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
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)