Due to a variety of factors, for 2023 I have airline status with the three biggest U.S. carriers, those being American Airlines, Delta, and United. It’s not anything close to the top tier status, but it’s nice to have a free checked bag, and exit row seat to freely choose. Small potatoes, right?
On top of that, Italy’s ITA Airways extended its free airline status for calendar year 2023, so that’s helpful (on award tickets, too).
For me, 2023 isn’t the year of the rabbit, it’s the year of the airline status.
Riding that high, I’m thinking, with which other airlines could I attain status? Not necessarily through flying, but by something called a status match challenge.
What’s a status match challenge?
Let’s take Spirit Airlines as an example.
In short, a number of carriers — in this case, Spirit Airlines — will let you match your status with certain airlines in an attempt to lure you over to fly them.
But in the status match challenge, there’s a catch. Your status might be matched with an equivalent at the new carrier, but you will only have 90-days to keep it, unless you fulfill a particular requirement.
In this case, I will have to earn 1,250 Free Spirit Status Qualifying Points (SQP) to maintain Free Spirit Gold Status … however, there’s always fine print.
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, Spirit Airlines’ website mentions that Gold Status users can earn 10 points per dollar spent on a ticket (excluding taxes/fees), and 20 points per dollar on extras.
Exception: for Free Spirit members that attained status through a status match challenge, one bullet point at the bottom of that status match page reads thus:
“Your account will not be credited with Status Qualification Points (SQP’s) equivalent to the normal earning requirement.”
Darn it! The loophole had already been filled in. That begs the question, will I be able to get six points per dollar in this status match challenge, or less, or more? Not sure yet, but the benefits of having Gold — e.g. free carry-on bag, free checked bag, free seat selection at booking — sound pretty good.
Have you ever completed a status match challenge?