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Airlines are always looking for more profitable passengers. And the best way to get one is to take that frequent flyer from another airline. That's why many airlines — including United — offer elite status matches and challenges to poach frequent flyers from their competitors. With that in mind, United is offering an elite status match-challenge for 2023.
Qualifying members can use their status with another major airline to temporarily match to Premier status. Then, you can extend it by meeting specific criteria. If done right, members can get United Premier status all the way through January 2025 with far easier requirements than earning status through normal means.
Let's go over all the details.
United MileagePlus Premier Status Match-Challenge
In 2023, MileagePlus members with another airline's elite status can match it to United. Here is an example of how United equates other airline status:
|Frequent flyer program||Tier||Tier||Tier|
|Delta Air Lines Medallion||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||A-List||A-List Preferred||N/A|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||MVP||MVP Gold||MVP Gold 75K|
|British Airways Executive Club||Bronze||Silver||Gold|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Silver||Gold||N/A|
|Corresponding United Airlines MileagePlus level||Silver||Gold||Platinum|
Once matched, you'll get United Premier status for 120 days. To extend the validity of the matched Premier status, members must complete specific travel criteria within those 120 days:
- Silver: Fly four Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and earn 1,300 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP)
- Gold: Fly eight Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and earn 2,600 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP)
- Platinum: Fly 12 Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and earn 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP)
Note that members can only qualify for the Premier status matched under these thresholds, not a higher status. (To reach a higher status, they'd have to qualify under United's standard Premier qualifications.)
Interestingly, United offers two different lengths of Premier status extensions. If a member meets the requirements for a status challenge on or before June 30, 2023, their status is good through January 2024. However, if they meet the requirements on or after July 1, 2023, they get to keep the status through January 2025!
That's why now is a great time to status match to United Airlines. You could earn status now that lasts for nearly 18 months.
How to request a United status match
To request a status match, start by navigating to United's dedicated webpage for the MileagePlus Premier Status Match. Once there, you'll have to sign in and fill out a form that includes:
- United MileagePlus account number
- Valid email address registered on your MileagePlus account
- Proof of your elite status with another qualifying airline (with your name, elite status, and the status expiration date)
United allows for matches from most major airlines, apart from its Star Alliance partners. Moreover, you can choose any start date in 2023 when you fill out the request. Typically, you can only select a date within 30 days of the request.
Once submitted, United may take 7–14 business days to respond and upgrade your account.
United Status Match Key Terms
- Status challenges are not available to members who have completed a status match or received a status exception within the last five years.
- Trial or temporary statuses aren't eligible for a MileagePlus Premier status match.
- Members won't receive Premier membership materials and may not have access to all reciprocal Star Alliance partner status benefits during the 120-day period, including Star Alliance lounge access.
- Members who complete both the PQP and PQF requirements to retain Premier Platinum status will receive 20 PlusPoints within 7–10 business days.
- If a member fails to meet the status challenge requirements, the matched status will expire, and they may return to a lower status tier or general member status.
- PQF and PQP requirements during the challenge period must be earned via United or United Express flights.
United MileagePlus offers a great status match program in 2023, providing a 120-day qualification period. And the second half of the year is a better time to participate than the first half of the year, given the later expiration date of your new elite status.
Elite members looking to shift their loyalties get access to United status with a lot less flying than the standard requirements and the ability to select a start date. But it's worth carefully considering how valuable airline status is. Furthermore, United generally limits members to one challenge every five years, so be sure to have a plan before requesting a match.
Do you plan to match your status to United MileagePlus Premier status?
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