Got status matched! Now what? Star Alliance / United / Thai | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Got status matched! Now what? Star Alliance / United / Thai

shbap

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Looking for tips/tricks/advice! Trying to use the forums to fast track info gathering given my outgoing flight is tomorrow :D

Made a very last minute booking for a trip to India (SYD to DEL via BKK) and for cost reasons, selected Thai Airways, which had the cheapest tickets (which in itself was very surprising given I booked only 3 days out).

As I have no Star Alliance status, signed up to United's program so I could try for a status match (using my QFF Gold card and recent activity). Not expecting to get a response before tomorrow, I was pleasantly surprised when they got back with a positive confirmation albeit on trial basis.

"Congratulations! You have been awarded a trial period of Premier® Gold status in the MileagePlus® program valid until 06 May, 2018!
To remain a Premier Gold member through January 31, 2019, you will need to fly 12,500 Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or 15 Premier qualifying segments (PQS) on flights operated by United® or United Express® between 05 February, 2018 through 06 May, 2018."

Now, I of course don't have a UA MileagePlus card, but downloaded their app and it clearly shows my status as Star Alliance Gold.

Will Thai honour the status (for priority lanes, boarding, lounge access)?
Any possibility of getting better seats because of the status?
Best lounge in Sydney for the outgoing?

I'll also be flying a short domestic leg in India on Jet Airways, but don't think the Star Alliance nor Oneworld status will help there.

Thanks in advance folks (as I continue to search and google away).
 

juddles

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That was certainly cutting it fine!

As far as not having the physical card yet, I would assume that if valid, your status will appear on your boarding card if you give them your Mileage Plus FF number?
 

shbap

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As far as not having the physical card yet, I would assume that if valid, your status will appear on your boarding card if you give them your Mileage Plus FF number?
Can they input other FF numbers or do they just confirm the status and therefore the equivalent Thai/Star Alliance status will appear on the boarding bass? Hope there's not too much fuss at check-in and as you mention, the boarding card reflects the correct status.

On another note, seems like Air NZ lounge might be worth checking out, but Krisflyer lounge is also an option at Sydney.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Will Thai honour the status (for priority lanes, boarding, lounge access)?
Any possibility of getting better seats because of the status?
Best lounge in Sydney for the outgoing?
The terms and conditions of the status match outline that benefits will be available on United and United subsidiary airlines, but may not be available on partner airlines, including for lounge access: Offer | United Airlines

  • Premier membership materials will be not issued for the 90-day Offer Period. You may enjoy Premier benefits on United®- or United® Express-operated flights by providing your account number when making reservations or at check-in. During the 90-day Offer Period, you may not have access to all reciprocal Premier benefits with United's partners, including access to Star Alliance lounges.
Bottom line - won't hurt to try, but if declined, partner airlines aren't required to honour it.
 

shbap

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Just to close this off, here's how it played out.

At check-in in Sydney, they got the United FF number on the boarding pass but the Gold status did not register. Showed the status in the United mobile app, and the agent, who by the way was very nice, tried a couple of times to input it but was unable to get it on the boarding pass. Gave me an express path card anyway and told me to show the app at the lounge entry. Used the express path and made my way to the Air NZ lounge, which of course is right next the SQ Kris lounge, so part of me was thinking to check/try both. But got in to the Air NZ with no fuss at all, showed the boarding pass then the app and all was good. Similarly when boarding, I used the priority boarding lane, showed the app but the agent wasn't fussed at all and didn't even really look at it.

Connecting flights at Bangkok were extremely tight, so no chance of trying the Thai lounge but used the priority boarding lane without any issues again. Flight from Bangkok to Delhi was on the Dreamliner which I didn't realise beforehand - first time for me on the Dreamliner which was a nice surprise and sufficiently impressive (both leg room/comfort and IFE) but I suspect this was quite skewed due to extremely terrible experience on the 747 from Sydney to Bangkok that just preceded.

On the return leg, the status came through on the boarding pass at check-in! Was given the complimentary invite to the Plaza Premium Lounge at New Delhi. There's an SQ lounge there but again decided against trying to use that as I was keen to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge. Turns out it was better, in my opinion, than the SQ lounge at Delhi, which is not saying much I know but still, it was quite comfortable. Boarding pass had a cordial invitation to attend the Royal Orchid Lounge at BKK but again due to a very tight connection, didn't get a chance to check it out.

All in all, getting the UA status proved very beneficial on this short trip across a few timezones. Time in the lounge on the way back and being able to use the priority boarding lanes (no fighting for overhead storage space on 3 out of 4 legs) made my journey much more comfortable and bearable. Though not enough to vow never to fly Thai again in economy on their old 747 planes ever again; I prefer the aisle seat and with the entertainment box taking up so much space, it's very, very uncomfortable (I'm ~ 6'1")...then the person in front reclines their seat...
 

Mattg

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Thanks for following up! I have no Star Alliance status but will be taking a bunch of flights with them later in the year, so looking for QF status match options. I was thinking of using Turkish Airlines but United is another option.

FWIW, I believe the T&Cs of the UA status match challenge state that the benefits of the status are only available when flying United in the trial period. But I've heard from several sources that this is not the case in practice. Glad it all worked out for you!
 

