Air Italy Will Sell You Top Tier Status For 500EUR

Filed Under: Other Airlines

A few days ago I wrote about how Air Italy rebranded their loyalty program. They changed the name of their program from Air Italy Club to @MyAirItalyClub. Not much changed in terms of the program benefits, though they did add customer support via a dedicated Twitter channel for members of the program.

There is something intriguing about the program that I missed the first time around. All of Air Italy’s status levels can be purchased, and the prices are quite reasonable.

How much does it cost to buy Air Italy status?

  • Air Italy Silver status can usually be earned by taking 25 Air Italy flights or earning 20,000 Avios on Air Italy flights during a calendar year; alternatively, you can buy Air Italy Silver status for one year for 200EUR
  • Air Italy Gold status can usually be earned by taking 50 Air Italy flights or earning 45,000 Avios on Air Italy flights during a calendar year; alternatively, you can buy Air Italy Gold status for one year for 500EUR

While there are a few airlines out there selling status (or letting you at least buy-up to the next tier), an airline selling top tier status for 500EUR is the lowest cost I know of for such a thing.

Air Italy A330

What are the benefits of Air Italy status?

The catch is that the value of Air Italy status is fairly limited. Even though Air Italy is partners with British Airways and Iberia, and even though Qatar Airways owns a stake in Air Italy, you don’t get any additional privileges when traveling on partner airlines.

The benefits for Silver and Gold status include the following:

  • Air Italy Silver offers priority check-in, priority security, and priority boarding, as well as free standby onto an earlier flight if you’re flying in a market with multiple daily frequencies
  • In addition to the above, Air Italy Gold offers lounge access, free seat assignments onboard, priority baggage handling, an additional baggage allowance, and more

Air Italy’s A330 business class seats

Bottom line

500EUR is the lowest price I’ve ever seen an airline charge to outright buy top tier status. However, this is also among the less valuable status levels out there.

If you’re someone who frequently flies Air Italy in economy then I could see this being worthwhile. However, for the rest of us I can’t see this being worth it, given that Air Italy doesn’t offer elite members business class upgrades, and this also doesn’t open up benefits with any alliance.

(Tip of the hat to Travel With Massi)

  1. Hotels and now airlines are offering status for sale? What happened to loyalty? I thought that was the purpose of these status levels – to encourage you to be loyal to the brand. This seems counterintuitive.

  2. A post about different options to buy into status for those not traveling *that* much would be great. Also taking into account options for readers outside the Americas.

  3. Far too many Air Italy posts the last few days…let these jokers fade back into the obscurity from which they came.

  4. Charlie McMillan – If you’re “loyal” to a capitalist business then you’re an idiot! Loyalty programs are merely bribes to get you to use an airline, it’s not genuine loyalty…

  5. @Charlie McMillan: if you’re paying €500 to an airline for no immediate benefits, all bets say that you’ll be more loyal to them than another airline.

  6. @Callen,
    True that! Also: “ as a frequent guest, we greatly value your experience and opinion about your recent stay, so please complete this 20 minute questionnaire online and return it…” (so You can take that advice I just spent time providing you for free to use for your profit).
    I agree. As a platinum and well travelled customer, my time and feedback is valuable. And if you want to pay me as a consultant, sure!
    “appreciation” provided should have a felt benefit. Free nights stay? 50% off next domestic flight?

  7. Sorry to contradict but I was offered AA gold for 235$ and I got it. So it’s definitely not the best such offer. Not at all.

  8. @Nicola – I believe the reference is to a ‘publicly available’ or published price. AA have offered selected members targeted offers/prices to buy, buy-up or retain status, but a generally available purchase option.

  9. Do you think it would be possible to buy this and do a status match with Alaska to MVP-Gold or 75K??

  10. @nicola AA Gold is hardly top tier status. Oneworld ruby isn’t really worth that much to anyone.

  11. I think this is a nice benefit ‘as well as free standby onto an earlier flight if you’re flying in a market with multiple daily frequencies ‘

  12. @Don – I was thinking like you in that can Delta do a status match challenge with Air Italy?

  13. If Air Italy were to join oneworld or even enter into an arrangement like the one they have with Air Fiji this would be immensely valuable as you’d get lounge access and whatnot with partner airlines. Otherwise it’s pretty much only useful for those not who fly Air Italy all the time (I’m talking several times a month) as then they’d make the money back through savings on seat selection and bag fees.

  14. @Lumma

    I know well that AA Gold is not AA top status, but it gives some privileges. For instance avoiding queues or selecting free seats in the front rows. Beside the cost which some times is above 100$, but also the ability to select the front row in PE which is the most comfortable. I’ve just used such a prerogative on my last booking on a joint route through LHR with BA and it’s half of my needs. So it might not be the top AA tier but it’s a good thing to have and also good value.

  15. @pds

    As of my knowledge the invitation has been sent to almost anyone. Two of my friends received it. The opportunity to buy tier status I think it’s a very intelligent strategy (Emirates did the same some times back and their offer was the same more or less). The opportunity to cash money is the last of their thoughts. Once ones become a privileged status the majority would want to fly more with that airline to get the most of it. It’s a very clever move in my view.

  16. And when did it suddenly become a thing to put the dollar sign after the amount? I am seeing this all over the interwebs these days

  17. One can also “buy” Hilton Diamond top tier status through a 450$ annual fee credit card. This is probably much more valuable than Air Italy status to most readers.

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