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BA-equivalent status match launched – match from 29 airlines, including ITA

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British Airways never, ever, does status matches from other airlines.

(Well, if you are a multinational switching from another alliance to BA they will do it for top staff, but apart from that …..)

However, for the next few weeks, you can get a de facto British Airways status match via Royal Air Maroc.

EDIT, 2nd April: Due to huge demand, this is offer is now effectively dead for most people. You can only match to Safar Flyer Silver status, not Gold, and this is not good enough to get you British Airways lounge access.

Safar Flyer Gold

Royal Air Maroc is a BA partner in the oneworld alliance

British Airways may refuse to do status matches, but Royal Air Maroc has different ideas.

Royal Air Maroc is a member of the oneworld alliance, alongside British Airways. If you have Gold status with Royal Air Maroc, you will receive virtually all of the benefits of British Airways Silver status when you fly with BA.

  • BA lounge access for you and a guest? Tick
  • Priority security? Tick
  • Extra baggage allowance? Tick
  • Use business class check-in desks? Tick
  • Free seat selection? Tick
  • Priority boarding? Tick

Your Royal Air Maroc status will also be valid when flying with all of the other oneworld carriers – Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, American Airlines, Qantas etc.

Which airline statuses is Royal Air Maroc matching?

You can match status from 29 airlines to Royal Air Maroc:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Etihad
  • Egyptair
  • Gulf Air
  • ITA Airways
  • JetBlue
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Saudia
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Tunisair
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • WestJet
Royal Air Maroc 787

I see ITA is on the list ….

Indeed it is.

ITA, the new Italian airline which took over from Alitalia, is currently running a status match of its own.

As we explained in this article, you can match your current British Airways Executive Club status to the equivalent status in ITA’s Volare programme. Handy.

You can’t get top tier status via this match

Before I go on, you need to know that Royal Air Maroc has different status tiers to British Airways. When I talk about ‘Gold’ or ‘Silver’, you need to note which airline I am discussing.

Safar Flyer, the Royal Air Maroc programme, has three elite levels:

  • Safar Flyer Platinum is the same as British Airways Gold
  • Safar Flyer Gold is the same as British Airways Silver
  • Safar Flyer Silver is the same as British Airways Bronze

Here are the three key things to note about this match:

  • Safar Flyer is not matching anyone to Platinum. If you are top tier with another programme, you will only get Safar Flyer Gold. This still gets you lounge access with British Airways, however.
  • If you are mid tier with another airline, you should also receive Safar Flyer Gold, which is equivalent to BA Silver
  • If you have the lowest elite tier with another airline, you will receive Safar Flyer Silver. This is not a lot of use, in the same way that British Airways Bronze status isn’t too valuable. It doesn’t offer lounge access and only offers free seat selection on BA seven days before departure.

You will see what you will get during the process:

How long will my Royal Air Maroc status last?

Until 31st March 2023.

The T&C refer to 31st December 2022 but this is the date by which you would need to earn enough tier points to requalify for status, if you choose to do so. If you don’t requalify, your existing status card continues to work for a stub period up to 31st March 2023.

(This is the same system that BA and the hotel companies use, where your status continues to be valid for a period even if you fail to requalify for the following year.)

This means that you would get a year of British Airways lounge access out of it if you matched now.

Do I need to put my Royal Air Maroc status in my British Airways bookings to get my benefits, thus losing Avios and tier points?

You will definitely need to put your Safar Flyer number into future BA bookings to get free seat selection.

You may not need it for lounge access, priority boarding etc because much of the time you can show one card to an agent and keep a different number in your booking. At airports with automated gates you may need to have your Safar Flyer number in your booking to access priority security lines.

You would need to swap the frequent flyer number in your booking at check-in to earn Avios and tier points. You could also do it in the lounge if there was a BA ticket desk.

The bottom line is that you need a boarding pass in your hand at the time of boarding which shows your BAEC number if you want to earn Avios and tier points, instead of Royal Air Maroc miles and tier credit.

(Frankly, for short haul flights which earn minimal tier points or Avios, you might as well put your Royal Air Maroc number in your booking and leave it there. You’re not losing much.)

Is there a fee for the status match?

Yes. There is a €49 application fee, which covers the costs of the third party which is handling the match on behalf of Royal Air Maroc.

This fee is refunded if your match is refused for any reason. This is not made clear in the small print but the organisers have confirmed it to me.

It will be made clear during the application process which Royal Air Maroc tier you will receive, based on your existing airline status. Given the fee, I would be wary of proceeding if you are only offered Safar Flyer Silver status, unless you value ‘free seat selection within seven days of travel’.

The terms state that your match will be processed within five business days but I am told that it should be quicker.

How do I apply?

There is a special website for the status match which is here. I recommend you read the FAQ and T&C before proceeding.

You will need to sign up for a Safar Flyer account before applying for your match. There is a link on the status match site.

There is a firm end-date of 31st May but the match may be withdrawn earlier based on demand. I believe that there is also a quota per programme, so ITA or Virgin Atlantic may disappear as an option before, say, Kenya Airways.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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.

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (88)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • MM says:

    Finally managed to the status match after getting post code error all day. matched VS gold to Safar Gold! thanks HFP team

    • MilesOnPoint says:

      Have you actually had confirmation of the match? (Rather than just submitting application)

      Sent mine on Thursday around 8am, still “pending approval of your status by” well over 24 hours later (they have already taken the payment of €49 from my CC). Hmm…

  • AndyGWP says:

    Apologies, I can’t see this mentioned – would there be a soft landing in 2023?

  • blue_wolf says:

    Shame they won’t match to KrisFlyer Silver which I got from Golden Circle back when that was an Amex Platinum partner…

    • Mark says:

      Would likely only have got you Safar Silver (BA Bronze equivalent) anyway. We had matches to Qatar Silver from Krisflyer Silver, which we did find useful for the seven day seat selection but there was no fee in that case.

  • Tom2 says:

    Looks like they will only match Virgin Gold to Safar Silver now.

    • Babyg says:

      really? thats weak?

      • Tom2 says:

        In fact just spoke to someone at Status Match and they have pulled the Safar Gold match for any airline not just Virgin. Best you can now get is Safar Silver.

  • AJay Kumar says:

    Thanks to HfP, I got my Royal Air Maroc Gold, how do I now apply to BA for status match

    • Rhys says:

      You don’t. RAM is part of oneworld so you get status benefits across oneworld airlines, including BA.

  • AndyGWP says:

    Anyone else get a status match saying their status will be updated in 5 days, but then an email 24 hours later telling them they’re getting a refund issued?

    • Scott says:

      Just got same email
      Applied on 31st and got refund email today

  • Paul says:

    How were quick enough and got lucky with this? I was too slow off the mark

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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