MEL_Traveller

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FWIW, I believe the T&Cs of the UA status match challenge state that the benefits of the status are only available when flying United in the trial period. But I've heard from several sources that this is not the case in practice. Glad it all worked out for you!
I copied the terms and conditions in post #4 above - and you're right they do reserve the right to excuse the offering of status benefits depending on partner airline (including for lounges). Can never hurt to try, but can't complain if refused :)
 

shbap

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Can never hurt to try, but can't complain if refused
Yes, which is why I was even more polite and courteous than usual. A smile and being humble speak volumes. Had a few changes at work otherwise, I genuinely could've met UA's challenge too (helps me sleep at night). :D
 

SYD

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Useful feedback. Although, noting the 5yr rule, not something to fire off willynilly. Pretty sure I'm beyond 5yrs since my last UA status match, but I'm going to sit on it in case I get a J work trip to the US that would pretty much secure *A Gold - not that it is very useful now that VA has NZ and SQ.

Meanwhile, I'm getting my other half (QF SG) to fire off a willynilly SM for possible benefits on a couple of flights in Central Am
 

timster

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You missed nothing in skipping the several TG lounges in BKK. They're dismal for home base. SQ and BR are the go-to *A lounges for all *G in BKK. And the TG 747's on SYD-BKK should be disappearing this year - to be replaced by A350 IIRC.
 

SYD

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Meanwhile, I'm getting my other half (QF SG) to fire off a willynilly SM for possible benefits on a couple of flights in Central Am
For those interested, SM to UA Premier/*A Gold came through prior to Two flights on Copa (CM).

SJU-PTY: already booked in J so not expecting any difference (priority checkin, baggage, lounge etc). But we both got ‘TSA Pre’. Separate security line - shoes on, nothing out of carryon! Ironically, on our flight from SYD-LAX my partner got the dreaded random ‘SSSS’.

Side note: J catering on CM (3 hr flight) was a warm ham and cheese sandwich (sliced white bread)....

PTY-SJO (Y): unfortunately, the ability to change seats got locked out a few weeks out but when online checkin opened, it looked like *A Gold gave access to extra legroom seats including exit rows (but at that point - it’s possble that everyone had the same access?

Priority tags, CM lounge access (nothing particularly special), priority boarding (Zone 2) - which was also conferred on my BP. First bags off.
 

cambriamarsh

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There have also been a number of reports of Avianca / Life Miles status matching QF gold, including mine. Full status match to *G and soft copy card followed by real card. Used on NZ no probs.
 

Mattg

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I applied for the UA status match 2 weeks ago, which was approved about 3 days later.

I had nominated yesterday as my start date, but my account hasn't yet been updated to show the new status level. Any idea how long this normally takes?

I am actually planning to do the required flying on United to extend the status. The email I received says that my status will remain valid until 31 January 2019 if I earn the required PQMs by 16 September 2018. My understanding was that it would remain valid until Jan 2020 if I completed the challenge after 1 July 2018. Any thoughts on this?
 

power71

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I'd like to book at UA flight this week to take advantage of some great prices for travel in October/November this year.
If I apply for the status match (currently Platinum with QF) in say late June (to meet the 90 day limit on the status challenge), will my existing booking be recognised as part of the status challenge, or does it only apply to flights booked after you've been approved for the status challenge?
 

Mattg

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I'd like to book at UA flight this week to take advantage of some great prices for travel in October/November this year.
If I apply for the status match (currently Platinum with QF) in say late June (to meet the 90 day limit on the status challenge), will my existing booking be recognised as part of the status challenge, or does it only apply to flights booked after you've been approved for the status challenge?
My understanding is that you just have to fly on UA (and earn the required PQM/PQS) during the challenge period - it shouldn’t matter when the flights were booked. (Or at least I hope so as I’m relying on pre-booked flights to meet my own challenge!)
 
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I applied for the UA status match 2 weeks ago, which was approved about 3 days later.

I had nominated yesterday as my start date, but my account hasn't yet been updated to show the new status level. Any idea how long this normally takes?
Hi Mattg, do you remember how long this took for you in the end?
 

jch

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Can they input other FF numbers or do they just confirm the status and therefore the equivalent Thai/Star Alliance status will appear on the boarding bass? Hope there's not too much fuss at check-in and as you mention, the boarding card reflects the correct status.

On another note, seems like Air NZ lounge might be worth checking out, but Krisflyer lounge is also an option at Sydney.
The NZ lounge is great in the morning for the breakfast burrito! (if they still do it)
 

jch

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United's *A status match is a great way to get your foot in the door to start enjoying the status benefits, then try to credit your miles to a lower threshold carrier for maintaining *A Gold such as Asiana or Turkish airlines. It makes sense for me as I probably won't even make the minimum flight segments on United every year, let alone their milage requirements for gold. If I don't get into a lounge for not having United printed on my boarding pass, I would rather grab a beer at a bar near the gate than miss out on the miles and qualify for gold long-term.

I'll take a hit in the first year or so to try and get up to 40k miles with Asiana but then only need ~13.5k per year when you take into account the two year qualification period and bonus 10% at the higher status rate. That's enough with one long haul or EU/US then a mid-haul to Asia to keep it ticking along.

Note: I've been stung for not checking the correct booking class when booking economy tickets. You generally get 150%/125%/110% for First, Business Premium economy, but economy tickets can range from 100% to 0%.

Asiana has a great page which breaks this down per airlines and is bookmarked for whenever I'm searching for fares!
Mileage for Star Alliance│ASIANA AIRLINES

Hope this helps.
 

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