How to get a free SkyTeam Elite Plus status match

By Chris Chamberlin, July 7 2015

Already have a Silver, Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card? Here's an easy way to get VIP perks with the likes of Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines and more.

These airlines and 11 others belong to the global SkyTeam alliance: all of which reserve special privileges for SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus members, regardless of which airline you've signed up with.

This means you can enjoy many of the perks of business class – including access to airport lounges before international flights, priority check-in and boarding and a boosted baggage allowance – even if you're flying in economy on any SkyTeam member airline.

Use your new SkyTeam Elite Plus card to access the Delta Sky Club in New York
Use your new SkyTeam Elite Plus card to access the Delta Sky Club in New York

SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus cards usually come as a reward for flying tens of thousands of miles with SkyTeam airlines, but a 'status match' promotion currently offered by SkyTeam member Alitalia delivers free elite status in its MilleMiglia frequent flyer scheme, bringing with it perks across every single SkyTeam airline.

What you need

Rustle up your Silver, Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card with any airline outside the SkyTeam family, such as with Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer – neither of which is a SkyTeam member.

You could also parlay your elite status in American Airlines AAdvantage, Emirates Skywards, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and PPS Club, United MileagePlus or indeed almost any elite status level in other non-SkyTeam programs.

What you get

Any Silver-level frequent flyer card from a non-SkyTeam airline gets you Ulisse Club membership in Alitalia MilleMiglia, along with SkyTeam Elite status.

The first rung above entry-level members in both schemes, Alitalia throws in two free business class upgrades on its own flights, along with 25% more points when flying with SkyTeam.

Your SkyTeam Elite status also gives access to the priority queues at check-in and boarding with every SkyTeam airline, an extra 10kg of baggage or one extra piece and more, although not free lounge access.

Gold- and Platinum-grade cards, however, match to Freccia Alata Club and Freccia Alata Plus Club with MilleMiglia and the SkyTeam Elite Plus tier.

That unlocks business class lounge access before any SkyTeam international flight – although not before domestic flights – plus access to all Sky Priority queues, priority baggage handling and the ability to secure an economy seat on already-full SkyTeam flights when booking at least 24 hours before departure.

Your alliance-wide extra baggage allowance also increases from 10kg to 20kg, while Freccia Alata Club members earn 50% more points in the air and four free Alitalia upgrades and Freccia Alata Plus Club cardholders net a full double serve of points when flying: also with four free upgrades.

How to get your free SkyTeam Elite, Elite Plus status

If you're not already a member of Alitalia MilleMiglia, join for free on the airline's website and take note of your 'MilleMiglia code' – that's Alitalia's term for your frequent flyer number.

Then simply fire off an email [email protected] with your first and last name, that MilleMiglia code and photo or scan of your current Silver, Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card of any non-SkyTeam airline.

Handy tip: If your current frequent flyer card expires on or before March 31 2016, that's the date when your Alitalia card will expire. But, if your current card expires after March 31 2016, your Alitalia (and SkyTeam) status will be valid through the end of March 2017.

You can also request the Alitalia status match at any time until December 31 2015, so if you'll soon be receiving a new or updated frequent flyer card, consider holding off on the status match until that card arrives.

Also read: How to get a free Star Alliance Gold status match

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

The who's who of average airlines.... But I won't say no to a free status match!

Makes Garuda an option for Bali trips!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2012

Total posts 140

Thanks Chris, always good to have another top tier card in the travel wallet.  I've never undersood with Skyteam why you can't get into thier lounges on domestic economy. I often travel to USA on Qantas in J or F to Dallas but then use Delta via MSP for a last internal USA leg that OW AA don't fly, in economy. Really annoying not to be able to use Skyteam elite card (Air France) to get into MSP Delta lounge.

If you qualify for Freccia Alata Plus Club does that also mean you get benefits when flying with Etihad? Possibly even access to the First Class lounge (when it re-opens)?

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Only access to Al Reem lounge with Freccia Alata Plus.....which is not too bad!

