Aerolineas Argentinas Skyteam Status Match for American AAdvantage Elites

Aerolíneas Argentinas, one of the newest members of SkyTeam, is offering a status match to members of certain programs, including AAdvantage. Chalk this opportunity up to American Airlines’ superior route network to South America? Or maybe they’re trying to get you in on another “AA.”

Aerolineas Argentinas Status Match

If you have status with LAN, TAM, GOL, Avianca/Taca, Iberia, or American Airlines, you can participate in this status match. If you are an American Airlines Platinum member, you can match to Aerolíneas Argentina Oro, which is SkyTeam Elite. If you are American Airlines Executive Platinum, you can match to Platino level, which is SkyTeam Elite Plus. If you have status on any of those other airlines, you can refer to the chart above.

Both of these levels will be useful if you plan on flying Delta or any other SkyTeam airline, but don’t have status on SkyTeam. And while Alaska Airlines is partners with Delta, Air France, KLM, and Korean Air, the benefits of elite status don’t always translate from this non-alliance partner.

SkyTeam Elite Benefits

When it comes to Preferred Seating on Delta, you’ll get access to “bulkhead seats, aisle seats toward the front of the plane, window seats toward the front of the plane, and emergency exit row seats.” Not a lot to be excited about, but certainly something that can help. As for Extra Baggage Allowance, SkyTeam Elite members are allowed one checked bag, the same as a Silver Medallions, Alaska Air MVPs, and Delta American Express cardmembers. SkyTeam Elite Plus members are allowed two free checked bags.

If you still want to earn miles in Delta’s or Alaska’s program, I would simply have the Aerolíneas Argentinas number in the system for when you are selecting seats and checking in for baggage requirements. Once at the airport, ask to have your frequent flyer number changed to Delta or Alaska.

Lastly, if you match to Platino/SkyTeam Elite Plus, you’ll get lounge access at Delta Sky Clubs and other SkyTeam lounges, even on domestic itineraries*. This is something I currently have taken care of with my American Express Platinum card, but if you have flights on Delta and want to access the club, this is one avenue of access. You also don’t have to worry about changing your frequent flyer number back and forth, as long as you get a Platino SkyTeam Elite Plus card from the airline.

*Update: as Gary points out in the comments, domestic itinerary lounge access may not be a benefit, though Delta’s Sky Club site says different things on different pages. A SkyTeam Elite Plus member would definitely get it on an international itinerary, but may or may not get it on a domestic itinerary.

It seems that status matches will be good for a year after you get the status, as the airline’s elite program works on a rolling 12-month basis. As for the actual value of the miles, I couldn’t find any interesting redemptions, as it seems that the earn:burn ratio is rather poor.

This isn’t necessarily the greatest status match of all time, but it has its benefits. And even if status matches are once in a lifetime (though that can be worked around), I don’t foresee Aerolíneas Argentinas being a program you’ll participate in for anything other than a random status match.

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  • Scottrick

    So I can take the free EXP status I got from American for earning 1K with United, and now turn that into SkyTeam Elite Plus? It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

    • jonk

      That’s exactly what I was thinking! Thanks! This will come in handy for when I’m doing that $400 fare to LED on AF.

  • gary leff

    Isn’t Skyteam actually more restrictive on the lounge benefit than oneworld and Star?

    “SkyTeam Elite Plus members, regardless of their travel class, are allowed access to a SkyTeam lounge at a particular airport if traveling on or connecting to/from a same-day international flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline. Simply present your same-day ticket for an international SkyTeam airline flight and a valid Elite Plus membership card”

    I didn’t think a purely domestic itinerary on Delta qualified for Skyclub access with this status. Am I mistaken?

    • AKold

      The Sky Club website shows that ST Elite+ members get access to all domestic clubs —

      • GUWonder

        Delta/Skyteam rules don’t entitle Skyteam ElitePlus, whether or not partner airline elites, acces to lounges on domestic US Skyteam itineraries. AA and UA allow mid and upper tier elites from partner airlines to access lounges on domestic US itineraries too. DL considered US-Canada/Mexico international for lounge admission.

        • AKold

          If that’s the case, the Sky Club website is wrong when it shows access rules for Skyteam Elite Plus members.

          • gary leff

            @GUWonder’s understanding matches mine. I’d love to hear others with actual experience successfully using a partner Skyteam ElitePlus card to access Delta lounges on purely domestic US itineraries. That would make this match much more useful for some. But I didn’t think that was possible (other than via a generous and confused agent at the desk)

          • GUWonder

            I am an AF-KL ElitePlus who has tried it on DL domestic US itineraries and have been denied at MSP, DTW, DCA and ORD but gotten “exception this time” rathr often in the NYC area. I am talking about experiences in the second half of this year.

          • Scottrick

            That would seem to settle it. Usually hard to find someone using a foreign airline’s status to test it, but thanks for sharing your experience. Good to know it *sometimes* works, so at least worth trying.

    • Scottrick

      There’s also this quote from the page on ST benefits: “Lounge Access—Complimentary access to most SkyTeam lounges worldwide when traveling in any class of service. Simply present your same-day ticket for an international or connecting SkyTeam flight.” One could argue that domestic flights are a connection. I would guess some agents may not check as long as they see a foreign elite status card.

      Sounds very similar to OW and *A benefits, but I’ll agree Delta is being more specific in its wording. I think we need someone to test this.

      • gary leff

        The rule about connecting assumes your connection is international.

  • Lina

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  • paul

    It actually says it’s a challenge, not a match. Which one is it really?

    • AKold

      At the bottom, it says “To maintain the acquired Elite status, requirements applicable for Gold
      and Platinum members shall be fullfilled by the end of the 12 months,” so that might be what they mean by challenge.

  • pbd456

    i cant believe a travel blogger does not know the lounge access rule for skyteam.

    • AKold

      It’s a gray benefit. Delta’s elite tier page says one thing (no access) and the Sky Club page says another thing (yes to access). They just changed the website, so they might have confused it when redoing the page. I’m just reporting what the site says and noted that in the post.

      If you note this screenshot, you’ll see what I mean — On the old site, the * for “Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion” corresponded to a restriction for international itineraries, which is not shown on the new website. You can see that the same asterisk restriction isn’t on the “SkyTeam Elite Plus (other carriers)” selection.

      • pbd456

        a few years ago, i traveled domestic china as a ST E+ on Delta. was denied entry. then i figured out the official rule is lounge acces when travel same day internationally.

  • stan

    How do you work around once in a lifetime matches? Get a new acct and then merge?

    • Scottrick

      Most status matches are one-time online, but really it’s up to the airline and how badly they want your business. Assuming you aren’t the most tantalizing business prospect, then, yes, you could get a new account. But you might not succeed if you’re matching from the same account as before. I would guess they keep a record of the inbound accounts and will flag you if they see the same AAdvantage account used for a match. Then again, not all airline IT systems are terribly sophisticated.

      I would recommend you not do a match “just because” unless you think you will use the benefits for an upcoming trip.

  • pierdziel

    how long does it take them to update the online account with matched status tier? I’ve been approved 3 days ago but no upgrade. I’ve got a number of trips next week and would love to use the status benefits…

  • timmer1001

    Do these benefits extend to others on the same PNR?