It’s common for airlines to offer some sort of status challenge or status match program, in order to lure people who are loyal to competing airlines, but are considering a switch.
United had offered a status challenge program for a long time, but suspended it in fall 2019, prior to announcing major changes to the MileagePlus program. Well, the details of the new United status challenge program have now been revealed.
United MileagePlus status challenge as of January 2020
The new MileagePlus status challenge program is available for requests made between January 3 and December 31, 2020.
With this new program, United will offer challenges to those who have status with American AAdvantage or Delta SkyMiles, though they’re only offering Premier Silver, Gold, or Platinum status — they don’t seem to be offering 1K challenges this time around, at least not on a published basis.
What levels United will match you to
If you are eligible to participate in this promotion, you’ll receive status for 90 days upfront.
For those with American AAdvantage status:
- AAdvantage Gold members will be matched to Premier Silver
- AAdvantage Platinum members will be matched to Premier Gold
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro members will be matched to Premier Platinum
For those with Delta SkyMiles status:
- SkyMiles Silver Medallion members will be matched to Premier Silver
- SkyMiles Gold Medallion members will be matched to Premier Gold
- SkyMiles Platinum Medallion members will be matched to Premier Platinum
Note that the terms don’t reference AAdvantage Executive Platinum and SkyMiles Diamond Medallion status. I’d assume at a minimum they’ll match you to the Platinum tier, though it is also possible that on an unpublished basis they’ll matched you to 1K.
United Airlines 737
How to extend your United status
In order to maintain your United status beyond the 90 day period, you’ll have to complete a certain amount of qualifying activity within those 90 days.
United has radically changed how earning status works this year, with status qualification being 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
Under normal circumstances, the requirement for status is as follows:
- Premier Silver requires 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP, OR just 5,000 PQP
- Premier Gold requires 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP, OR just 10,000 PQP
- Premier Platinum requires 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP, OR just 15,000 PQP
- Premier 1K requires 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP, OR 24,000 PQP
With the challenge, you need to earn the following number of PQF and PQP in a 90 day period:
- Premier Silver requires 4 PQF and 1,000 PQP
- Premier Gold requires 6 PQF and 2,000 PQP
- Premier Platinum requires 10 PQF and 3,000 PQP
How long matched status is valid for
Assuming you satisfy the PQF and PQP requirements, the validity of your status is dependent on when you qualify:
- 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)
- 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)
So if you want to earn status for as long as possible, you’ll ideally want to complete the challenge in July or later, so you get over a year of value out of the status.
United 787 Polaris seat
How to register for the United status match challenge
To take part in a 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
- Not valid for 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
United Airlines 767 Polaris cabin
United’s new MileagePlus status challenge program is pretty decent, though this time around they’re not offering any challenges to Premier 1K status.
It’s a strange world we live in where the distance flown isn’t at all a factor in earning status or completing a status challenge, though…
Anyone plan on taking part in the new MileagePlus status match challenge?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)