Yesterday I listed a couple of opportunities to buy or match elite status within the Star Alliance after the departure of US Airways and TAM, including some offers from various Star Alliance carriers to match TAM elite status. Unfortunately Air Canada seemed to be the only carrier with a public offer for US Airways customers.
Well, United has finally stepped up to the plate, as well (HT LoyaltyLobby). I think it’s really important that they do so because United and US Airways are both major U.S. carriers, and simply abandoning US Dividend Miles customers to their new oneworld Alliance partners seems like a poor move. Why is United late to the party? (Worth noting: You can always email or call an airline to ask if they will match your elite status, even if they don’t have a public offer listed on their page for your specific situation. I recently did this with American Airlines.)
Strictly speaking United is offering a challenge, not a match, and will require interested customers to complete a certain amount of travel in the next few months. Within 90 days you must earn between 7,000 and 22,000 Premier Qualifying Miles for travel on United-, United Express-, or Copa-operated flights in order for your status to remain valid.
Normally a successful challenge would be valid through January 31, 2015, but because we’re late in the year, customers who complete the challenge on or after July 1 will have their status extended through January 31, 2016. July 1 is now within that 90-day window.
Customers whose Offer Period enables them to meet the PQM/PQS requirement on or after July 1, 2014, will retain their matched Premier status through January 31, 2016, unless a higher Premier level is earned.
This language seems a bit vague — Do you actually have to complete the challenge on or after July 1, or is it merely sufficient that the offer period last that long even if you complete it sooner? I suspect you’re safe either way but suggest you confirm with an agent when you request the challenge. The best way is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because the challenge is only open to Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers, you will need to earn the usual 100,000 Premier Qualifying Miles and $10,000 Premier Qualifying Dollars to get Premier 1K status. However, the trick remains asking about other options. Customers switching over from US Airways who can bring a lot of business may be able to convince an agent to extend a special offer.