Last week I showed you a foreign airline in each of the 3 alliances that will match your current elite status. That’s useful because it may get you free lounge access (even on the airline you usually fly), or at least airport priority like check-in and boarding when flying an airline that isn’t your usual carrier.
- airberlin will offer status matches for a year, and that’s useful because it can mean getting free access to American’s Admirals Clubs
- Turkish will offer status matches for two years if you have top tier status with a competitor, and that can mean free access to United’s Clubs
- What was new (although it’s been offered in the past): Delta’s Skyteam partner Alitalia introducing a formal status match program.
It’s not surprising to see Alitalia offering status matches, since the airline is now effectively controlled by its investor Etihad — and Etihad has aggressively offered status matches.
When I wrote about the Alitalia status match option there was a suggestion of whom to email to process the match.
Via Head for Points, there’s now even an official website promoting the match opportunity.
They outline what competitor status levels map to which levels in Alitalia’s program.
- Silver level – Ulisse Club
- Gold level – Freccia Alata Club
- Platinum level – Freccia Alata Plus Club
They don’t say “first tier, mid tier, and top tier” and they don’t explain how they’ll treat programs with four elite tiers. This can easily get confusing. American’s bottom elite tier is called Gold. British Airways’ top tier is called Gold. I’m not confident in Alitalia’s ability to understand and distinguish these.
Here’s how to obtain the match:
Getting a status match is very easy. Send an email to StatusMatchMilleMiglia@alitalia.com by December 31, 2015 with the following:
First name and last name
A legible copy of your existing valid Frequent Flyer program card
They promise a two day turnaround on this, but since it’s Alitalia I’m skeptical of that as well.
Key things to know:
- They will not match Skyteam elite status. Don’t send them a Skymiles or Flying Blue account and expect them to match it.
- The program is available through December 31.
- If your member year ends before March 31, 2016 then your status will last only until the end of March. If your member year ends after that, your status will last through March 2017.
- They’ll mail you a card even without any activity in your Alitalia account.
New members start out with 2000 miles in their account (sometimes Alitalia offers more generous promotions than that). Alitalia is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, there are some attractive sweet spots on their award chart, but their call centers can be frustrating to deal with. They add fuel surcharges to awards where those would apply on paid tickets.
Don’t expect lounge access on domestic US flights. Skyteam isn’t as generous with lounge access as Star Alliance or oneworld. Skyteam status can get you airport priority services and free checked bags, but Skyteam lounge access benefits apply to international itineraries only. If you are flying a purely domestic itinerary in the United States, your Skyteam status will not entitle you to Delta lounge access although there are always reports of exceptions being made (usually on a ‘one time basis’ although offered over and over).