Lifetime Elite Status Matches?

Reader Jered asks, “Will any airline do million miler status matches?”

In other words, if you’ve flown enough or otherwise earned lifetime status with an airline, will another carrier give you that same lifetime status?

In general the answer is no. However, it’s a little bit more complicated than that, so I can’t make the ‘no’ claim quite so definitively.

  • Lifetime status is status, so it’s frequently possible to use the lifetime status you have earned to get temporary comped status with another airline.
  • It’s not correct to say that no airline has ever offered lifetime status based on a match. First, Aegean’s terms and conditions used to make their status lifetime and while they don’t generally status match they did offer that match for bmi Diamond Club gold members when British Airways acquired bmi. A decade ago Airtran offered a broad status match campaign, and A+ Rewards status used to be lifetime.
  • KLM ran a program a little over a decade ago where they matched the total balance in a member’s account, not just a member’s status, with modest flying. There are still lifetime Platinums in the combined Air France KLM Flying Blue program coming out of that campaign.

That said, I can’t just take my American Airlines 3 Million Mile Lifetime Platinum status and ask United or Delta to make me a corresponding million miler in their programs.

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. Agreed, as much as I am unhappy United’s recent improvements based on my travel patterns both domestic and international, I can’t really justify switching to one world especially as most discounted Y oneworld tickets don’t have 100% earning on AA. Though I don’t know if codeshares are more prevalent as it is my understanding that a codeshare puts on on AA earning chart not the partner airline’s chart unlike United.

  2. Ahhhh, memories! I still think that KLM offer 10+ years ago is still my favorite promotion ever. They matched 1.6 million miles from my AA account with only $550 of flying NWA. I’m still burning those beloved KLM miles. #GoodOleDays

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