Did you know that once you have earned elite status with an airline or hotel you can typically leverage it to obtain status with other airlines and hotels? This topic of elite status match offers is one we cover with some regular frequency here on FFB and some elite status matches are easier than others, in particular hotel program matches, these are usually easier to come by than airline matches with the easiest being Best Western’s famous Status Match No Catch offer. It is the airline side that can prove to be more difficult and that’s where statusmatch.com comes in. This new company co-founded by a former frequent flyer program head, a frequent flyer program director and the creator and operator of frequent flyer program will represent you and your status to other airlines in your quest to obtain additional elite membership.
Who and what is statusmatch.com?
Statusmatch.com was co-created and launched by Mark Ross-Smith, the founder of TravelDataDaily.com and the former head of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich program, Stuart Dinnis, who was previously the Director of Loyalty at Virgin America Elevate and Phil Gunter, who created and ran the Virgin Australia Velocity program. For this post we talked with Mark who having been both a frequent flyer with over 1,000+ flights and working in the industry tells us his reasoning behind launching his newest endeavor:
The idea of a centralized platform that helped airlines, hotels manage status match request started back in 2013, when I had just sold my IT company in Australia. I was in the process of relocating to Hong Kong, where my Qantas Platinum One status wasn’t so useful as the status credits I would earn flying Cathay Pacific weren’t worthwhile. So I emailed a few airlines (namely: Cathay Pacific) requesting a status match, and they offered me Silver status – which quite frankly was an insult given that to earn Qantas Platinum One I had spent around AU $50,000 annually, and was earning 100,000’s of points from my credit card spend.
I then emailed Singapore Airlines asking for similar – and they never replied. I wanted to know if this was a systemic problem in the industry or I simply sucked at writing emails – so I contacted Turkish Airlines, Japan Airlines, EVA Air, and Malaysia Airlines. ZERO reply from all of them. I mean WTF!
That was the moment I decided that there was an issue whereby airlines had no process to onboard new, high-value customers via status matching.
I also decided this was going to be my next endeavour – to fix status matching.
Fast-forward a few years, and boom – statusmatch.com is launched. To sum up how Statusmatch.com came about – It is the accumulation of experience in being a miles junkie since 2003, a legit real frequent flyer and having run a major well-known airline loyalty program. In this sense – we know what the customer wants, what the airline is trying to achieve, and creating a product that sits in the middle to help achieve the results that everyone is satisfied with.
So that’s what Statusmatch.com is – a new start up company whose service is to present you, the elite traveler, to the right people at an airline, hotel or other loyalty company with whom you don’t have status but want to or need to become a customer of that said company.
How statusmatch.com works
You can join statusmatch.com for free so that you can see what status matches you may qualify for. Then when choose to apply for a status match you will pay US$1 and if statusmatch.com is successful* in getting you status with your application you will pay an additional US$59. Do note these are introductory prices and for these fees statusmatch is representing you to the airline. They package up your details, verify that your status is real, check to see if you’ve matched with other airlines/hotels, and present it to the right person at the airline. Ultimately, airlines still make their own decision whether or not to approve your application. If your status match is unsuccessful then you don’t pay.
* Successful is defined as “where your elite status is upgraded to any tier, for any length of time, within 30 days of submitting your status match request”
Example 1: You apply for a Status Match and are approved for 12-months Status with Airline X. The success fee will be charged.
Example 2: Your apply for a Status Match and are approved for a 30-day challenge with Airline X. The success fee will be charged.
As you can see it is in statusmatch.com‘s best interest to get you that match because if they don’t they won’t make any money. So you can bet they’ll work hard on your behalf and find you the best possible match. They do this by being a single point of contact and bypassing the typical route airlines see requests by which is receiving loads of emails from customers that may just be ignored. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will get a status match and if you don’t it doesn’t cost you anything outside of that US$1.
You may ask why not go on it on your own? Well there are instances where you can and should. There have been some status match offers in the past and even present that are very easy for an individual traveler to take part in that provide automatic status. The aforementioned Best Western Status Match No Catch being one such offer. FFB keeps track of many of these status match offers and lists them on our Elite Status Bonus Miles & Points page
Some matches however are challenges that will give you a short period of status and then a flight requirement to maintain that status (ie United’s elite status match challenge) however it is entirely possible that statusmatch.com may be able to get you that status for a longer term and/or without the typical requirements of those challenges based on your travel habits and future travel plans.
Currently the site supports about 20 airline and hotel programs that you can request them to try to status match for you. The list of programs does vary depending on where you are based. In the future the plan is to support over 200 airline, hotel and other loyalty programs including casinos and cruise lines. As they are a new startup one can expect they will grow and evolve over time as they themselves will learn more as they go along and find better ways of doing things.
Tips for status matching
Mark also provided some tips for any of our readers who are thinking status matching with an airline or hotel:
- Only request a status match if you genuinely are going to shift your business.
- Most airlines/hotels have caps on the number of times you can status match. Often this once-per-lifetime. Keep this in mind!
- If you’re apply for a status challenge, make sure you can hit the milestones prior to applying.
- Don’t email the CEO of the airline/hotel asking for a match, instead, contact someone in the sales department.
- Register your loyalty accounts with statusmatch.com. If an opportunity arises that fits your profile – we’ll notify you immediately.
Wrapping it up
This new service will definitely fill a niche that up until now has been left to the airline programs and their frequent flyers. Statusmatch.com realized that in this case being a middle man is a good thing for both the traveler and airline (or hotel, car rental co. etc) as they can help travelers get those additional elite status memberships all the while helping the travel providers obtain and hopefully keep quality customers who help their bottom line.
Images via statusmatch.com