India’s airline industry is huge and one of the fastest growing in the world. However, airline alliances is something you don’t hear about a lot in India. Air India is the only Indian airline that is part of any alliance (Air India is Star Alliance).
That’s why the opportunity to earn any alliance status with domestic flights is almost non-existent.
Status Match is probably the only way for most. That’s why it’s an excellent opportunity to use your Club Vistara or Air India status to get SkyTeam Elite Plus status.
SkyTeam status match
The newly launched ITA Airways is offering status match opportunity to elite members of many airlines.
ITA Airways is a SkyTeam member, so you get SkyTeam elite status as soon as you get elite status with Volare, ITA Airways’ frequent flyer program.
The benefits of SkyTeam Elite are designed to make your travel experience and benefits consistent with all member airlines, even if you are elite with any one of them.
As a member, you may get perks like excess baggage allowance, and priority check-in and boarding. You’ll also have access to exclusive airport lounges and other amenities. Plus, you’ll earn bonus miles on select flights that you can use toward free travel.
Status Match Requirement
Key requirements to get a status match with Volare are pretty straightforward.
You need to have an account with them. You can sign up here.
Furthermore, you need a valid elite status with any of the eligible frequent flyer programs. Then, there is another non-standard requirement of a valid ticket for future date travel with ITA Airways before you request for the status match. We will come to that later.
The last date to apply for the status match is 30th September, 2022.
Eligible frequent flyer programs for ITA Airways status match
- Alitalia – Millemiglia
- Air India – Flying Returns
- American Airlines – Aadvantage
- ANA – Mileage club
- Avianca - LifeMiles
- British Airways - Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific – Marco Polo Club
- EL Al - Matmid
- Emirates – Skywards
- Gol Airlines - Smiles
- Iberia – Iberia Plus
- Japan Airlines – Jal Mileage Bank
- Latam – Latam Pass
- Lufthansa – Miles and More
- Qatar Airways- Privilege Club
- Royal Jordanian – Royal Club
- Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
- Swiss Air – Miles & More
- TAP – Miles & Go
- Turkish Airways – Miles & Smile
- United Airlines - Mileage plus
- Vistara – Club Vistara
The ticket requirement
To request for the status match, ITA Airways requires you to hold a valid ticket with them.
If you have upcoming travel in Italy, this is definitely a good reason to book with ITA. Otherwise, you can always plan a tentative trip and either book a cheap ticket or a fully refundable one.
ITA Airways officially states that they may take up to 60 days to approve or reject your status match. However, in our case, it happened in 4 to 5 days. To be on the safe side, book a ticket at least 60 days from the date of application.
You can also check current ITA Airways promotions.
Tirana (TIA) to Rome (FCO) seems to be the cheapest ticket available. It’s going for EUR 33 for a non-refundable one and EUR 108 for a refundable one, as of now (for 60 days later travel).
There could be other cheaper options as well.
Even at EUR 33, it’s a pretty good deal.
In my case, I had to wait for a day between joining Volare and booking a ticket using our account, as the system didn’t recognize my Volare membership number for a day.
How to apply
Before you apply, make sure you have the following ready with you.
- Your ITA Airways Volare membership number.
- PNR number for the ticket booked with ITA Airways.
- Screenshot or a picture of your loyalty card with the other airline. Even if your elite status expired between 2019 and 2022, it is still eligible for a status match.
- A scanned copy of your passport.
The name and surname on your ID, Volare account and loyalty card of the other account should match and written in Latin characters.
There are 2 ways you can apply for a status match.
- Online on the site. Login to your Volare account, and use the form on status match page.
- Alternatively, send an email from the address with which you signed up for the Volare program to firstname.lastname@example.org following the instructions below:
- Contained in the subject of the email: Status Match 2022
- Listed in the text of the email: Full name; “Program of origin” and “Status of origin” (e.g. Miles & More – HON Circle); Volare Frequent Flyer number, ticket number (according to the criteria listed in point 2 of the summary conditions)
- Please attach a legible copy of your current valid Frequent Flyer program card (digital or physical) and a copy of your identity card¹ (pdf, jpg format)
Your Status Match request will be reviewed and you will be sent a email to confirm if your status has been recognized within 60 days.
If you are a silver or similar with another airline, you should get SkyTeam Elite status and for Gold and above, SlyTeam Elite Plus status.
SkyTeam Alliance Members
ITA Airways recently joined SkyTeam, so some airlines still don’t have their frequent flyer program integrated in their systems. You might have to wait a bit to enjoy all the benefits with all partner airlines.
However, since ITA Airways is giving status until January 2024 to most, you should still have plenty of time to use the benefits.