I came unstuck on Monday when Etihad – whose ‘Gold status match’ I was promoting in the main story – changed the rules of the promotion literally overnight. By the time you all saw the post, the words ‘UAE residents only’ had been added to the small print. They have been accepting matches from non-UAE residents who applied earlier, however.
I’m not sure why they did this (even though it makes sense) as they have run this match for the last two years and it has been open to anyone.
Anyway, there is a ‘Plan B’ to getting Etihad status. You may or may not have heard of A Small World, a failed social website. It has now relaunched as an “international members-only travel and social club” with a subscription of $105 per year.
ASW has put together an impressive list of travel related benefits for members, as you can see here.
The standout one is Silver status with Etihad Guest. This gets you lounge access when flying with Etihad and may also be something you can use to leverage a status match with a oneworld or Star Alliance airline. It also gives you lounge access when flying airberlin.
There are no flight requirements for the Etihad status. Once you have joined A Small World, there is a special link to use to join Etihad Guest. Your membership will be updated to Silver status within two weeks.
I would also rate free membership of The Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club and Platinum level membership of GHA Discovery (the Global Hotel Alliance programme) as worth a look. The two upgrade vouchers for Taj Hotels properties may also be useful to some.
A Small World membership enquiries need to be submitted via this webpage. Alternatively, I think that you can be recommended by another member. I’m sure there are a few amongst our readers, I don’t know if there is a formal referral scheme or not but I’m sure someone can tell us.