In the world of frequent travel, status matches shouldn’t be overlooked. Upon providing proof of an existing frequent flyer status, some airlines will match it in their own programme. It’s particularly useful when the airline in question is part of an alliance, allowing you to unlock useful perks such as lounge access when using a range of different carriers.
To date, I’ve obtained two status matches – one with Avianca Brasil (2015), and the other with LATAM – the latter of which I’ll talk about here. Currently, I hold oneworld Emerald status with British Airways, but will drop down to Sapphire in November, because despite increased flying over the last 12 months, it was less premium-heavy, and as such I didn’t quite earn enough tier points to renew at Emerald.
To be honest, most of the time there isn’t a huge difference between Sapphire and Emerald – the main perk of Emerald is First Class lounge access, but most airports only have business level lounges, and as such, unless flying through major hubs like Heathrow, or JFK, the opportunity to enjoy this benefit can be limited. This said, when the opportunity arises, it’s a nice addition to the travel experience.
As such, I thought I’d see whether or not there was any chance of taking advantage of a status match using my BA status with another oneworld carrier before it expired. A little research suggested that LATAM might be a good bet, and as such, I decided to try my luck – and the process was fairly painless, and quicker than I had anticipated.
I initially contacted them through their official facebook page, and after this they created a support ticket for me, and said I’d hear back. A day later I was indeed contacted, and asked to send a photo of my BA card, my LATAM Pass number, and a screenshot of my online BA account statement.
After having done this, I was contacted again, and was asked to provide proof of having flown LATAM in the last year, which I had in the form of a booking confirmation and e-ticket itinerary. A few days after sending this, I was emailed back – with confirmation my status match had been successful, and I was now the holder of LATAM Black – which equates to oneworld Emerald.
In total, the process took around 10 days. Achieving the match is complicated by the fact it appears you need to have flown LATAM in the previous 12 months – so if this doesn’t apply to you, you’ll probably not be successful in being matched. I also got the impression it was more straightforward because I contacted through facebook first where the reply was almost immediate, and communicated in Spanish when emailing – indeed, it was all much simpler than I had expected.
The end result is LATAM Black and oneworld Emerald status until March 2019 – not bad!