Many frequent flyers will usually accumulate most of their miles flying alone, e.g. on a business trip. Thanks to their many flights, they will eventually get used to enjoying many status benefits. But what happens, when they go on vacation with a friend or relative that does not own a status? Or, even if, for instance, your significant other needs to fly without you at some point? Many programs will let their loyal customers gift one or even more status cards to another person. We found out which programs allow this, and under what conditions.
SAS EuroBonus (Star Alliance)
EuroBonus is quite generous in this matter. Gold members can give away a Silver membership, while Platinum members can give away one Silver and one Gold membership. The gifted Gold status has all benefits (incl. Star Alliance Gold) except for the ability to gift a status, i.e. if your Gold status was gifted to you, you cannot then gift another Silver status to someone else.
Miles&Smiles (Star Alliance)
Once you’ve reached Miles&Smiles‘ highest tier, Elite Plus, you will be allowed to gift up to three Elite status cards (Star Alliance Gold). You will, however, have to pay 40,000 miles for each status card, so it most probably isn’t worth it.
Finnair Plus (Oneworld)
British Airways Executive Club (Oneworld)
Once you’ve reached 5,000 tier points in one year, British Airways will reward you by letting you gift one Gold and two Silver status cards. That’s one fantastic Emerald status, and two Sapphire status cards, which is absolutely great. While 5,000 tier points are almost unreachable for most people, regular business travelers do have a shot at reaching this fantastic reward.
American Airlines AAdvantage (Oneworld)
Once you’ve reached 150,000 status miles (EQMs), you get to select an Executive Platinum Reward, which is either 2 upgrades, 40,000 miles, or a Gold status to give away. If you manage to reach 200,000 or even 250,000 EQMs, you get to choose again, but this time you would even be giving away a Platinum status.
While this all sounds quite good, reaching that number of miles is very hard and the Gold status isn’t even worth much. Also, by choosing between gifting a status or getting 40,000 miles (or 2 upgrades), you’d somehow be paying 40,000 miles for that status, making it (what a funny coincidence) exactly as expensive as it is at Miles&Smiles (for a status that’s worth less).
Delta SkyMiles (SkyTeam)
SkyMiles has a similar system to AAdvantage, with Platinum and Diamond members getting to choose from a list of Choice Benefits. These include 20,000 – 25,000 miles, upgrade vouchers, $200 gift cards, etc. One of these benefits is gifting a status. Platinum members get to select one benefit, Diamond members get to select three.
As a Platinum member, you can gift a Silver status (SkyTeam Elite), while Diamond members get to gift a Gold status (SkyTeam Elite Plus). Once again, especially as a Platinum member, you’ll have to think hard if gifting that status is worth renouncing to a $200 voucher, or one of the other benefits.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Mileage Plan will let members of their highest tier, MVP Gold 75K, gift the MVP status to another person. While that’s their lowest tier, it still grants some benefits.
Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange