If you currently travel for work or anticipate doing so in the future, you’re going to want to pay attention to this piece of advice as it could save you a ton of money and make your travel life exponentially better.
Let me set the scene…
You are a consultant/project manager/engineer and just got picked up on a long-term project that will force you to fly one round-trip per week for the next five months (roughly 20 round-trips).
The best flight options for your schedule are with American Airlines.
You’ve heard of all of the benefits that come status on American and really want to shoot for it, but realize you may fall short of the required minimums.
Alas! You receive a serendipitous e-mail from American offering a status challenge or “sprint” program to elite status if you fly a certain amount within a specific number of months.
You suddenly realize that with this offer you will easily reach Executive Platinum status by the end of your project.
But suppose you didn’t get the e-mail offer? Would you have thought to call the airline to request a status challenge?
You Should Always Ask the Airline for a Status Challenge
It’s important that if you want anything in life, you simply ask for it. The worst anyone could say is no.
Some airlines like Delta publish status challenges, but some like American require you to call in. I proactively reached out to all of the major US airlines to ask about their policy and these are the responses.
American does not publish a status challenge, but instead asks you call in to speak with customer service.
Delta Air Lines
As I mentioned above, Delta publishes a status challenge on their website.
To be eligible for Delta’s Status Match Challenge, you’ll need to satisfy all of the following:
- You have not received a Status Match or complimentary Medallion Status in the past three years, unless the complimentary Medallion Status was through your Million Miler Status
- You currently have elite status with a qualifying airline that was earned through that airline’s published requirements (complimentary status or status earned through a promotion does not qualify)
- You are able to present both a valid, current elite credential and a statement showing your earned elite status
You’ll need elite status with another airline to qualify so here is the comparison chart:
|Air Canada||Prestige 25K,|
|Elite 50K||Elite 75K,
Super Elite 100K
|Alaska Airlines||MVP||MVP Gold||MVP Gold 75K|
|All Nippon Airways||Bronze||Platinum||Diamond|
|American Airlines||Gold||Platinum||Executive Platinum,
Platinum Pro, Concierge Key
|Asiana Airlines||Gold||Diamond||Diamond Plus,
HON Circle Members
|United Airlines||Premier Silver||Premier Gold||Premier Platinum,
As also mentioned, if you hold elite status with another airline, you’ll initially get Delta status for three months and have the opportunity to extend past that by satisfying the following requirements:
Southwest does not offer a status challenge.
JetBlue does not offer a status challenge.
United publishes a status match challenge, which you can find here. Just like Delta, you’ll need to hold elite status with another airline to first be matched to United:
|Delta Medallion level||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
|American Airlines AAdvantage status||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro|
|Level matched to in MileagePlus||Premier Silver||Premier Gold||Premier Platinum|
To keep the matched Premier status for the remainder of the 2018 program year, you will need to earn a certain number of Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier qualifying segments (PQS) on flights operated by United or United Express® within a 90-day Offer Period.* The number of PQM or PQS you must earn depends on the Premier status level you are matched to in MileagePlus.
|MileagePlus||PQM or PQS requirements|
|Premier Silver||Fly 7,000 PQM or 8 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Gold||Fly 12,500 PQM or 15 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
|Premier Platinum||Fly 18,000 PQM or 22 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express|
Don’t miss a beat…