I’ve Status Matched To Copa ConnectMiles Platinum!

In June I first wrote about how Copa, the airline based in Panama City, was launching their own frequent flyer program. Back in the day they used Continental OnePass as their frequent flyer program. Then after the merger between Continental and United, they used MileagePlus as their frequent flyer program. And then earlier this year they finally decided to create their own frequent flyer program — ConnectMiles — given what a big business frequent flyer programs are nowadays.

ConnectMiles-Status

Copa ConnectMiles is status matching

As Travis wrote about last week, Copa ConnectMiles is status matching those with status in other programs. They’re even status matching those with Star Alliance status, which is a bit atypical, since airlines usually won’t status match from other airlines within their alliance.

In this case they are, though, presumably since their most valuable customers are presently elite with other Star Alliance carriers.

As Travis explained, to get a status match you need to create a ConnectMiles account (and you can even get up to 3,000 miles just for signing up), and then supposedly either email accounts@connectmiles.com or call the Copa service center at (844)-287-0304.

Join-ConnectMiles

My experience status matching to Copa ConnectMiles

Travis explains that he used his United 1K status to match, and sent an email. Then shortly thereafter he called up Copa, and within hours his account was updated.

My status match experience was a bit different.

I phoned up the ConnectMiles service center last Wednesday, September 16:

  • The first agent I spoke with insisted that Copa was only status matching from other Star Alliance carriers, and that my American status couldn’t be matched
  • The second agent I spoke with said Copa would be happy to match my American status, but said I would need to email accounts@connectmiles.com to get the match, and should attach a screenshot of my American status

Based on that I sent accounts@connectmiles.com an email, and then a couple of hours later figured I’d try Travis’ strategy of phoning them up again to follow up about the status match. The agent said that it could take up to two weeks for the status match to occur, and that it couldn’t be expedited.

Fair enough! I was in no rush to get the status, but rather was just curious about the experience.

I woke up this morning to an email confirming that my account has been upgraded to ConnectMiles Platinum status. So that means the status match took about five days.

ConnectMiles-Platinum-1

My online account confirms this, and even gives me a temporary card I can apparently print out for lounge access. The status is good through February 2017, so I’ll get almost 18 months of use out of it.

ConnectMiles-Platinum-4

Furthermore, I received three Connect Regional Upgrades as part of the status match, which are valid through September 21, 2016 (a year from the date they were issued).

ConnectMiles-Platinum-3

You can find all the details of Connect Regional Upgrades here, but they’re potentially useful if you’re looking to travel on Copa.

There are some people who status match “because they can,” because they like shiny cards and they don’t see why they shouldn’t. I’m not one of those people.

So why did I status match to Copa ConnectMiles, given that I’m mostly a oneworld guy?

  • This is the only airline with which I have Star Alliance Gold status, which is useful when I’m traveling within Europe on Star Alliance, which I often do
  • I’ve actually been pondering a trip to Panama City, and Copa is a great airline to fly there, especially since complimentary upgrades are pretty likely to clear as a Platinum member
  • Along similar lines, Copa often has great fares to destinations in South America (through Panama City), and I’d like to explore more of the continent
  • I suspect Copa ConnectMiles will radically change how they status match at some point; they’re probably only this generous right now because it’s still a new program
  • If you’re a United flyer, Star Alliance Gold status through Copa ConnectMiles will get you United Club access, even when traveling domestically

Bottom line

Copa ConnectMiles is extremely generous with their status match program right now, so if you’d get value out of Star Alliance Gold status, I’d suggest status matching to them sooner rather than later.

Have you status matched to Copa ConnectMiles yet? If so, what was your experience like?

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.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. How long do you think status matches will go for? If I status match in Jan 2016, would it maybe go til early 2018? My A3 *G expires in December 🙁

  2. You should try a visit to Porto Alegre, Brazil. AA flies here from MIA, and Copa does it thru PTY.

    There’s absolutely nothing to do here, but hey, give it a go and get to know new places.

  3. LOL I tried to sign up Copa miles but it won’t accept my surname because it’s only two letters. Seems they have a three letter minimum. Idiots.

