Making Use of Temporary Airline Status

Air Canada jet

Until the end of last month, I actually had elite status with four different airlines:

Delta Platinum Medallion: This is the airline I fly most of the time and I’ve already qualified for the same status in 2024 thanks to all the MQM rollovers and credit card spend.

American Airlines Platinum Pro: I received this temporary status because it was offered through having Hyatt Globalist status and it expires in April.

United Gold Premier: I actually was Silver with United for a few years thanks to a reciprocal status from Marriott Titanium. I received the temporary upgrade to Gold through a promotion with Bilt and it expired at the end of February. As I did not make Titanium with Marriott last year, my United status is all gone now.

ANA Platinum: This was from a status match offered last year by ANA. It provides Star Alliance Gold status useful for lounge access when flying United domestically, but most importantly allows for more access to ANA award flights. This status expires next week.

So, what was the point of these temporary statuses on airlines I hardly ever fly and expire fairly quickly? I managed to leverage all of them in some way.

For American, I booked business class award tickets on British Airways using AsiaMiles for our trip to Ireland in October. If you’re not aware, British Airways actually makes you pay for a seat assignment in business class UNLESS you have OneWorld Sapphire status or higher where you can reserve a seat for free at the time of booking. I contacted British Airways and had them replace my AsiaMiles number on my booking with my American Airlines number and that allowed us to grab seats together in the new Club Suite cabin rather than paying or waiting until check-in. It also allowed us to reserve seats for free on our connecting flight from London to Dublin.

For United, even when I was just Silver, I was able to book economy plus seats at check-in when we flew United back from Hawaii in 2021. That was a real upgrade on the Kauai to Denver leg as the seats were basically premium economy seats on an old 767. We also were able to select economy plus seats on a fairly empty late night Dulles to Atlanta flight last summer. I really did not take advantage of the temporary Gold status at all as we just did not have any United flights scheduled during the few months I held the status.

ANA probably provided the most benefits in the year or so I have held the status. On the one occasion we flew United, we had lounge access at Dulles. On another trip from Montreal to Atlanta on Air Canada, we were able to access the Air Canada transborder lounge even flying economy thanks to the Star Alliance Gold status. Most notably, I just rebooked our trip to Southeast Asia (originally scheduled for June 2023) for February/March 2024 right at the end of the bookable schedule for ANA. I was able to secure business class flights from Washington to Ho Chi Minh City via Tokyo and from Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo using points I had transferred from Amex last year. I’m glad I was able to grab these seats before my status expires next week or we might have had a very hard time using those miles before they expire.

If you see a status match opportunity, be careful as these are often only allowed by the airlines ‘once in a lifetime.’ If you are planning a status match, look at how the benefits may sync up with your travel plans, especially if you know the status match will be temporary and you are unlikely to fly enough to continue with the new status.

If you have questions about this post, let me know in the comments or send me an email at If you are thinking about opening a new credit card, please use one of my links.

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