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Hmm, tempting. On the other hand, status matches are generally a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so maybe I should save Alitalia for now, just in case.

Given that I get status treatment on Delta anyway via Velocity, and I don't see myself flying any of the others in the near future, I guess I'll probably skip it. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

Is the Delta Status match only when you're fed into the network via either the Delta or VA LAX - Aus services? Or is it for any Delta flight, anywhere?

mrp
mrp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Apr 2011

Total posts 21

I believe it's any Delta flight, plus it will get you into a Delta lounge for a domestic flight unlike an Air France (SkyTeam) card. I used it when flying out of Atlanta on a domestic flight (after overnighting at ATL) and they wouldn't let me in when I tried the AF card as I hadn't come off an international flight that day but after consulting the rule book (yes there is a thick rule book) they welcomed me with the VA card.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 329

They really are a sorry state of airlines. Maybe Garuda for Bali but thats it.

Thanks for the heads up!

It's a shame the lounge access rules require an international leg - Skyteam is home to some airlines with massive domestic networks (Delta aside) - you could fly a 9 hour Aeroflot domestic or a 6 hour Garuda domestic - without so much as a passport stamp and still not have lounge access. Fine if the other 2 alliances were also doing the same, but they're not. Glaring omission/shortcoming here - but I suppose since it's free, fair play to them !

01 Aug 2012

Total posts 30

To those of you who sneeze at Skyteam's airlines: Yes, there are some truly average members, but have you been on

Alitalia: staggered fully-flat seats (with aisle access for everyone) across the entire longhaul fleet since 2013 (hear, hear, Qantas!) plus award-winning catering (think top-notch Italian restaurant service with a truly impressive wine list), a real duvet (as opposed to a piece of plastic) and about the only biz amenity kit in the airline industry worth keeping as it is packed to the rafters with Bulgary miniatures. This is why I fly Alitalia whenever I can. I know that financially the airline is a basket case but the product is GREAT!

Korean: maybe not the best of seats in most aircraft but superb service, good flagship lounges and a very reliable operation (occasional nut-throwers aside)

Garuda: while they don't have a large network their latest business class is phenomenal apparently. I haven't been on it but just ook at the ausbt review.

I know you love QF, VA, SQ and CX but it is always good to be open-minded about who else is out there.

01 Aug 2012

Total posts 30

Oh, besides my rant I actually have a question: Does Mille Miglia provide a soft landing if you fail to requalify for a tier? Or will you drop down to basic level?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 40

4?!?! free upgrades?

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 319

When shoud we expect to get a confirmation that we have been status matched?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

According to reports from two to five days.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

If you join up with the MilleMiglia, make sure you write down the registration number that comes up on the screen. I didn't, assuming it would be emailed to me. But all that has been emailed to me is my pin number and it's impossible to log in without the code number! Very strange way of going about it. I've no idea how to retrieve the code, it doesn't appear to be possible.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 May 2015

Total posts 19

Same here, just called their (Italian) number and waited on hold for 10 minutes before giving up.  I re-registered using a different email address and it went through.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

I've just tried that and it won't let me re-register. I'm not going to ring Italy and wait on hold and there's no email contact on their site, so no idea how I'm supposed to get hold of my membership number.

Great way to lose a customer.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

Just to add: I've now rung Alitalia, emailed them and Tweeted them. Turns out they have a "policy" of not handing out your MM number over the phone, nor will they email it to you.

Your only chance of getting it is if, when you signed up, you agreed to get their regular email newsletters - they will apparently have your MM number on them. I opted out of that so I've been told it is "not possible" to access my account.

Amazing, since the person I was speaking to on the phone had my account in front of them, but refused to tell me the number and refused to send an email to my address on the screen. She even refused to change my settings so that I'm signed up to the newsletter that will tell me my number.

Oh, and you cannot register another account in the same name.

Astonishing customer service.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 May 2015

Total posts 19

Absolutely ridiculous.  

If you still want to have a go, I re-registered with the same name but different email address and address (just used office instead of home) and it went through and I got new membership code.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

Thanks. But I tried the same yesterday - same name, different address - and it wouldn't allow it.

