More Than 25% Of All Elites In The World Have Status With United, American, Or Delta [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Japan Airlines promises “an unprecedented new experience” in business and first class on its Airbus A350-1000s when they enter the fleet, planned for November. They’ll begin on the New York JFK – Tokyo Haneda route.

  • Elite estimates:

    StatusMatch, which automates the status match-request process for individuals and airlines, estimates that there are 55 million airline elite status members globally, about 15 million of whom have such status with American, Delta or United. The technology company also estimates that about 15 million elite members globally could lose their status during the first half of 2023.

    Downgraded Delta elites are flooding other airlines with status match requests.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to require two voluntary programs become mandatory: airlines will have to validate travel documents with the government prior to issuing boarding passes, and will have to share passenger phone numbers and e-mails with the government as well.

    They claim they’re requiring this because of “strong support for this program by industry and the traveling public.” Were you asked?

  • Starwood Capital is launching Field & Stream hotels

  • What happens if TSA finds weed in my bag? I actually think there’s more risk than mentioned in this WaPo piece, which doesn’t use the words “civil asset forfeiture.” Never carry cash! The government can take it on mere manufactured suspicion or a DEA dog ‘alerting’ that your bag smells like it once contained pot.

  • Airlines with the best sense of style. No way Condor rates this highly.

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. Who knew that 80 airlines were already providing this information “voluntarily”. Sounds like this proposed rule would codify what’s already happening for international travel.

  2. Who needs tier status? Just buy a premium cabin ticket and you’ll have most perks that tier status provides. As for airport lounge access, only allow upper tiers to buy a membership. AA Platinum Pro and up. DL Platinum and up. And, jack up the annual fee on cards that afford lounge access to $1000.

    Making travel documents mandatory for flights inbound to the US will prevent those from arriving and simply saying “asylum.” Now they’re HERE and what the heck do we do with them? Rather, keep them offshore and have them apply for asylum at a US Embassy somewhere. (This ain’t about the Deep State coming after you.)

  3. United status is really a joke. UA states that upgrage can be confirmed as soon as 96-hour before flight for 1K. Our names are always the 9th or 10th on the list. UA gives Plus Points for the upgrade. Good luck getting an upgrage confirm any day of the year when you fly to Australia, Japan/Asia or Europe. Yes, I check to see if any upgrade can be confirmed and 365 days, nothing is available for Plus Points. Don’t believe me, try US – Japan route to see if you find any seat for Plus Point upgrade.

    It is not worth to give United $24,000 just for airfares (not including extra taxes) and gets nothing in return.

  4. T – If you are flying out of SFO, Global Services will likely be filling the top of the upgrade list. Newark may be the same. But, if you take the DFW to Houston 5:20 AM flight, the 1k upgrade is likely to clear probably 90% of the time. Similarly, if you take a red-eye out of SFO, the upgrade is likely to clear. Upgrades are most helpful on flights to leisure destinations at undesirable times, as the 1K members don’t seem to like the 5AM flights for some reason. For international destinations, if you have the opportunity for an immediate upgrade for 100 or so plus points on a far-out flight to a popular destination. If you want an upgrade for day-of-flight with fewer Plus Points on something 2 weeks out, it’s unlikely. There are almost no seats listed for cheaper awards until near a flight’s departure, and only if it doesn’t sell with paid tickets. On top of that, Global Services can call to get an immediate upgrade if there is less than 24 hours before the flight, and there will still be one remaining seat left. But, people using upgrades on work trips are undesirable as Global Services members, so flying 4 million butts in seat miles will be the only opportunity to get Global Services for low-profit customers.

  5. “Making travel documents mandatory for flights inbound to the US will prevent those from arriving and simply saying ‘asylum.’”?

    Not really. We already have a general passport mandate for flights inbound to the US — due to the US’s WHTI — and it hasn’t put an end to asylum claims on arrival to US airports of entry.

  6. Because in the US, it is more likely than the corporate bossman will whip some poor salesman into accepting flying for work (outside of work hours of course) every week?

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