Guide To United Airlines Status Match & Challenge

Guide To United Airlines Status Match & Challenge

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It’s common for airlines to offer some sort of status challenge or status match program, in order to lure frequent flyers who are loyal to competing airlines, but are considering a switch. In the United States, most major airlines offer some sort of a status match challenge opportunity, including Alaska, Delta, and Southwest. In this post I wanted to take a look at the program offered by United.

United MileagePlus status match as of August 2022

United MileagePlus has a published status challenge program, which is currently valid through June 30, 2022.

With this program, you can have your status matched for a period of 120 days, and then your status can be extended based on qualifying activity within that period. As it stands, United is offering this program in order to earn Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum status (it’s not available for Premier 1K or Global Services status).

What status will United match?

Currently United Airlines is offering to match those who have status with any of the following programs:

  • Alaska Mileage Plan
  • American AAdvantage
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards

Elite tiers roughly map over as you’d expect, and below you can see a chart with all the details. While not explicitly listed, higher elite tiers can similarly be matched to Premier Platinum. All status challenges give you the status for 120 days, so if you want to keep the status longer you’ll need to complete certain requirements.

United has a published status match challenge program

How do you maintain United status?

In order to maintain your United status beyond the initial 120 day match period, you’ll have to complete a certain amount of qualifying activity within that timeframe. The ability to maintain elite status is based on earning PQF and PQP:

  • PQF stands for “Premier Qualifying Flights,” with each flight you take earning you one PQF
  • PQP stands for “Premier Qualifying Points,” with one point being earned for each dollar spent, before taxes and fees

For 2022, standard United MileagePlus status requirements are as follows:

  • Premier Silver requires eight PQF and 3,000 PQP, OR just 3,500 PQP
  • Premier Gold requires 16 PQF and 6,000 PQP, OR just 7,000 PQP
  • Premier Platinum requires 24 PQF and 9,000 PQP, OR just 10,000 PQP
  • Premier 1K requires 36 PQF and 13,500 PQP, OR 15,000 PQP

With the challenge, you need to earn the following number of PQF and PQP in a 120 day period:

  • Premier Silver requires four PQF and 1,000 PQP
  • Premier Gold requires six PQF and 2,000 PQP
  • Premier Platinum requires 10 PQF and 3,000 PQP

How long is matched United status valid for?

Assuming you satisfy the PQF and PQP requirements, the validity of your status is dependent on when you complete your challenge:

  • If you complete the challenge before July 1, then the status is only valid for the remainder of the program year (which would be through January 31 of the following year, in this case 2023)
  • If you complete the challenge after July 1, then the status is valid for the remainder of the program year, and the entire following program year (which would be through January 31 two years later, in this case 2024)

So currently if you started a challenge it would be valid through January 31, 2023. However, if you waited a bit it would be valid through January 31, 2024. You would only have to complete the challenge in July or later, meaning that you could start the challenge in March, but just make sure you don’t cross the threshold before July 1.

Status earned now would be valid through January 2023

How do you request a United status challenge?

To take part in a United MileagePlus status match challenge, complete this form. A few things to note:

  • It can take 7-14 business days to get a response and for your account to be upgraded
  • This program is not available to those who have participated in a status match challenge with United in the past five years
  • Those who hold trial or temporary status with a competitor aren’t eligible to participate
  • Those who earn Premier Platinum through the match will be awarded 20 PlusPoints
  • There’s no cost to participate in a United status match

What are the benefits of United elite status?

What are United Airlines MileagePlus status perks like?

Some of the most popular benefits of Premier Silver status include:

  • Complimentary upgrades in most domestic markets
  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating at time of check-in
  • One complimentary checked bag
  • A 40% mileage bonus (7x miles per dollar spent)

Some of the most popular benefits of Premier Gold status include:

  • Complimentary upgrades in most domestic markets
  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating at time of booking
  • Two complimentary checked bags
  • A 60% mileage bonus (8x miles per dollar spent)
  • Star Alliance Gold status

Some of the most popular benefits of Premier Platinum status include:

  • Complimentary upgrades in most domestic markets
  • Complimentary Economy Plus seating at time of booking
  • Three complimentary checked bags
  • An 80% mileage bonus (9x miles per dollar spent)
  • Star Alliance Gold status

Upgrades are obviously the most valuable benefit, and those are prioritized by status. The higher your status, the better the odds of those clearing. Don’t expect that you’ll be seeing too many upgrades as a Premier Silver member, for example.

