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

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(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)

ANA

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.

Comments (15)

  • Kiran says:

    I wonder if they will accept me if I had a CX Gold but all my flights are with BA. Worth trying I suppose.

    • Geoggy says:

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

    • Trevor says:

      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.

  • wytco0 says:

    anyone got a gold card they could lend me 😉

  • Paul says:

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

    • Tom H says:

      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!

    • JK says:

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

  • Fred says:

    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).

  • Nick Pike says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

    • Rob says:

      Only since early today!

  • 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!

  • AndyGWP says:

    OT (again – apologies!), have you seen this article??

    http://www.frequentflier.com/blog/award-trips-to-las-vegas-los-angeles-for-20-fewer-american-miles/

    Seems damn good value – thought haven’t checked dates myself yet 🙂

    • AndyGWP says:

      argh – scrap that second post – it must be US only – I didn’t read it properly but it’s usually 20k, not 15k (reduced by 5k to just 10k each way in the article) so savings don’t tally up for a UK redemption – ignore me 🙂

  • 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. (http://www.ausbt.com.au/frequent-flyers-free-etihad-guest-gold-status-match-deal) We shall see, I haven’t been upgraded yet.