But, honestly, if Alitalia are going to make it that hard for me then I'm not going to jump through hoops to give them or their partners my business. I fly a lot, and on Skyteam routes, so it's their loss. 

09 Feb 2012

Total posts 22

I got my code by calling the US number (+1 800 223 5730 - Option 4 then 2) and asking. They gave it to me after confiming a few details, but no issue.

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 22

yeah - I just called the UK line and got it off them.  Still - I haven't heard anything about a match yet...

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 319

I am still waiting for my Status Match to come through :-( Its been 4 days 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 49

Same here but I assumed that it would be sometime next week before the request has been processed.  That said, if it's not done by Friday I reckon it won't be done at all.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Anyone had any luck? Its been over 10 days now and I've given up hope

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 92

This offer is disingenuous . I have emailed several times over the last 12 days and received no response . Their customer service is inept and the website archaic. I give up . I was actually planning to book with the airline for a trip in November but this experience has reinforced just how appalling the service level is so will avoid at all costs . 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 49

Agreed.  I've emailed twice with no response so I'm chalking the "offer" up to nonsense.

Apparently Alitalia received a large number of requests and the approval process was taking longer than usual, so log in to your Alitalia account and see if your status has updated (you'll see it in the 'membership card' section) as you may not receive an email when this happens.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 49

Finally came through.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 49

Finally came through.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

I've been waiting 10 days for some kind of confirmation - or, indeed, any kind of correspondence at all - and have received nothing.

This offer is phoney.

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 22

Mine just came through today after a second email - check if yours is updated? 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

I sent a second email last night and checked just now... seems I've been upgraded. Although it takes a while to work it out since the site doesn't actually tell you in words what your status is. But the new status expiry date, a new icon and a check of the online version of their card in the profile section seems to confirm the upgrade. Certainly no email confirmation.

The moral here seems to be, email twice if you want them to match your status. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Jul 2015

Total posts 2

No confirmation email here either but sure enough I logged in and I've been upgraded too.

Glad I wasn't the only one that had to go searching to work out what the card graphic translated to status wise. They don't exactly make it obvious.

VA

10 Sep 2014

Total posts 25

Hey everyone, I applied about a month ago and just got the email... Pleasant suprise! I forgot about it.. Fly GA in Y for work next week and now can check out th next lounge.. Awesome!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yeh mine came through today as well 

Pleasant suprise indeed!

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 5

I got approved for Plus Club after a follow up email as well. I see you can earn miles with qantas, does that give lounge access too? 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 130

Atter several rather infuriating emails (and I do mean SEVERAL) asking me to resend my request, the copy of my card wasn't clear enough etc, I logged on today out of curiosity and noticed the status match has been approved. I have American AAdvantage Platinum (OneWorld Sapphire) which they matched to Freccia Alata Plus Club - nice!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

Got My Gold Qantas Sapphire Status Matched with Alitalia Freccia Alata which is equvilent to Skyteam Elite Plus till March 2017. Had to send a second follow up email and was done next day. Tho they didnt send me a confirmation email i had to check on the website and also on the Iphone App....

Does anyone know how long it takes them to send the Card? and also an option to save your gold card on passbook.

09 Feb 2012

Total posts 22

I got my card pretty quickly after the status match. Maybe 10 days or so. YMMV

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Nov 2013

Total posts 29

Same here. Not sure about passbook.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2015

Total posts 12

Great looking forward thanks.

 

So exactly what Lounges can i use now? Can i use Etihad Lounges around the world and also get the bonus's like extra kg, priority boarding, business class check in etc?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1138

Kudos to Alitalia for processing status match requests so promptly.  Unlike a certain other carrier coughAviancacough.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2014

Total posts 5

Card arrived along with a flyer for Business for You.  Has anyone tried to claim the two comp upgrades to J?  Does it have to be on Alitalia metal or can it be used on Ethiad?  Does medium haul mean within Europe or can it be used for Australia to Italy or even Abu Dhabi to Europe?


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