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Million Mile Secrets reader Jefferey (thanks!) passed on an interesting link for folks who have a Southwest Companion Pass. Via Miles, Points, and Mai Tais, Virgin America is matching Southwest Companion Pass holders (in addition to American Airlines and United elite members) to their top-tier Gold Elevate level.
Virgin America has two tiers of elite status, Elevate Silver and Elevate Gold.
IS This Worth It?
You should status match (i.e. match your elite status in one airline with another airline) only if you will get some benefit from the other airline’s elite status program.
But some airlines have restrictions on how often you can status match, so it is best to match your status from one airline to another only when you know you can use it. Some airlines say that you can have only 1 status match in your lifetime, but I don’t believe that they would actually enforce it. But know that you can’t status match all the time with the same airline.
For example, if you will be flying on Virgin America and match your Companion Pass status to Virgin America Gold status, you will get free checked bags, free seating at the front of the coach cabin, and a shot at an upgrade to the premium economy cabin.
And sometimes, you could match the status from one airline (in one alliance) to a second airline, and from the second airline to a third airline (in a different airline alliance)! For example, you could get a status match from Southwest to Virgin America, and from Virgin America to another airline.
Virgin America Silver & Gold benefits
The benefits of Elevate Silver, which requires 20,000 status points in a year if you didn’t status match, include:
- Complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Select (Premium Economy)
- Free checked bag on all Virgin America flights
- 25% bonus on Elevate points earned for flight activity
- Annual one-time 25% discount on qualifying flights (subject to blackout)
- Free seating in Main Cabin Express (the front of the coach cabin)
Elevate Gold members also get:
- 100% bonus on Elevate points earned for flight activity
The status is match is only good through June 30, 2013.
To maintain your status after you match your Southwest status to Virgin America, you have until then to earn 8,000 and 12,000 status points for Silver and Gold elite status respectively.
If you do have the Barclays Virgin America credit card, you need to earn only 3,000 and 5,000 status points for Silver and Gold elite status respectively.
How to Status Match
Per the Terms & Conditions, proof of elite status in a competitor frequent flyer program is required. But your Southwest Companion Pass qualifies!
- Sign up for the Virgin America Elevate Program (if you’re not already a member) and
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Virgin America Elevate member account number plus proof of your elite status with Southwest, United, or American Airlines.
The proof includes either:
- 1) A copy of your most recent mileage statement or
- 2) A copy of your Southwest, American Airlines or United 2012 membership card which includes your full name and elite status level.
It may take 7 to 14 from you application date for you status to be updated.
The full Terms & Conditions can be found on on Virgin America’s website.
The Virgin America status match could be worth it if you have up-coming travel on Virgin America, but I wouldn’t status match if you aren’t able to use that status.