Back in February Etihad had an offer to match nearly any airline status to an equivalent in their Etihad Guest program. The offer expired on March 15th and they promised at least a response within 2 weeks of submitting your request. Well it took additional follow-up emails but my US Airways Gold status was successfully matched to Etihad Guest Gold on May 10th. The best part for me at least was my US Airways Gold status expired on February 28th so I am very happy that they matched to it.
While Etihad’s Gold status itself will not be that useful to me or really anyone… It doesn’t expire until March 31st 2017 so I have a lot of time to figure out how to leverage it. Some of the benefits of their gold status include:
- 50% Extra Bonus Miles – Enjoy 50% additional Etihad guest miles in every flight you take on Etihad Airways
- Extra Baggage Allowance – Enjoy 15 kilos additional baggage allowance on all applicable flights*
- Enhanced Lounge Access – You and a guest are invited to enjoy our luxurious Business Class Lounges before you fly across our network
- Guaranteed seats – If you make a booking at least 24 hours in advance, we will guarantee you an Economy Class seat on an Etihad Airways flight of your choice – even if the flight is fully booked.
- Fast-Track Access – Upon arrival at your destination, skip the queue at border control to enjoy a speedy exit*
Really nothing useful at all… But, with Etihad Gold being the only airline status that I currently hold I can use it to submit matches to other airlines. This is why it was critical for me to get this status and it is good all the way up until 2017 leaving me plenty of time to obtain matches. For the rest of 2015 I don’t foresee any need for any airline status as I will only be traveling domestically on Southwest unless some unforeseen business trips come up.
Now come 2016 a match to Oneworld and Star Alliance would be very beneficial… There are alot of reports of obtaining Air Berlin status by utilizing Etihad status. For Star Alliance there does not seem to be as many success stories but Copa Airlines is launching a new loyalty program on June 10th which according to many people will status match. Current frequent flyers of Copa have already received emails that they will be receiving a status that is valid through 2017. Copa Airlines previously used United’s MileagePlus program and will launch ConnectMiles with very similar benefits and award chart’s to United’s for flights after July 1st, 2015. I will try to status match to their new program and hopefully receive a match!