Oneworld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam frequent flyer status match deals

By Chris Chamberlin , March 31 2015
Oneworld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam frequent flyer status match deals

Take a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card from one airline and, like a magician's trick, a 'status match' deal will make a matching shiny card from another airline appear in your wallet or purse.

If you've chosen your status match partner wisely, that new card will unlock prized perks such as lounge access, priority check-in and higher checked baggage allowance with not just one other airline but dozens of them via the Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam groups of airlines.

Here are three current status match deals – one for each of those alliances – so if you play your cards right, you'll quickly be a VIP traveller on most of the world's leading airlines.

Airberlin Topbonus

The airline: German's Airberlin and its Topbonus frequent flyer scheme

The alliance: Airberlin is a member of Oneworld which also includes Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and many more.

The status match: Airberlin is now offering Silver or Gold status – which corresponds to Qantas Silver or Gold, which in turn equals Ruby and Sapphire on Oneworld member airlines – although Gold is the one to get, here as Silver doesn’t include lounge access.

What you need: To qualify for this status match you must hold Silver or Gold frequent flyer status (or higher) with an airline outside the Oneworld alliance.

That leaves Qantas off the list but opens it up to the likes of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold or PPS Club, Emirates Skywards Gold or Platinum, and many others.

Qantas and Virgin Australia frequent flyer cards have no weight here: the former due to the airline’s Oneworld membership, the latter due to its existing partnership with Airberlin.

(However, we've heard reports that Etihad Guest Gold and Platinum members have been successful in securing a status match, despite Etihad's partnership with, and financial stake in, Airberlin.)

Why you’d want it: In addition to instant Gold status with all Oneworld airlines, Airberlin Topbonus also gives you similar Gold-grade perks with Virgin Australia. That's unique among the airline world and makes this a great card for Aussie frequent flyers to tuck away.

Use your Topbonus Gold card to relax in the Qantas Singapore Lounge
Use your Topbonus Gold card to relax in the Qantas Singapore Lounge

How it’s done: If you’re not already a Topbonus member, join for free on the Airberlin website, then send an email to [email protected] with your Topbonus membership number and a scan, photo or copy of your current Silver, Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card.

Read more: Free Airberlin Topbonus Gold status match

Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles

The airline: Turkish Airlines and its Miles and Smiles frequent flyer scheme

The alliance: Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance Gold which includes Singapore Airlines, United, Thai Airways, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa and Air China.

The status match: Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles ‘Elite’ status is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold status.

What you need: All you need to take advantage of this promotion is a top-tier frequent flyer card from one of the ‘big three’ alliances – such as Oneworld Emerald, Star Alliance Gold or SkyTeam Elite Plus.

That prestigious list includes Qantas Platinum/Platinum One (Oneworld), Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold/PPS Club (Star Alliance) and Delta Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion (SkyTeam).

However, frequent flyer cards from non-alliance airlines aren’t accepted – which rules out the likes of Virgin Australia, Etihad, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

Why you’d want it: Priority check-in and boarding plus lounge access across the breadth of the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance.

Star Alliance Gold members can stop by the United Club at London Heathrow
Star Alliance Gold members can stop by the United Club at London Heathrow

How it’s done: Join the Miles and Smiles scheme, then visit the Turkish Airlines website to request your status match via the customer service form, where you'll need to attach a scan of your eligible frequent flyer card along with a copy of your most recent account statement. Qantas frequent flyers can obtain this by clicking ‘View activity statement’ on the Qantas website.

Czech Airlines OK Plus

The airline: Czech Airlines and its OK Plus frequent flyer scheme

The alliance: Czech belongs to the SkyTeam alliance

The deal: Okay, this isn't a direct status match deal – but it's a nifty shortcut to quickly gaining Elite or Elite Plus status across all SkyTeam member airlines such as Delta, Air France, Korean Air, KLM, Garuda, and China Southern.

What you need: Start with a Silver card (for Elite status) or Gold or Platinum card (for Elite Plus status) from any other airline – including Qantas and Virgin Australia – and book at least one flight with Czech Airlines in either business class or flexible economy. A short hop from Paris to Prague will do the trick if you're already Europe-bound.

