United Airlines announced earlier this year that they are offering a status match challenge to people signing up between January 1 and December 31, 2013. This offer seems to be targeted mainly at Delta elites, but according to different reports from FlyerTalk this offer is also valid for frequent fliers from other alliances such as oneworld.
The requirements are:
- Premier Silver: Fly 7,000 PQM or 8 PQS on flights
- Premier Gold: Fly 12,500 PQM or 15 PQS on flights
- Premier Platinum: Fly 18,000 PQM or 22 PQS on flights
With this offer it’s not possible to get a status match challenge to Premier 1K and all miles have to be on United flights including United Express and Copa flights.
The offer states that: “Customers who have Star Alliance Silver or Gold status are excluded from this offer.” However, in this FlyerTalk thread I read that United premiers that failed to re-qualify for their 2012 status also were able to signup for this status challenge and move up one (and only one) level. For example, from Premier Silver to Premier Gold or from Premier Gold to Premier Platinum.
This year I dropped from Premier Gold level to Premier Silver and as I had around 12.500 miles booked on United flights during February I decided to signup for the challenge. Another cool thing about this status match challenge is that all miles flown towards the challenge qualifications also counts towards next years elite qualification.
First call to MileagePlus customer service requesting a status match challenge was a straight rejection. Called back a few minutes later and got connected to different agent that immediately was able to sign me up for the challenge (talking about consistency United…). Three weeks later I had met the challenge. You have to call MileagePlus when you have completed the challenge as no automatically monitoring is done. 10 minutes after getting connected to an agent the request was processed and I was assigned Premier Gold status until February 2014.
The main difference between doing a status challenge from a lower United premier level as opposed to do a status challenge from another alliance is that you are not granted any of the elite perks until you have completed the status match challenge in full. Remember that you are only allowed to sign up for a status match challenge once every fifth year, so add that your calculations.
United has posted details about the offer here.
If you want to request a challenge as a MileagePlus premier member you should call United MileagePlus customer service as there has been reports of very long processing times when requesting a status match challenge through e-mail. Beware that not all customer service agents know that this challenge also applies to MileagePlus premier members. People requesting a status match challenge as a SkyTeam or oneworld elite will still have to send in an e-mail, a fax or send in an old fashion snail mail as a copy of your current elite credentials is required.