match to Gold. My online account shows Gold status. But the “print card” option still shows blue. Also, I can’t find anywhere on my account page how long the status lasts. Any wisdom on either question?

  3. @Mogon: I matched from United Gold over the weekend. Called on Saturday AM and received the email around 8 hours later, but the card online showed blue. It took until Monday morning for the card online to switch to gold, so it looks like it takes around 48 hours for the change to fully implement.

  4. I’m not clear on this — can you only match with Star Alliance elite status? I am Gold on Delta, but have fallen back on United — would that work?

  5. Any chance they would match Southwest A List since they fly to some of Central America and the Caribbean now?

  6. @Mogon– It shows up on my gold card. When your card is upgraded to gold, it will show in the bottom-right corner.

  7. @Mike – Lucky and I cover many of the same things. So sometimes I cover something he has written on, and frequently he will tell you he does the same. Not sure what your issue is here exactly.

  8. Thanks, @Drew. Still waiting for my online account’s card’s picture to turn Gold. Hoping the actual physical card doesn’t take too long to arrive

  9. Successfully status matched my American Plat to Copa Plat and received 3 regional upgrades. Although when I originally called, they said I had to email. A screen shot of my American account page did the trick! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *