Over the last few years, there has been something of a competition going on between the Middle Eastern carriers. With their respective states or countries slowly moving away from a dependence on oil for income, tourism and transport has become the focus for the economy as they move forward. This means new airports, facilities and of course lots of new aircraft. And those aircraft need to be filled. One way of helping to fill those aircraft, is to offer a status match for frequent flyers.

A status match is essentially a fast track to status in an airlines frequent flyer program. Some airlines offer it in the form of a challenge. This involves hitting activity targets in a period of time that is usually shorter than the normal qualification period. Others just offer to match a membership tier on receipt of proof. Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, is one of those.

If you’ve got a Gold or higher-tiered card with any other airline loyalty programme, here’s your chance to receive a complimentary Etihad Guest Gold card!

Gold status with Etihad is certainly something not to be sneezed at. The benefits on offer include goodies for both the local traveller as well as those flying internationally. Along with the usual priority boarding and business class check in, you will get up to 32kg of free baggage, including domestic flights with Virgin Australia. You also get international lounge access at many airports, including the newly opened Sydney airport lounge. As an added bonus, travellers with Etihad Gold status will also be admitted to the local lounge when flying domestically with Virgin Australia.

For those who WERE matched – how long was validity for on your cards please?

Once your status match is processed it will take around 6 weeks to get your card. That card would be good for travel for the rest of the year, all of next year and show your status to be expiring in March 2016. That’s almost two years of status and its benefits. With such a valuable package on offer for so long, there are bound to be a few catches in the fine print.

The first catch is rather obvious; you need to be holding at least Gold status with another program. The campaign seems to be aimed at the Qantas Emirates partnership, as current Velocity status holders are excluded, along with Singapore Air’s Krisflyer members. The second catch is the one most likely to knock many out from applying. You will need to send in proof that you travelled to the Middle East or Europe twice in the last twelve months.

If you meet the requirements, then you will need to hurry to take advantage of this offer. It closes on the 6th of August Abu Dhabi time. If you have questions or would like to join the discussion on the offer, join our conversation HERE.

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