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

How to earn Alaska Airlines elite status by flying Frontier Airlines

Elite status from Frontier Airlines is pretty weak. I recently earned it.

Basically, you get to select your seat and carry on a bag for free.

It’s great that you can choose any available “Stretch” seat at check-in, but if you’re traveling with someone, you have to shell out up to $75 bucks for them to sit with you in Stretch.

What is great is that Alaska Airlines will match your Frontier Elite status, giving you a chance to try Alaska’s lowest-tier elite status, MVP.

Frontier is one of the cheapest elite statuses to earn, requiring only 20K flown miles. With dirt cheap fares, this could be very easy (if you can stand Frontier).

But first, what is elite status?

Continue reading