After letting my United Club membership lapse, I’ve had a few trips without club access. In most cases, I really didn’t miss it. Now that my Turkish Airlines status match has been approved, and I received my card, I again have the option for access when traveling domestically.
I have been weighing my options for a while, and even reached out to my readers for suggestions on maintaining United Club access. I opted to do a status match to Turkish Airlines with my United 1K status since this would give me 2 years of status. Turkish is unique in the sense that they allow matches from other airlines within Star Alliance. I also wouldn’t have to credit miles to another program (such as Aegean) while I was striving for United Million Miler status. I first applied in early June, but didn’t succeed in getting the match processed. I tried again in late July. I received email confirmation of the match within a week, and within a month I received my new card in the mail.
Matthew discussed the process for obtaining a status match from Turkish. I’ll add some slight detail of my experience. There also is a helpful thread of Flyertalk about the current process for doing status matches with Turkish.
I signed up for the Miles&Smiles program some time ago expecting to go this route. To request the status match, I contacted Turkish through their website, which is currently the only way to reach them. I included a scan of my United 1K card, a PDF copy of a recent Mileage Plus statement, and the ID page from my passport to identify myself. 6 days later I received this message:
I had heard reports that one must credit flights to their Turkish account in order to receive a card, but that was not my experience. It was just less than a month before I received my Miles&Smiles Elite packet in the mail.
The packet contains a letter, some cards talking about eco-friendly initiatives, and s somewhat elaborate case for a card, a luggage tag and a strap.
I found it funny they mentioned their sustainability initiatives by sending me 2 copies of the pamphlet. They also plant a sapling for each member. Of course air travel causes much more environmental damage than one tree per person could make up. That said, I really appreciate the effort, beyond selling carbon credits from third parties, this is more than any other airline that I’m aware of.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite card packet
As for the future, I’m not sure if I will attempt to requalify over the next 2 years. I’m leaning towards not, but we’ll see how my travel plans play out. The program has a relatively low threshold for requalification:
Members residing out of Turkey need to collect 25.000 Status Miles either within the first year or 37.500 Status Miles within 2 years of the Elite membership. Otherwise, the membership status will be renewed as “Classic Plus”.
Another decent option to keep lounge access on domestic flights is to go for Aegean status, and as of now, 2 years out, that is what I expect to do once this expires.
Who knows what the landscape or my travel patterns will be in 2 years, but I’m happy to have this option available to me. Have you done a status match with Turkish or anyone else?