Elite members are eligible for complimentary upgrades

Is a United Airlines status challenge worth it?

If you’re genuinely thinking of switching your loyalty to United (whether it’s because you’re fed up with your current airline, you’re moving, your travel patterns are changing, or whatever else), then it’s absolutely worth completing a status challenge. This gives you some status upfront, with the potential to maintain it in the long run.

I know some people also like to status match just for the heck of it, or because they have one trip where it could come in handy. In this case I probably wouldn’t recommend taking advantage of that, since you can only request one challenge every five years, and you can’t even get top tier status with this program.

So while United’s status challenge program isn’t the most exciting in the industry, it is your best option if switching business to United.

A status challenge could be worthwhile if switching to United

Bottom line

United Airlines’ MileagePlus program offers a status match promotion, open to frequent flyers with other major US airlines. You can receive status upfront for 120 days, and then you need to complete certain flying and spending requirements in order to maintain that status through next January. It could be worth waiting until July to complete a status challenge, so that you get an entire extra year of status from the program.

Have any OMAAT readers taken part in a United status challenge? If so, what was your experience like?

Conversations (15)
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  1. Adel Guest

    I upgraded to Premier Platinum, I traveled on two Lufthansa return flights but the system at Lufthansa did not recognize my platinum membership and considered me a regular passenger (without Star Gold benefits). I tried to communicate with MileagePlus team via email or phone, but it seems that the experience of their representatives is very modest (their dialect is Filipino), my inquiry was very difficult for these guys and they did not even understand what...

    I upgraded to Premier Platinum, I traveled on two Lufthansa return flights but the system at Lufthansa did not recognize my platinum membership and considered me a regular passenger (without Star Gold benefits). I tried to communicate with MileagePlus team via email or phone, but it seems that the experience of their representatives is very modest (their dialect is Filipino), my inquiry was very difficult for these guys and they did not even understand what my problem was. Therefore, be aware that during the 120 days, you will not get recognition from the rest of Star Gold's partners.
    regards

  2. TouringTony Guest

    Any idea how to match / challenge to 1k? I am silver with them through Marriott . I have had delta diamond status for years , I also have Qatar platinum , Alaska mvp gold 75k, air Canada 75k, and ITa club executive , so I have double sky team “elite plus” double one world “emerald” and sky team “silver “ and “gold” .
    I’ve heard they will but not sure the method.

    ...

    Any idea how to match / challenge to 1k? I am silver with them through Marriott . I have had delta diamond status for years , I also have Qatar platinum , Alaska mvp gold 75k, air Canada 75k, and ITa club executive , so I have double sky team “elite plus” double one world “emerald” and sky team “silver “ and “gold” .
    I’ve heard they will but not sure the method.

    I’m going to be spending a lot more time at my place in Acapulco and UA goes direct and are tons cheaper than Delta. I already have diamond with felt for next year too so ….

    1. Bespo Guest

      I am Delta Diamond and they matched me to 1k. I was only expecting a platinum match. To maintain I need 15 PQF and 5,000 PQP.

  3. Lorenzo Guest

    Gold with Qatar, i have been matched (challenge) in 30 minutes.

  4. jack kirby Guest

    any idea if this applies to Air New Zealand Airpoints program?

  5. Barry Case Guest

    Look at Consumers Affairs website, United Airlines scores a 2.3 out of five stars! 3,000 employees test positive for Covid that was Jan. 11th 2022! I think Mr. Kirby (CEO) is in way over his head, he is pulling at straws trying to make anything work. Triple pay for pilots, double pay for overtime for regular employees. His decisions on what to do during the Covid has placed United Airlines in this position. They need...

