Bamboo Airways Offering Intriguing Status Match

Filed Under: Other Airlines

While it might not be terribly useful to most, here’s a potentially fun opportunity to get a top-tier status match without any flying requirement.

What is Bamboo Airways?

Some context might be useful here. Bamboo Airways is a fairly new Vietnamese airline that was founded in 2017. The airline is growing at a ridiculously fast pace, and already has dozens of planes, including brand new Airbus A321neos and Boeing 787-9s, which feature solid onboard products.

The airline plans to begin flying to the United States in the coming year, and has all kinds of long haul growth aspirations. Bamboo Airways has its own frequent flyer program, Bamboo Club, but doesn’t belong to a major alliance, and doesn’t have any valuable frequent flyer partnerships (at least not yet).

By the way, can we agree that Bamboo Airways has the second best frequent flyer program name, after Cayman Airways’ Sir Turtle Club?

Bamboo Airways’ 787-9 business class

Bamboo Airways’ Bamboo Club status match

Bamboo Airways is offering a status match to all oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam frequent flyers. Bamboo Airways is matching all the way up to top-tier status:

  • oneworld Ruby, Star Alliance Silver, and SkyTeam Elite, will match to Bamboo Club Gold
  • oneworld Sapphire will match to Bamboo Club Diamond
  • oneworld Emerald, Star Alliance Gold, and SkyTeam Elite Plus, will match to Bamboo Club First

To apply for a status match:

  • Register for Bamboo Club, which is free and instant
  • Complete the status match request form, which requires including a copy of your frequent flyer card and ID; you must apply by June 30, 2021
  • If eligible, your application will be approved within 7-10 business days
  • Note that the application asks for an address in Vietnam, though there’s nothing in the terms restricting this to people living in Vietnam, so make of that what you will

It’s not entirely clear how long a status match is valid for.

What are Bamboo Airways elite perks like?

What are elite benefits like as a Bamboo Airways Bamboo Club member? Bamboo Club Gold members receive:

  • Business class check-in
  • Priority seat selection
  • An additional 5kg of checked luggage
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority bag delivery
  • 50 bonus points on your birthday

Bamboo Club Diamond members receive the following incremental perks:

  • Business class lounge access
  • An additional 10kg of checked luggage
  • Complimentary upgrade to Bamboo Plus or Bamboo Business if your original class is full and seats in the higher cabin are available at the time of check-in or boarding
  • 100 bonus points on your birthday

Bamboo Club First members receive the following incremental perks:

  • An additional 20kg of checked luggage
  • 150 bonus points on your birthday

As you can see, these benefits would come in handy if you fly Bamboo Airways frequently, though even so:

  • The elite perks are fairly weak, even when traveling with Bamboo Airways
  • There are no perks on other airlines, as you may find with an alliance airline

I also find it noteworthy how the airline has essentially formalized operational upgrades as an elite perk — you only get upgrades if economy is oversold and there’s space in the higher cabin. That’s a policy virtually all airlines have, though it’s not typically promoted, since something like this will only lead to disappointment.

Bamboo Airways Lounge Ho Chi Minh City

Is a Bamboo Airways status match worth it?

On the surface a status match with no flying requirement valid to anyone that has status with a major alliance is intriguing, especially when you can get top-tier status. Obviously if you fly Bamboo Airways with any frequency this could be worth it. If you don’t (and I suspect most of us fall into this category), there are two ways to look at this:

  • On the one hand, who wouldn’t want to say they’re a Bamboo Club First member, and Bamboo Airways does eventually plan to fly to the US
  • On the other hand, given the lack of perks on any other airlines, there simply won’t be much value to most, given how restricted international travel is nowadays

Bamboo Airways will eventually fly to the US

If Bamboo Airways were already flying to the US and I could enter Vietnam, I’d totally take advantage of this just for giggles, and fly the airline. But for now I figure I’ll save this opportunity for when it’s actually useful.

I sure do love my Starlux Airlines COSMILE Insighter status, which I earned through a status match. The major difference was that the Starlux status match is valid for several years. It even came with an awesome commemorative card and luggage tag.

My commemorative Starlux Airlines Insighter card

Bottom line

Bamboo Airways has launched a status match promotion. On the surface it’s cool to be able to get a top-tier status match without any sort of a flying requirement, though in reality I’m guessing this will be of limited use to most people.

If Bamboo Airways were already flying to the US and travel to Vietnam were practical I’d totally take advantage of this, though for the time being I don’t see this being useful. Here’s to hoping this opportunity sticks around in the future.

Anyone plan to take advantage of this Bamboo Airways status match?

(Tip of the hat to Executive Traveller)

  1. I hope they survive. They wanted to also do Prague and London-Heathrow, they’re ambitious. But cash flow may be another reality..

  2. Ben,

    I really wish you would apply for a government job that requires a security clearance because I would pay to see you try and fill out the paperwork that requires you to listen all of the dates and places you’ve visited in the last 7 years, as well as list all of the places you have lived over the last 10 years 🙂

    I also would love to easy the expression of the person that would get your paperwork. I’m guessing they would go “uh oh” and toss it into the shredder.

  3. I applied yesterday. Supposed to be flying here to Australia. If our borders ever open. @chriscan I just put an Australian address in that field. It was fine. We shall see!

  4. Most of bamboo airways’ lounges are part of the PP network iirc.

    Got to try their lounge in HAN and it’s quite good.

  5. @rich:

    I travel almost as much as Ben (well, not really, but a whole lot of flying) and had to do just that. I believe it was even 10 years’ history. Fortunately I have everything well documented but after delving back 2 whole years (and about 40 trips) I just stopped. The number of pages I had used barely fitted an envelope.

    The paperwork obviously satisfied the receiving agent as no further questions were asked.

  6. I hope it will be more useful than the TAP Status match (Emerald to Gold…), which I considertto be my biggest airline-related mistake in a long time… And to think A/ that they have had the guts to ask for some payment (even at the minimum rate, it was $ 108) … and B/ that I have been stupid enough to pay it… I am not proud.

    The top level of a completely empty and uncompetitive program as TAP’s could not be of any use. Caveat Emptor !!

  7. Yes. To reiterate a point above… After signing up for the Bamboo Plus account, I went to register for the promotion and — a Vietnamese address is required. ??

  8. I could see dozens of “globe trotting” soccer mom’s who frequent Cancun and the Bahamas rushing to this for their 1 in 10year trip to “Asia” (Tokyo and back)

  9. Ben – would you care to update this story for people who have read your blog for years and, in the comments, identified a major hole in your reporting: Is this applicable to your U.S. readers? For those of us who took the time to sign up for an account, on your recommendation, only to discover that, when applying for the status match, a “detailed address in Vietnam” was required… at least admit that you didn’t do your due diligence and, ideally, give us an update on whether this is even applicable to residents of any other country than Vietnam. I, for one, emailed them last week and have received no response. Is it that consequential in the long run? I guess not. Is it annoying that I wasted my time on this and shared my personal details with a company for, potentially, no reason? Yes. At least have the courtesy to update your readers.

  10. So I just received my “First” status. For those asking I used my Australian address where it asks for Vietnamese address. I had no issues.

    I matched SQ PSS/Gold to Bamboo First. Pre COVID I often went to VN so it could be useful.

  11. @ MDA, thanks for the update. Can I ask when the matched status is valid until? Did they give you a full year?

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