Update: Someone must have told them they’ve agreed not to match against other SkyTeam airlines as part of their alliance agreement, because SkyTeam carriers are no longer listed among those whose elite members are eligible for the match. (HT: Barry)
Last fall the ‘new Alitalia’ ITA Airways offered to give elite status to anyone with a pulse. Many may have skipped that at the time, since the new airline wasn’t yet a part of the SkyTeam (or any) alliance so it was still somewhat speculative what the benefit to do so would be.
Now they’re once again status matching through April 15. Status will be valid through April 15, 2023. There are three steps,
- Join the ITA program.
- Fill out their status matcch form.
- Provide a copy of current elite card (digital card ok) and copy of your ID.
Oddly while the terms list programs they’ll match from including Aeroflot, ANA, Korean Air, and TAROM Romanian, they don’t list JetBlue or Alaska Airlines (and JetBlue flies to Europe now). Many of the programs are actually misspelled in the program terms.
They’ll match Aerolineas Argentias status. They’re match Czech OK Plus status. They’ll match El Al status. They’ll match Delta, United, and American. And many more.
It’s quite notable that they will match status from SkyTeam airlines. The head of StatusMatch.com (status match-as-a-service provider to loyalty programs) and former head of Malaysia Airlines Enrich writes “Someone at ITA hasn’t read the Skyteam loyalty alliance agreement. Get in quick if you have Skyteam status!”
ITA promises a response by May 15, 2022 – I expect they’ll actually process these more quickly, but if you’re going to go after premium customers,
- Respond quickly. Someone asking for a match may be considering moving their business now and their interest may cool in a week – let alone a month!
- Follow up with a welcome. The best I’ve ever seen was done by American Airlines a decade ago when United was falling apart after integrating passenger service systems and mileage accounts into Continental’s legacy system.
American matched to top tier (which they hadn’t regularly done previously) and sent lounge passes and free internet passes (since United didn’t yet have inflight internet) to matched members. Other programs have offered miles to members to take quizzes educating them about the program. At a minimum explaining easy ways to take advantage of benefits would help – and facilitate co-brand card acquisition as well.
Bear in mind that – unlike with Star Alliance and oneworld – SkyTeam elite status will not give you lounge access on purely domestic itineraries. So becoming an Alitalia elite won’t get you into Delta Sky Clubs when flying Atlanta – Detroit. But it helps with priority airport services and baggage, as well as lounge access when flying international coach. Oh – and of course if you’re actually going to fly ITA to Italy and beyond.