    Look at Consumers Affairs website, United Airlines scores a 2.3 out of five stars! 3,000 employees test positive for Covid that was Jan. 11th 2022! I think Mr. Kirby (CEO) is in way over his head, he is pulling at straws trying to make anything work. Triple pay for pilots, double pay for overtime for regular employees. His decisions on what to do during the Covid has placed United Airlines in this position. They need a more experienced leader and one that isn't going to make this airline do a crash landing. Find another airline until then.

  6. Akaplan Guest

    Does paying with united travel bank count
    For spend?

  7. AC Guest

    Not sure if my United status match (back in November) was a different offer but it was certainly better. I'm lifetime AA Platinum (was EP for years but now retired and fell back to lifetime Platinum). UA matched me to Platinum (not Gold as you show in your chart). Also, to requalify for all of 2022 all I have to do is complete 4 one-way trips within the 120 days with no purchase $ minimum....

    Not sure if my United status match (back in November) was a different offer but it was certainly better. I'm lifetime AA Platinum (was EP for years but now retired and fell back to lifetime Platinum). UA matched me to Platinum (not Gold as you show in your chart). Also, to requalify for all of 2022 all I have to do is complete 4 one-way trips within the 120 days with no purchase $ minimum. Again, maybe this was a more limited offer but it is so much better than the status match you wrote about in this article.

  8. TranceXplant Member

    Lucky,

    Speaking of status matches, has there been any word on when ITA Volare will be providing people with frequent flyer numbers?

  9. GeorgeBrown12 Member

    @Lucky, to clarify on the timing. The length of earned status upon completing the requisite PQF & PQD is when the challenge ends, right? 120 days is roughly four months, so you wouldn't have to wait until July, you could start the challenge in April (April-May-June-July) and then you'd have the status until January 2024 because the match period ended in July. Is that correct? On another note, I may be one of those people...

    @Lucky, to clarify on the timing. The length of earned status upon completing the requisite PQF & PQD is when the challenge ends, right? 120 days is roughly four months, so you wouldn't have to wait until July, you could start the challenge in April (April-May-June-July) and then you'd have the status until January 2024 because the match period ended in July. Is that correct? On another note, I may be one of those people who does the status match to Gold specifically for one trip in order to at least choose economy plus seats at booking.

    1. tcATL New Member

      I would say yes as long as you EARN it in July.

    2. TranceXplant Member

      As tcATL alluded to, it's not about when you start the challenge. It's about when you cross the line. So by all means feel free to begin it in April, May, or June. Just make sure not to hit the threshold before July 1st.

    3. JLG Guest

      Question for all of you. If I match to Gold from my other frequent flyer program, but only complete requirements to achieve Silver in the 4 months of the challenge, will United honor the Silver status? Or will I loose all status at 120 days because the goal was to achieve the GOLD requirements?

    4. Flyer20 Guest

      What if I apply for a Premier Platinum status and then get only enough PQPs and PQFS to qualify for Gold? Would they wait until the end of 120 days to look at what status to extend? Additionally, if I earn all requirements for the Gold status in the first 60 days, will the next 30 days be of Platinum or Gold? TIA

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Adel Guest

I upgraded to Premier Platinum, I traveled on two Lufthansa return flights but the system at Lufthansa did not recognize my platinum membership and considered me a regular passenger (without Star Gold benefits). I tried to communicate with MileagePlus team via email or phone, but it seems that the experience of their representatives is very modest (their dialect is Filipino), my inquiry was very difficult for these guys and they did not even understand what my problem was. Therefore, be aware that during the 120 days, you will not get recognition from the rest of Star Gold's partners. regards

0
Bespo Guest

I am Delta Diamond and they matched me to 1k. I was only expecting a platinum match. To maintain I need 15 PQF and 5,000 PQP.

0
TouringTony Guest

Any idea how to match / challenge to 1k? I am silver with them through Marriott . I have had delta diamond status for years , I also have Qatar platinum , Alaska mvp gold 75k, air Canada 75k, and ITa club executive , so I have double sky team “elite plus” double one world “emerald” and sky team “silver “ and “gold” . I’ve heard they will but not sure the method. I’m going to be spending a lot more time at my place in Acapulco and UA goes direct and are tons cheaper than Delta. I already have diamond with felt for next year too so ….

0
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