There is a great opportunity this month to get status in the SkyTeam airline alliance by matching your British Airways Executive Club status.
This is due to the launch of ITA Airways, the replacement airline for the bankrupt Alitalia, and its new frequent flyer programme Volare.
If you are successfully matched, your new SkyTeam status will begin on 1st January and run for the whole of 2022.
This opportunity has been around for a couple of weeks but it didn’t seem hugely exciting. However, last Friday it was announced that ITA Airways was taking Alitalia’s place in the SkyTeam airline alliance.
This suddenly made the match a lot more interesting.
It means that if you match your British Airways status to ITA Airways, your status will get you benefits with:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air Europa
- Air France
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- Czech Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- ITA Airways
- Kenya Airways
- Korean Air
- Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Air
How does the ITA status match work?
Full details are here. The match process itself is easy, but you won’t get your status immediately.
ITA’s frequent flyer programme will be called Volare. The details are here. However:
- the programme does not launch until 1st January 2022
- you cannot redeem points until 1st March 2022
You can earn points immediately if you fly with Volare – in fact, there is a 10,000 points bonus available if you register by 15th November and complete two one-way flights or one return flight on Volare by 31st December. These points will not be credited until the programme launches on 1st January.
What does this mean for the timing of the status match?
The status match application process runs until 30th November 2021.
You will contacted by 31st December 2021 with information on whether your match has been successful.
If it has, your status will run from 1st January 2022 until 31st December 2022.
How I do apply for the ITA status match?
You can apply for your match here.
It will literally take you 1 minute to do. Once you’ve registered for Volare, all it wants you to email is a copy of your British Airways Executive Club status card (an online version is accepted) and a copy of your passport.
There is no requirement to send information on your flight history or to book any flights with ITA Airways.
Which airlines are being matched?
It isn’t just British Airways status which is being matched. You can also apply if you have status with:
- Alitalia – MilleMiglia
- Air France/KLM – Flying Blue
- American Airlines – AAdvantage
- Delta Airlines – SkyMiles
- Emirates – Skywards
- Iberia – Iberia Plus
- Lufthansa – Miles and More
- Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
- Turkish Airways – Miles & Smile
- United Airlines – MileagePlus
Will I get SkyTeam benefits from 1st January 2022?
It seems so, yes.
The SkyTeam announcement on Friday implied that ITA Airways had joined immediately. It normally takes at least a year for a new airline to join an alliance after applying for membership, but as ITA Airways is basically still Alitalia, I assume the necessary IT was already in place.
That said, it’s worth noting that the SkyTeam website still features Alitalia’s logo and has no word about ITA.
The only other question is whether your status is active on 1st January or if you will have to wait until 1st March 2022 when the Volare programme will start allowing redemptions. I am guessing 1st January is the key date.
Will you get lounge access if you match from BA Silver?
There are only two levels of SkyTeam status: ElitePlus and Elite. Only ElitePlus members get lounge access.
We don’t yet know how many tiers the Volare programme will have and how they would match to your British Airways Executive Club status.
You should be OK, however. For example, with Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue programme, both Platinum and Gold equal SkyTeam ElitePlus, with Silver equalling SkyTeam Elite.
If we look at Delta Air Lines, it gives SkyTeam ElitePlus status to Diamond, Platinum and Gold members. Only Silver members are left lounge-less with SkyTeam Elite.
You have nothing to lose by requesting a status match from your British Airways Executive Club account to ITA Airways and its new Volare programme.
At the very worst, you might be able to use it to match back to another oneworld or Star Alliance programme later in 2022 if your British Airways status slips.
Full details of the status match, and how to apply, are on the ITA website here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)