Turkish Airlines has been known to offer relatively easy status matches from almost any airline program. There has been some chatter that they wouldn’t be status matching anymore. That information is incorrect. Their status match program is still alive and well, but it may take couple of months to get a reply.
The beauty of getting a status match via Turkish Airlines is the lower re-qualification requirement. You only need 25,000 status miles within a year or 37,500 within two years to keep your Elite Card status. You can read more about the qualification requirements here.
Here’s what you need to do to get status matched:
1. Open a Miles&Smiles account if you don’t already have one.
2. Take a screenshot of your online account statement from the competing program and/or card.
3. Go to http://www4.thy.com/customercontact/?lang=en (firstname.lastname@example.org email address is no longer used). You need to log in using your Miles&Smiles credentials.
4. Choose the Miles&Smiles program, fill out the form and attach the documents (don’t forget to upload them).
5. You will get an email confirmation with a tracking number that you can later use to check on the status of your submission.
What status does Turkish match?
They doesn’t seem to be too picky and can match pretty much any airline program including those of other Star Alliance carriers. They do not have any official info about this status match program on their website.
Here’s a timeline based on a recent status match
A friend of mine emailed a status match request to Turkish on January 5 using the email address (not the form) above. He had attached an online account statement from his Qantas account and copy of his frequent flier card showing him as an Oneworld Emerald member.
Turkish had acknowledged this match, sent him an email, and upgraded his Miles&Smiles status to Elite Card on March 18.
The upgraded status is valid until January 2015 per the online account statement.
Star Alliance Gold benefits
Star Alliance Gold status is very useful and I have it via my United lifetime status. You get lounge access, higher luggage allowances, Business Class check in, priority boarding, priority wait-list and better irregular operations resolution.
Even if you have Star Alliance Gold status via United or US Airways, having one via a foreign carrier comes in handy for lounge access with North American itineraries that otherwise wouldn’t grant you access.
Having Star Alliance Gold status is very useful. If you have status with Oneworld or SkyTeam carrier, they will likely would match you to a Miles&Smiles Elite Card that is Star Alliance Gold at the same time. It seems that these matches are currently being processed slowly. I just did a match as well and will keep you updated when I hear back from Turkish.