Status matching to Northwest… you heard me, maverick!

Yes yes, I know, talk is cheap, but my interest is official. I just sent my status match request to Northwest (more commonly known as Northworst), and plan on doing a bit of flying with them in the future. For those of you that think I’ve totally, absolutely, lost any ounce of brain power I might at one point have had (or not), here’s why:

  • It’s basically a “free” match, at least I’m guessing it will be. Generally status matches are once in a lifetime, but since DL/NW are merging, using my once in a lifetime NW status match isn’t going to cost me anything in the future, since I assume I’ll still be able to match to DL sometime down the road.
  • NW seems to match to Platinum status (their top tier), and I think it’s a nice option to have, since it’ll be good through February of 2010. Regardless of how the merger turns out, I assume I’ll at least get Delta Platinum for a while through this, and DL has a huge presence in TPA
  • NW still has the 125% redeemable mile bonus for Platinum members, which CO recently scrapped. No promise that it’ll stick around, but it’s there for now.
  • As far as I can tell, upgrades are easy as heck on NW as a Plat, especially with my travel patterns. Best of all, you can upgrade a companion with you, and they clear at your upgrade window. Finally I have something more than Ted to show for all my travels.
  • For now, you can still get free upgrades on CO as a NW Plat, and you clear with the same priority as a CO Plat. I’m too young to use my once in a lifetime status match with CO, so this’ll be a nice way to sample CO First for very little.

So anyway, that doesn’t answer WHY I’m doing this. What the heck’s my goal? Well, basically I’d just like to see how the other half lives. I’m perfectly happy with UA despite all the cuts, but there are plenty of $220 all-in transcons on CO/NW. I’d just like the opportunity to report to my readers what the other half lives like, and for those that already fly the other half, offer a comparison.

Assuming the status match goes through as I expect it will, I’ll try to do one transcon on CO and one on NW in November, and report back with pictures on my experiences.

As of now I don’t plan on requalifying (talk about the buggy getting in front of the horse!), but rather just to build up enough miles for a nice SkyTeam award.

So am I totally out of my mind? Have I officially lost it? Thoughts, comments, flames?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Boooooo! Now I have to compete against YOU?!

    Kidding. Let’s do half a run together. My luck, you’ll clear and I won’t.

    Seriously now: excellent motive. I will be very interested in your experiences and reports.

    NW has been extremely good to me; don’t think of them as “Northworst at all.

  2. Lucky —

    We are planning to status match to NW as well — after we got the idea from you in July! The only question is, will they status match my 1K on United, even though I’m currently Silver on NW? It looks like I’ll finish the year right at 20k on NW, and if I were to even consider a 5k trip/MR on SkyTeam, I think my UA Elite teammates would kill me! 🙂

    So, it’s either a.) status match to UA, b.) hope for a soft-requal, or c.) do without status on NW.

  3. Great summary ! I’m in the same position but when it turns out well it’s absolutely no problem for me to requalify in 2009.

    Now the status match I would think is rather “once in an account lifetime” rather than your own.

    Anyhow originating at LAX where SkyTeam transcons are dirt cheap and even the trips to germany always on sale I think they are a great option. OneWorld is getting expensive this year and Star Alliance crossed the border between good & evil a long time ago, except you have the one or other United voucher.

    So we will see whats happening ! Good luck to us all with NW 🙂

    I will not post my experience while my time in DTW to blow our motivation away !

  4. Shhh! You’re telling folks about one of the best kept secrets in Airlines Elite Programs: WorldPerks. I haven’t flown in the back in many years (ok, one time I took a bump and sat in Y DTW-MSP). I highly suggest investing in a 3 year WorldClub membership once you get Plat status. BY FAR the best value and some darn good lounges (some darn old ones too).

    See you onboard!

  5. Thanks for the tip. I am going to do it as well. I am not flying enough to retain status on DL this year, but DL is big in Florida (1/3 of my base). I will submit tomorrow.

    Not paying baggage fee is already worth the march.

  6. Northwest is amazing. My usual route is NYC to dfw and they are by far the best carrier. I refuse to fly any other US airline.

  7. Interesting . . . the last time I flew Northwest was to visit a college in Ohio, in 2003 . . . haven’t really considered ’em since.

    Truthfully, I’m very strongly considering a match to DL.

  8. Count me in, boxo! Sounds like fun. 🙂

    hobo13, that’s a good question. I’m not 100% sure about the answer, but I would guess that they wouldn’t match a current elite, since you’re not really switching carriers, so to speak. I would ask on FlyerTalk just to double check.

    Sounds like the right decision in your case, skywalkerLAX, and agree about the lifetime comment.

    nroscoe, that’s my fear as well. Oh well, it’s too late! 😀

    Out of curiosity Gray, why Delta? I would consider NW first since it’s basically a “free” status match, given that the programs will be merged and your status will likely merge into the DL program. Furthermore, with NW you can match all the way to Plat, while you can only match to Gold with DL directly.

    In all fairness, before I seem blindly in love, NW does have many weaknesses, not the least of which are the lack of entertainment domestically, as well as the miserable seat pitch in first class, which is basically the same as Economy Plus on UA.

  9. Don’t you mean a SkyTeam award? 😀

    Though this is definitely an interesting move, Ben! I need to build up some WorldPerks miles, let’s meet up in DTW!

  10. Question on timing: W/ the DL-NWA merger, it looks like the FF programs won’t be combined until late 2009. Better to shoot for this NWA status match before the end of 2008, or give it a go in early 2009?

  11. Skye1, you might as well go for it now. If you status match in the first half of the year status is only good through the beginning of the following year, so regardless of when you match, status will be good through Feb. 2010.

  12. I’ll answer my own question from above:

    Yes, amazingly, NW status matched my UAL 1K to NW Plat through 2010 — even though I am currently NW Silver! Maybe they, too, realize that they will cease to exist soon and might as well hand out status like candy!

    Now we’ll see if i get upgraded on SLC-BOS on DL this Sunday. I’ve never flown DL up front. If it happens, it would leave AA as the only legacy of which I haven’t seen the forward cabin.

  13. Hello, I’d like to do the same. find myself flying NW sometimes and actually enjoying it, but I’m 1K on United so avoid NWA if I can fly United instead. One quick question. . . where should I send my request for status match? Is there an email or should I do it by mail/fax. What is the address?

    Thanks

  14. MSPbound, you can either fax or mail it (no email) to the following:

    Manager WorldPerks Operations
    601 Oak St,
    Chisholm MN 55719-1995
    Fax: 218-254-7567

  15. OK, I’ve got some CO/NW segments coming up and think I’m going for this too…

    Curious what you guys sent:

    1K card scan?
    Printouts of mileage activity?
    Anything else?

  16. cedahm, I just sent a quick letter explaining that I was going to switch some business to Northwest along with a screenshot of my mileage activity page. That’s all it takes.

  17. great, thanks, Lucky…exactly what I sent them (and scan of the card)…crossing fingers and looking forward to it, havent flown NW in a while.

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