statusmatcher.com is a site which I think HfP readers should know about, as it does offer a useful service to regular travellers. I have no idea who runs it or where it is based, but it has been around since 2007 and has a lot of contributors.
A ‘status match’ is when you approach an airline or hotel company with proof of your high status with a competing airline or hotel group. You then ask to be immediately upgraded to the equivalent level with that company. This is not unreasonable, since it encourages customers to switch brands. People would otherwise be unwilling to give up their status benefits with the other group by starting from scratch with the new company.
Some groups love giving status matches, others don’t. British Airways will almost never status match, unless your company signs a major deal with them or you have a relationship with an overseas office. Virgin Atlantic, on the other hand, ran a status match for British Airways customers earlier this year.
I have written about specific matches on Head for Points in the past. The main one at present is the one offered by Hilton Honors. They will give you Gold status status for 90 days and give you the chance to retain that status for a full period – or be upgraded to Diamond – by doing a handful of stays during that period. Details of the Hilton status match are in this HfP article.
Many other airlines and hotel groups offer UNOFFICIAL status matches. You won’t find the details on their website, but they will do it if you ask. Marriott has run a Platinum Elite challenge in the past for example – it is how I first got my Bonvoy (well, Marriott Rewards as was) top tier status – although I am not sure if it is running at present.
The point of the StatusMatcher website is to provide a central point where people can report successful or failed status matches. It gives other readers a feel for who is worth approaching.
As statusmatcher.com has become more established, the data has become more reliable and more up to date. You tend to need a decent level of feedback on any particular programme before you can ascertain a trend.
There is never a guarantee that a particular airline or hotel chain will match you even if it matched someone else. On the other hand, if you have a number of flights booked with an airline then you might be successful where someone else failed. Despite this, StatusMatcher does give you useful guidance and is worth adding to your arsenal of frequent flyer tools.