United Premier Platinum Status Match: If At First You Don’t Succeed…

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Earlier last year I booked a United Business Class award for the Weekly Flyer’s that I ended up needing to change. Since I didn’t have United status I had to result to tricks to cancel or change the award tickets for no fee. Thanks to the old United award ticket change policy I was able to modify an award ticket for free and then cancel one of the tickets due to a schedule change and have the miles put back in my account for free.

I had one ticket left that I was able to move the schedule out to middle of next year, but I wasn’t able to refund the miles since there hasn’t been a schedule change. For this reason and a hedge against future Delta Medallion changes, I’ve been seeking a status match or challenge with United.

First Status Match Attempt = Fail

My first attempt was a similar approach to the one Rapid Travel Chai took a few weeks back. I gathered my information and sent the following email to premiermatch@united.com.

Dear United,

I would like to request a status match to United’s Premier Platinum from Delta Platinum status. I have attached a copy of my most recent statement showing that I am Delta Platinum and have included the other requested information.

United Account #:
<Other Airline Platinum Account Statement>

Please advise on the status match request.

The results weren’t as anticipated. Based on a previous Continental status match, United sent the following denial message:

Dear Mr. Weekly Flyer

We’re always glad to hear from MileagePlus® members like you. Thanks for writing.

We are unable to offer a Premier Status Match Challenge since you have been matched to another airline within the last five years.


I didn’t give up on the first request and asked them in response when I had previously status matched to UNITED if it was Continental, could they make an exception. But again, got the following denial message:

We show that you were matched by Continental OnePass in 2009.  The matched status that was awarded was valid from November 2009 through January 2011.

Since that approach wasn’t going to work for me I pretty much gave up for the past few weeks.

Second Status Match Attempt = Homerun

I had all but given up on a United status match for a few years until I came across an official status match program from my current company. After filling out a company specific form with the exact information I had already provided a few weeks back, I sent the same information to a slightly different email address, premiermatch1@united.com.

Shortly after sending the information, 12 hours to be exact, I received the following message confirming my status match to United Premier Platinum from Delta Platinum Medallion.

Dear Mr. Weekly Flyer,

It is my pleasure to inform you that your request for Premier Platinum status has been granted!

Your Premier benefits and privileges are effective immediately and your Premier credentials should arrive in 3-4 weeks. Until your Premier card arrives, you may print a card online. Please visit www.united.com and from the “My Account” page, click “Print Duplicate MileagePlus Card.” For help with reservations you may contact the Premier Line at 800-225-8900.

Please visit our website: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/premier/default.aspx for complete details about the Premier program. Here you will find how to maintain your Premier status and the many exciting benefits of being a United Airlines Premier Platinum member. Please visit our website: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/default.aspx for complete details about the MileagePlus program.

We realize you have a choice of airline carriers and are pleased you decided to select United Airlines.

I was able to submit my status match to have my Delta Platinum status matched to United’s Premier Platinum status. But other airline programs have different status match levels. Here is a breakdown of the other airline’s status levels with United through the status match.

United Status Match-page-0

Bottom Line

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Within 12 hours of submitting the request, my new status is already reflected in my account summary on United.


Status matching to United Premier Platinum will allow me to realize all the benefits of the status including the most important one in my opinion, the no fee for award changes.

What do you find is the best benefit of United’s Premier Platinum status?

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  1. The rules are very clearly stated 1 match in 5 years – why cant you just follow those rules? If you fly in a month are given the last seat from a CPU I will be nauseas.

  2. AC — He clearly noted that this was an attempt at avoiding fees, and I for one can’t blame him a bit given UA’s recent changes… Besides, as a 1K I seldom get CPUs, so I really think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill…

  3. Great stuff!
    Also, could you please post a higher resolution jpg? I can’t make out anythin in that pic.

  4. I work for a company that also offers this. In the details of our offer it says the request for a status match must come from your official corporate email address. Ours also states the same 5 year rule. Frankly I think it’s total BS you posted this. I can only hope United will follow their own rules in the future and keep the FT and blogger leeches from jacking everything up for those of us that actually put our butts in seats and fly.

  5. It is absolutely cheating the system and it’s not allowed as stated in their first response. Are you kidding me? You were already told you were ineligible, then as you say you tried again… As for your condescending comment about “My Precious CPU” isn’t that what all of us are seeking, complimentary upgrades achieved through our respective premier statuses? The best seat, room, suite etc. with the least amount of money out of pocket.

    Trevor -I understand what he stated his intentions were, which still makes it wrong. We all fall victim to United’s increased fees unfortunately. Doesn’t mean we all should cheat the system. In 2009 he already reaped the benefits of this status match. Also, we have no idea if he will fly United at all during the status match period, it doesn’t matter if he is or not. But if he does he’s potentially taking away upgrades from other passengers who likely follow and abide by the rules. I am sorry you have lousy luck with CPU’s as a United 1K. I am also a 1K and get upgraded about 75-80 percent of the time

  6. I’d be willing to bet if you posted the entire email from United the last line would be something saying the contents were private and confidential. This is page view pandering at its best.

  7. Hi Steve – Good through January of 2015

    Hi Andy / Andrew / AC – “My Precious CPU isn’t that what all of us are seeking” Actually it isn’t as I’ve stated in my post.

    Hi Drew – Actually that line wasn’t in the email at all or anything about keeping it private. The last line was “We appreciate your participation in the MileagePlus program and your support of United and our partners. We look forward to serving your travel needs again in the near future. For MileagePlus program information, please visit http://www.mileageplus.com.”

    It’s not like these programs aren’t offered up to people all the time. And why not accept an offer like this that is presented at a time when the benefits can be used?

  8. @TWF – did I miss something or did you not status match CO last time. So, you have never matched UA right (or more than 5 years ago)?

  9. The first rule of travel (and Flyertalk) is that when the airline gives you an answer you don’t like, “hang up, call again’. I don’t see how writing a second letter is any different.

    The airlines happen to make exceptions, waive fees, and bend the rules all the time for their best customers, or when they think it might give them a competitive advantage.

    The very nature of a status match program is that the airline is bending their normal rules. So what if they bend them a little more when it suits them? Why all the outrage?

    United set up a status match program with The Weekly Flyer’s employer because they wanted to go after new business,

    It’s not like The Weekly Flyer used a fake name or another Mileage Plus account number. United decided to make an exception to their policy because they felt it was in their best interest.

    Not sure how it’s abusing the system when it’s United’s system and they can do anything they want.

  10. @AC – If it weren’t allowed, then United would deny the offer. It is a voluntary, consensual transaction. So it is allowed. Companies make exceptions to their rules often. Sometimes it is poor business sense, other times it is brilliant. Either way, if the company chooses to voluntary engage in it it IS allowed. To what extent is your frustration rooted in jealously?

  11. This is more an indictment of the new United and its apparently corporate friendly but frequent flier unfriendly policies. Ever wonder why as a 1K you are #8 on the upgrade list and won’t get close to clearing?

  12. Thank you so much for this post!

    I was in exactly the same situation, with CO match in 2009 (that I did not even remember). I applied and was turned down by UA 3 weeks ago, and then today sent in as you noted and was approved.

    I truly appreciate your post and explanation.

  13. I just wanted to congratulate you on hitting the 1 billion mile mark… or for your quality photoshop/HTML hacking skills. Nice work at getting to a perfectly round number.

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