How it’s done: Join OK Plus, book your Czech Airlines flight, complete this application form [PDF, 416kb] with your membership and flight details, and email it to [email protected]. Your Elite or Elite Plus card will be mailed to you after taking the flight you nominated on the form.

Check out the new SkyTeam Sydney lounge: welcoming SkyTeam Elite Plus guests
Check out the new SkyTeam Sydney lounge: welcoming SkyTeam Elite Plus guests

Note that unlike Oneworld and the Star Alliance, SkyTeam doesn’t provide lounge access on domestic flights unless connecting to or from an international SkyTeam service. Lower-level Elite members have no lounge privileges but enjoy priority check-in, boarding and more with SkyTeam.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

The logic of status matches is that you start accruing on the new programme to retain the status in future periods. If you:

a) do not travel enough on that airline,

b) do not travel enough on the alliance, which that airline belongs to, and

c) prefer to fly with your current airline

then status match is not for you. It is not a magical event that can be conjured up annually on an ongoing basis. 

Virgin Australia

16 Feb 2013

Total posts 16

boy is it good to get into a louge when you don't have status though for a while!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

It's still better than nothing, surely?

They are once in a lifetime per program - employ sparingly. I've got QF Gold and VA Gold for now - as tempting as the Air Berlin one is, and even though I know there's a chance it may not come around again, I don't want to burn bridges in a manner of speaking with AB just yet :) 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 May 2014

Total posts 5

OK so if I have QF Gold and want to get VA gold, do any of these achieve that?

I take a regular VA flight connection from QF international but not enough to get to gold :-(

No, and you can't match your Qantas card to Airberlin Topbonus because both are Oneworld, as detailed above.

Your best bet would have been to apply for the Etihad Gold status match deal that we covered last month (now expired), which would have allowed you to match your Qantas status to Etihad and then use the Etihad card for lounge access with Virgin Australia.

QFF

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 6

wow this Turkish Airlines membership form is killing me!

02 Apr 2015

Total posts 3

With regards to the status match with Turkish, it appears their email address is no longer working. I emailed them the required documents and they replied with:

We are purposing to serve you better service with new Customer Relations web page in our website. The email address, [email protected] is not used anymore. You may reach Customer Relations website via following link.

https://www4.thy.com/customercontact/?lang=en

Anybody know/think they'll match my lowly Aegean Gold card? Crossing fingers!

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 5

Like me, you'll probably have trouble both ends. Turkish insists on the 2 months of activity/account statements from the program you are matching from. Unfortunately, as far I can tell there is no easy way of obtaining this from Aegean (for example by a downloadable pdf). So I have asked Aegean to send me a statement but they are even less responsive than Turkish.

We'll see, but I don't hold out much hope.

I was knocked back on a Skyteam Gold Elite for Garuda with "a status match for Garuda Indonesia" is not possible.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Apr 2015

Total posts 1

I can't seem to find the status match form on Turkish Airlines. Has anyone located it?

https://www4.thy.com/tkmiles/membersignin.tk?lang=en

11 Apr 2015

Total posts 2

None of the links for emailing TK are working - 404 error :(  Anyone got a magic address squirrelled away?

And yes, that join TK form was awful!!  Took me about 5 goes to get a PIN accepted, and it defaulted to cocos islands for the phone number every darn time!

The "Turkish Airlines website" link in the article text Aus working on our end – are you seeing something different?

QF

22 May 2015

Total posts 2

The Turkish Airline matching is annoying!  Took forever to get through and then all they came with was "Classic Plus".  I am currently Qantas Platinum which they dont seem to appreciate.  Frustrating!

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 5

Topbonus are now saying "Unfortunately this offer is only available for German, Austrian and Swiss members". https://www.airberlin.com/de/site/landingpages/tb_aktionen.php?aktion=matchstatus&promotionCode=TEE4

Spewing!!!! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Jan 2015

Total posts 6

I have heard nothing back from Turkish Airlines. Looks like they are impossible. Anyone got a better alternative for Platinum Status Match?


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