BA (or any) Gold? Get a status match to Etihad Guest Gold

(EDIT: I wrote this post last night. Overnight, Etihad has changed the rules and added a ‘UAE residents only’ restriction. This is the 2nd time in a week that Etihad has changed the rules of a promotion half way through.

There is a workaround if this offer would genuinely be useful to you. Apply using a UAE address picked at random. Once matched, change your address back to the UK and order a replacement Etihad card. I did this once with an Alitalia status match for Italian residents ….!)

Abu Dhabi based Etihad has brought back its annual ‘Gold status match’.  This allows you to get an Etihad Gold card in return for proof of your Gold status with British Airways or any other major airline.

Now, this being Etihad, the offer has a few quirks attached to it.  However, they are generally positive:

Etihad is NOT adjusting, it seems, for the different terminology used by different airlines.  BA Gold is BA’s top tier.  Cathay Pacific Gold, on the other hand, is really the same as BA Silver.  However, as far as Etihad is concerned, BA Gold and Cathay Gold both qualify for the purposes of this match.

Because of the way the Etihad scheme works, your Gold status may be valid until March 2017.  You will receive the rest of the year you quality (ie the rest of 2014) plus the next two full years (2015 and 2016).  If you don’t requalify, you don’t drop down until March the following year (ie March 2017).  That is actually three years of Gold status!

(It is not certain that you will get the full period with a status match.  However, if you had achieved Gold ‘the hard way’ then that is how it would work.)

The match is usually limited.  Not everyone who applies is accepted.  Etihad prioritises spots based on your flight history (they ask to see a copy of your statement as well as your Gold card.)

Etihad Gold

The benefits may be useful even if you never fly on Etihad.

The key Etihad benefit is lounge access for you and a guest whenever you fly them.  In Abu Dhabi you need to use the Al Reem lounge, but at other airports you are allowed into the main Pearl Business Class lounge.

You will also receive lounge access when you fly with Etihad’s partner airlines.  These are:

airberlin (only when the lounge is operated by airberlin)

Air Serbia (Belgrade only)

Air Seychelles (Seychelles only)


Garuda (Jakarta only)

Korean Air

SriLankan Airlines (Colombo only)

Virgin Australia

You will also receive priority boarding, premium class check-in and additional baggage allowance with most of these airlines.

There is also another sneaky reason to get Etihad Gold.   It may allow you to match to another Gold card later on, with a different airline.  As your Etihad Gold may be valid until 2017, there are plenty of potential opportunities.

Full details can be found on the Etihad website here.  The deadline to apply is February 22nd.

The full list of Gold benefits is here.

Signs of life at the Business Travel Show last week!
Two new promotions for Conrad and Waldorf stays in 2014
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  1. I wonder if they will accept me if I had a CX Gold but all my flights are with BA. Worth trying I suppose.

    • I’m in the same position but if they ask for flight history, there ain’t one!

    • I applied last week, and like you guys, have no flight history with my CX Gold. Very unlikely to use this card for anything other than further status matches, if I get it. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  2. anyone got a gold card they could lend me 😉

  3. It says in the small print at the bottom of the linked page “This offer is only valid for members based in the UAE.”…

    • The T’s and C’s changed in the last few hours! i still have a browser open with the original ones, No mention of UAE!

    • I noticed this too. That’s kind of annoying! Oh well, I’ve just sent off my email, let’s see what happens.

  4. My BA Gold expired a couple of days ago but the card will be valid until the end of March. Do you think they accept it? I have been requalified for another membership year anyway, but I suspect a renewal kit will not arrive soon (it took 2-3 months last year).

  5. Nick Pike says:

    It does seem to be strictly limited to those based in the UAE..

    • Interesting …. that was NOT in the rules the other day when I wrote this.

      Of course, Etihad changed another promo last week, after it had started, to restrict it to UAE residents. Luckily I hadn’t written about that one.

    • Only since early today!

  6. guesswho2000 says:

    Interesting to see the T&Cs changed. I applied on Friday, prior to the change, so let’s see if they honour it. I asked to match with AA Plat and a substantial amount of credited flying, including a return LHR-MEL via DXB in Jan, so fingers crossed.

    Lounge access using VA would be nice, as I’m currently restricted to QF for lounges on Australian domestic flights!

  7. Hey Raffles – I got emailed this – it appears anyone can use it (tho the email said it was targeted at me, the T&C’s do not!), but does make reference to Gold membership so may just be targetted @ Golds – maybe worth people using if they are going anyways 🙂

    “Experience the comfort of a fully lie-flat seat on your next journey between London and New York. Together with oneworld® member British Airways, we’re making it easier for you to travel to New York and beyond, offering 17 daily nonstop flights between London and New York – more than any other airline alliance.

    When you travel round-trip in First or Business Class on American Airlines or British Airways through April 30, 2014, you’ll receive AAdvantage® Platinum status”

  8. guesswho2000 says:

    Interestingly, Australian Business Traveller have reported that Etihad have confirmed that applications made prior to the T&C change by residents outside UAE will be honoured. ( We shall see, I haven’t been upgraded yet.