SkyTeam Status For The Asking, “New Alitalia” Is Handing Out Status [Update: No More Delta Elites]

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,

  1. Join the ITA program.
  2. Fill out their status matcch form.
  3. 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 (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.

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. If I’m a DL Elite what’s the point of signing up? I’m Silver on Delta, which I assume means I’ll get Elite (not Elite Plus) on ITA, so still no lounge access on international flights.

  2. You are correct there are numerous mistakes. On their website AA’s top tier is listed at Premier 1K haha. Regardless I’ve submitted the application so let’s see…

  3. I just signed up for a Volare account, tried to request status match, but their site would not upload my documents. Kept saying ‘invalid file’. I tried 2 diff browsers (Safari & Chrome), and tried to upload a pdf and a jpg version.. Then tried to send in a support request form to them, but their drop down menu for ‘reason’ shows no options, and therefore the form would not send…. any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I must say, language barrier aside, all the mistakes and inaccuracies on their site have me not holding my breath…

  4. Thanks for the tip. The funniest mistake when signing up for Volare was asking whether my gender was “bad” or “female.”

  5. I submitted last night and was approved this morning. To get around the ‘invalid file’ error, try reducing the size of the file further or converting to PDF. The size limit seems to be less than the 5MB mentioned.

  6. I got an email saying I United 1-K match was approved in a couple days and more info would follow

    I did it has have some Air France Flights in July.

    1) Not be fling Volare as Star keeping Star Alliance Gold More Valuable . How long will I keep the status

    2) What is the Star Alliance Airline to try a Status match it back to to other than United so can access United Club for free when flying United domestic?

  7. I had my status match in the first round, very confusing in filling in the registration with some interesting language as Jeff said. I wont get too excited right now about this, I already booked KLM flight and hoping I was going to take advantage of this, KLM has already come back to tell me they dont recognise ITA status. As a BA Gold (OneWorld Emerald) I have been matched for CLUB EXECUTIVE. I wrote to KLM and spoke with them over the phone they simply say as far as they are concern I have zero benefits I can have with them. I then spoke with ITA and they simply don’t know anything at all. Information on ITA website is unclear and scanty at best. However, there are tell-tale sign it really is not that great at the moment, for example at the bottom of the webpage “SkyPriority services are recognized only on flights operated by ITA Airways; Club Plus Members will also soon be able to enjoy the benefits reserved for Elite Plus Members on SkyTeam alliance flights”

    So KLM might well be right, right now they do not recongise the status and I have no benefits at all.

  8. I’m a UA Premier Gold but accidentally said I was a 1K in the drop down menu on the form. If my request gets rejected, do you think I could file another one? It was an honest mistake – I used to be a 1K and selected 1K out of habit…

  9. How did United elites get matched? I just got a rejection (within 24 hours of applying) because of insufficient documentation because I didn’t send the front and back of my physical United card. But I don’t have a physical card. I send them the electronic one.

  10. I got an email with a rejection, but indicating that the information was insufficient. Frankly, I’m not sure the uploads worked right. But they invited replying to the email with the information, which I did. Of course, thinking about it, I’m not sure it will be of much use for my planned Skyteam flights.

  11. Which ITA status will American Airlines Platinum be matched to? Is there a status alignment chart?

  12. I have spent the last hour trying to do the status match, it’s accepted my ID file but every time I try to upload pics of my Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Gold card it says invalid. It’s not helped that my physical card shows 2021 expiry; although my digital one shows April 2022 expiry and I already have an email from the airline extending my gold status until April 2023.

    I did find that my ID file was ‘invalid’ when I uploaded just my passport page so I added one side of my driver’s photo ID in the pic and it was accepted, so unsure what’s the issue with the FF card upload…?

    I have two images in the 1.8 MB file but the website just doesn’t accept the file.

    My file is definitely below 5 MB and am using Chrome as my browser.

  13. File upload problem – I think it needs to be much smaller – I kept shrinking the files till it worked, I ended up well below 1MB.

    Chrome also. I think they have just misconfigured their file size limitations.

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