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Etihad, Alitalia etc aligning loyalty schemes + airberlin (oneworld) status match

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Etihad announced on Tuesday that it is launching the long-awaited alignment of the frequent flyer schemes of eight of the Etihad Airways Parners airlines:  Etihad Airways, airberlin, Alitalia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI.

Virgin Australia is not included, at least not for now.

The aim is to make the tier benefits of each programme equal.  This is leading to winners and losers depending on which programme you are in.

Etihad Airways Partners

The main losers so far appear to be Etihad Guest Silver members who no longer get lounge access except in Abu Dhabi, Belgrade and Seychelles.

These changes are already in effect as of Tuesday this week.  The only exception is the lounge access change for Etihad Silver members which does not come into effect until 15th January.

You can see a list of the benefits by Silver, Gold and Platinum tier here.

And service alignment too …..

Interestingly, Etihad has gone a step further than any of the traditional airline alliances (oneworld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam) and has set common service standards for long-haul Business Class.

Whichever Etihad Airways Partner airline you fly long haul, you will receive:

  • a guaranteed fully-flat bed
  • ‘dine on demand’ meal service
  • the same range of new release films, so you can pick up a film you started on a different carrier

This doesn’t sound like much but it is more than the big three alliances have managed over the last 17 years.

The big question now is when the inevitable clash between Etihad Airways Partners and oneworld / SkyTeam breaks out.  With Etihad Airways Partners now operating in the same way as the major alliances, how can airberlin retain its oneworld membership or Alitalia remain in SkyTeam?

airberlin status match available again

As long as they do, status with airberlin or Alitalia becomes incredibly valuable as it gets you benefits with two alliances.

airberlin has relaunched its status match for residents of certain countries although the UK is not included.

You must live in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway or the USA.  Note that “Customers with residence in the US must prove a booking confirmation incl. booking number of an airberlin long haul flight between US and Europe (return ticket). This flight must be operated by airberlin and take place in 2016.

You can claim your airberlin status match here.  Remember that the status will be valid on British Airways as airberlin is a oneworld member.

Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (July 2021)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cardsThese are:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).

Comments (18)

  • Hingeless says:

    The Air Berlin status match has been running continuously, not sure why you think it has “relaunched”

    • Raffles says:

      Rules have been changed, specifically to allow US addresses.

      • Richard says:

        I tried to get an Air Berlin status match by using my US address and having a flexible business class ticket booked and they still wouldn’t do it.

      • Ed says:

        As remembered. It did allow US addresses in the past. As I tried my luck applied but been asked to provide a proof of my address and identity 🙁

  • Punter says:

    I have an Alitalia Freccia Alata Plus card (though an earlier status match) – maybe I will finally be able to get some use out of it !!!

  • OttoMH says:

    A great idea in principle! However the reality is a little less effective.

    I flew Jet Airways two weeks ago from BOM-BLR return and they had never heard of Alitalia and didn’t recognize or offer any benefits for my top tier stats.

    • Zander says:

      They wouldn’t honour Alitalia at that time, it would’ve been Jet’ski programme or Etihad Guest but now they should based on the above.

      I’ve not had any issue flying any of the airlines Etihad has a stake in and getting Guest benefits (AirBerlin being the main one) hence my presumption that they didn’t honour before this change and why should they have done?

  • Go says:

    Does this mean redemptions on these partner airlines gets easier? Etihad has a reputation of being almost impossible to get partner redemptions mainly as the call centre staff dont seem to know how. Some of their other redemption partners are more interesting if it was easier to book

  • Neil says:

    O/T Sorry – I have Kris Flyer gold membership and want to status match it to a Oneworld partner, any suggestions? Has anyone tried Topbonus from the UK?

  • Chris says:

    TopBonus Gold running out here from previous match. Can I create a new account and “re-match” under a new German address?

  • Gerry says:

    I am an avid Avios collector and have done well without much flying (thanks for the memories, Diamond Club!).
    However, I am flying Etihad on four long haul flights soon, so have opened a TopBonus account thinking of the Oneworld connections. After the recent news of Air Berlin problems, Lufthansa’s moves and now Etihad’s aligning of their links into a ‘mini alliance’, do you think I should credit these flights somewhere else?
    I’d appreciate your thoughts.

  • Richard says:

    I have ba silver and live in Germany – is it possible to get a status match to a star alliance partner? Or otherwise is there any advantage of getting ba silver matched to air Berlin?

    • Rob says: is a good place to see what you can get from BA Silver.

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