United took 15 minutes to match my Alaska elite status

In prep for my upcoming longest flight ever — a 14-hour skip from SF to Hong Kong — I figured I should give myself every possible chance of somehow scoring an upgrade out of economy class.

I learned that United Airlines will match your elite status from another airline, and I was surprised to learn how easy it is to extend that elite status from the initial 3-month trial period up to more than a year.

First step was to read up on the requirements here.

Then I just had to go to this submission page, sign in to my United account, and submit a PDF of my Alaska Airlines elite status membership card.

Some airlines require proof of miles flown, etc. in order to match you, but not United — just proof of your membership.

I submitted my request for review.

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Expecting to wait at least several days, I was surprised to get this 15 minutes later: Continue reading