  4. Hi Ben, was wondering if you know if Copa does soft landings?
    Would be nice to match my AA Executive Platinum to Copa, where I would assume like you get Copa Platinum, this with a possible soft landing to Copa Gold (still star gold!) would get me star gold for a few years… 🙂

  5. Not sure about other people’s experience but I tried to status match my A3 *G and they gave me Silver. So unfortunately no more *G lounge access after December

  6. Lucky, I successfully matched to Copa Platinum last week. Were you actually able to get the Copa card into your passbook on your iphone? I tried to do it by clicking “Add to passbook”, but it just sends me to the Copa website, Once there, it says it will email me a link to download my passbook card. When i get the email and click the link, sends me back to the website again. Eternal loop. Grr.

    Also, the star alliance website says that for *G members, you can only access United Clubs in the US when travelling internationally on a star alliance carrier, no access for purely domestic itineraries:

    “United Star Alliance Gold customers may only access the United Clubs within the U.S. when travelling in conjunction with a Star Alliance international flight.”

    http://www.staralliance.com/en/benefits/status-benefits/lounge-access-policy/

    I believe this applies to *G members flying in coach, though. Maybe J and F pax can get in wherever if they’re flying domestically.

  7. @ Matt — Right, United Star Golds don’t get United Club access on domestic itineraries. Star Golds from other carriers do, though.

  8. I sent my screenshot of Delta Gold medallion from status match challenge. Copa matched to their Gold status until Feb 2017. I already have an AC Altitude 50K that will expire this year, also from status match, so the Copa will help with *A lounge access.

    Thanks for the post Lucky!

    I have Alaska MVP 75K, but that will expire this year too. Now I need to figure out how to get the OneWorld status. I only have CX Marco Polo silver, but they took the lounge access this year.

  9. For Americans, exploring more of South America is a good idea. Long flights, interesting places, and minimal jet lag.

  10. Just returned from a weekend in Panama City, on Copa, thanks to a $240 rt fare on their new SFO route. Highly recommend PTY for a quick trip. Great food and fun nightlife.

  11. Sent in my Alitalia card on the 17th but haven’t heard anything yet, hoping they offer a match and not just a challenge. When did you send yours in Lucky?

  12. @Matt, try the android one, it will then download .pkpass file on your computer, that can be emailed to yourself and opened in iOS wallet. Trust me.

  13. fwiw, I did a status match to *G on Turkish recently for lounge access when flying Star Alliance. It took only 7 days, and I received two years of *G status (was matched from BA Gold).

  14. Tried to match my Flying Blue Platinum status but got rejected.
    “We have received your request for a status match; however, we only make status match with airlines that are part of our region.”

    Now I am going to try to match my AA EXP.

  15. off the topic question. I have 4000 copa airline miles. Is there any possibility (or trick) to transfer this miles to my UA account?

  16. @Jake, thanks! I figured it out. Instead of tapping the link from my iphone like one would reasonably assume you should do to get the passbook card, i actually clicked the link on my computer, and it prompted me to download the passbook file. I saved it to my desktop, then emailed it to myself as an attachment, then was able to add the card to passbook from tapping the attachment on my phone. Go figure 😛

  17. Bob, I’m intrigued you submitted your DL Gold, not your AS MVP Gold 75K for status matching. Had you heard Copa wasn’t inclined to match to AS?

    I’m DL PM and AS MVPg75k, and mulling over which of the two would be more likely to yield a Plat status match.

  18. Just got off the phone with the Copa Airlines rep (after signing up earlier today) and I have been confirmed as a new platinum member. The representative was very friendly and after my request the only thing she asked was my United account to confirm my Platinum status. I did informed her that I was also Platinum with AA, but she just asked for United Airlines details. I was put on hold briefly while and literally in less than 5 minutes, she came back to informed me that my account had been updated with my new platinum status. Please note, that I chose the Spanish speaking line for this transaction, learning that Spanish paid off here. So, a BIG thanks to YOU Ben!!!

  19. Hello, Ben!
    A question:
    How did you find the due date of your status? I can’t add the card to passbook…
    Any idea?
    Thanks

  20. Those of us that jumped in early on this got matched to “Presidential Platinum” from EXP. They may have stopped doing that after the first week or two. All ConnectMiles members have the rest of 2015 and all of 2016 to requalify.

