I’m in need of my Star Alliance Gold fix. Anyone know a good dealer?
I have lifetime Premier Gold status with United Airlines, which also gives me lifetime Star Alliance Gold status. But that does not help me gain lounge access when traveling domestically on United. You see, United does not allow its own Star Gold members to access United Clubs on purely domestic itineraries. For good reason — the lounges are crowded enough already. But if you have a Star Gold car in another Star Alliance program, say Air Canada or Lufthansa, you are entitled to access United Clubs even if flying domestically in the USA in economy class.
The bmi Era
For many years I qualified for bmi Diamond Club Gold status in addition to my United status by crediting inexpensive premium cabin domestic trips that carried a huge crediting bonus. That made earning Star Gold status with bmi fairy easy each year. Sadly, bmi merged with British Airways and the most lucrative Star Gold program disappeared. Without this Gold status, I had to find another program to earn Star Gold status in.
Four years ago I used my American Airlines Executive Platinum status to request a status match with SAS Eurobonus. It got me Star Alliance Gold Status for two years. I never credited any miles to SAS during that time because there simply was not value in Eurobonus at the time compared to United MileagePlus.
Two years ago, I used my United 1K status to match to Turkish Airlines, receiving Star Alliance Gold Status for two additional years. I also have not credited anything to Turkish Airlines: the fuel surcharges on award travel are ridiculous with redemption rates that do not compensate for it. Now, I’m in the final week of my Star Gold status and need to find another program.
COPA Status Match?
COPA, the Panamanian airline that split apart from MileagePlus, offered status matches last year when its new ConnectMiles program launched. Wanting to poach off customers in its own backyard, it matched United elite members. As far as I can tell, this program is still matching on a case-by-case basis. I am going to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with my MileagePlus credentials and see if they will offer me a match. Sadly, this one would only be good for a year…but better than nothing.
One day I may just buy United Club membership. I don’t wish to do that when there are cheaper alternatives, but the $450 annual fee on the Chase United MileagePlus Club Card would be worth it if I continue to use the clubs as much as I have the last year. And of course the one-time passes are still going for $10 on eBay…