To Have Airline Elite Status Or Not?

United Polaris
United Polaris

In This Post:

      1. Is Airline Elite Status Worth It?
      2. United Flight Booking
      3. Delta Flight Booking 
      4. Delta Status Match Requirements
      5. United Airlines Premier Platinum Status
      6. The Chase United Explorer Card
      7. Conclusion

Is Airline Elite Status Worth It?

I currently have American Airlines Platinum Pro status that I received last year during a promotion.  I had a challenge last year which required me to fly and spend a certain amount to keep that status.  This year I am planning a trip to South Africa and there are only 2 Non Stop flights from the US to South Africa.  United from Newark and Delta from Atlanta.  My plan was to status match from American to Delta but I decided to fly United.

United Flight Booking

  • I booked a Multi-City Trip from Newark to Johannesburg and from Cape Town to Newark.
  • I have flight credit from United from a cancelled trip that I am using to fly to and from Newark
  • I also have a separate flight to fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town
  • In total I paid $ 1,425.47

Delta Flight Booking

  • My initial plan was to fly Non Stop from Atlanta and have a layover in Paris on the way back
  • Flying Delta would have cost me $460 more.
Delta Flight

Delta Airlines Status Match Requirements

  • Matching status to Delta would have been given complimentary Platinum status for Three Months
  • I would have needed to earn either 18,750 MQMs or 25 MQSs plus 2,250 MQDs ($2,250)
  • In order to meet the full requirements on this trip I would have needed to take a less desirable flight
  • The minimum amount I need to spend to get Platinum status is $2,250
  • The only flight option over that amount that would also give me over 18,750 MQMs costs $2,686
  • I would end up spending $1,260.53 more than the United flight that I booked

Delta Status Match

United Airlines Premier Platinum Status

  • I decided to match my American Airlines status to United Airlines
  • I do not plan on flying United again this year and will be take the necessary flights to keep the status
  • One thing that I like about their program is that I can upgrade to Polaris Business Class with Miles
  • I can upgrade my flight for 35,000 Miles and $450.
  • Even if I had Delta status, upgrading with miles is not even an option
  • Another plus of Premier Platinum status is I can access the United Club when I am flying Internationally
  • If only I had United Miles 

United Status Match
United Flight Upgrade

The Chase United Explorer Card

  • I just got approved for the Chase United Explorer Card
  • I am going to receive 50,000 United Miles after spending $2,000
Chase United Explorer Card


Airline status is great to have if you fly a lot, especially with the same airline.  The majority of my flights I use transferrable points from Amex and Citi Bank that I transfer to various airlines.  If I booked the Delta flight to earn Platinum status I still would have been in Economy in the back of the plane with no chance of being upgraded. The Delta flight at the lowest cost option would have cost me $10 more than the United flight, including the $450 Polaris upgrade.  Given my limited options, this is the best choice for me.

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