    If they are still doing matches in 2016, chances are you’ll have whatever is left in 2016 to requalify.

    Some people are not getting matches but challenges instead but have only heard that in 2-3 cases out of +20

    The good news is they’ll upgrade EVERYBODY and even their companion! Even Silvers get upgraded if the cabin is not full. I’m getting upgrade notifications 120hours in advanced as promised.

    Flew LAS-PTY and LAS-PTY earlier this month and we were 8/16 in both flights.

  21. I was successfully matched from AA EXP to Copa Platinum.
    Where do you find the expiration date of the card?
    Also, does anyone know if Copa does soft landings, so If I don’t earn any miles to keep my platinum status, I would drop to gold, which is still *G.?

  22. Thanks for posting Ben! Unfortunately my status match request (Alaska MVP75K, Aur Berlinger Gold, AA Gold) was declined with the following:

    Greetings from ConnectMiles and thank you for contacting us.

    We have received your request for a status match; however, we only make status match with airlines that are part of our region.

  23. So, once I have the ConnectMiles card in my iPhone Passbook, what hoops do I need to jump through to actually get beyond the UC dragons?

    I’m speculating the first step is to put my iPhone with the electronic ConnectMiles Star Gold card showing on the scanner … but what then? Do I then need to show an ID to confirm I am the person named on the card? Or do I pick up the phone and switch to the electronic boarding pass for that day’s UA flight and get it scanned to confirm who I am and that I’m flying that day? Just one of the two? Or both? Or what…???

    Any experiences … and where?

  24. I just got Platinum Status on COPA from my current Executive Plat status on AA. My account shows are platinum, but its odd that the COPA card doesn’t state platinum, nor does it have “GOLD” under the star alliance logo. How will the lounge agents know that I have star alliance gold status?

  25. @AJ In my case, the new status on the image of the card did not happen immediately. But it happened NLT the next day.

  26. Thanks jmd001, it took a couple of days for mine to change over, but finally did. Happened the day after I emailed copa accounts…but not sure if it was my email that prompted the change, as they never responded.

  27. I’m confused on the below comment from Lucky to Matt. How does the United Club know you’re star Gold from COPA versus United? I called United and they said if you’re travelling United domestically, you can’t get free UC access. Now this is a rep from United Club reading their rules. Has anyone actually tested it?

    @ Matt — Right, United Star Golds don’t get United Club access on domestic itineraries. Star Golds from other carriers do, though.

  28. @ Jim — 100% allowed. They know you’re Star Gold from Copa because that’s the card you’re presenting.

  29. I’m considering this, because I just went over 75K for the first time with United, but I won’t qualify for Platinum, because I miss it on the PQD. I mostly fly to LatAm from IAH, so Copa makes sense for me.

    Does anyone know if Copa will bump me to Platinum, given my miles, or if they’ll keep me at Gold, because that’s all United would allow with their annoying PQD requirement?

    Is there any downside to getting the match?

    Will I lose my United status when I match on ConnectMiles?

    One more… When traveling US domestic, do I have to book my flights through Copa to be allowed UA club access, or will booking on UA w/my ConnectMiles account be sufficient?

    Btw, @Jessie – I got all of my Copa/Avianca miles from my most recent trip, IAH-PTY-BOG-CTG (and back again), credited to my UA account by supplying my MileagePlus account to Copa/Avianca. It was easier to get it through them than to get any assistance from UA, but they did take several days to post.

  30. Hi Ben,

    I have been upgraded to ConnectMiles Platinum from AA Executive Platinum (it took 21 days), and automatically become Gold member at Star Aliance – at least my ConnectMiles card claims it. That was my goal for status match. I’ve already had a Miles and More Frequent Traveler status before. However when I’ve asked M&M to update my account, they refused it explaining they are not offering status matches. How were you able to merge the accounts? Or, which account number are you using to book Star Aliance flights and get the Gold membership benefits?

    Many thanks for your help 🙂

    Take care,
    Paulina

  31. An update on status match with American…As of today there are no status matches. They plan to have a status match with American in May and it will require meeting some travel challenges. No details. If you want to learn more you need to contact by phone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pingbacks