Is Copa Already Restricting Status Matches?

Travis first wrote about Copa’s status match opportunity last week, whereby Copa has been matching status from other airlines, all the way up to ConnectMiles Platinum status. The benefit for United flyers in having Copa Gold status or above is that it comes with Star Alliance Gold status, which gets you United Club access even when traveling domestically (United Star Gold members don’t receive lounge access when traveling domestically).

For a bit of background, Copa used to have MileagePlus as their frequent flyer program, but earlier in the year they decided to create an independent program (after all, these can be huge profit centers for the airlines). Copa seemed to be matching status from just about every program, both within Star Alliance and outside the alliance.

Earlier in the week I explained how I status matched to Copa ConnectMiles Platinum status, using my American Executive Platinum status. The status is good through February 2017, and while I’m not a big Star Alliance flyer anymore, I’ll certainly get value out of having some Star Alliance status for those times I fly with Star Alliance.

Copa-Platinum

On top of that, those being matched to Platinum status were receiving three Connect Regional Upgrades, which can be used to confirm upgrades on Copa.

ConnectMiles-Platinum-3

I found Copa's business class seats to be better than the United domestic first seats

I encouraged others to status match as well, since the terms of these offers are often changed pretty quickly.

Not surprisingly, based on anecdotal reports it seems like Copa may have already changed the terms of their status match program. I’ve received several reports from readers who have been told the following when requesting a status match:

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.

My guess is that they’ll continue to match MileagePlus members (since their passengers used that as a program for so long), as well as members from other airlines in “their region” (whatever that includes).

Anyway, we don’t have enough data points yet to truly know how Copa is defining “their region,” though it’s clear that something is changing. And that’s why it usually makes sense to take advantage of promotions as quickly as you can, since terms do change over time.

If you’ve requested a status match with Copa, please leave a comment below with which airline you matched from and what response you received!

Comments

  1. Yep – was denied earlier this week when I attempted to match Etihad Gold. Email denial used the “only matching airlines in our region” language

  2. Tried last week as well, before the increased attention on this — was denied as well (tried with BA Gold and CX Gold). Given the same language of “not in region”.

    I spoke to several agents and they said the “region” was American airlines (NOT AA, USA-based airlines) and Star Alliance airlines.

  3. United 1K flier I sent them an email, opened an account, answered all the stupid questions, gave them a copy of my 1k card and have heard nothing yet. That was the night you posted about it so it’s not been 5 days yet. I checked my account and I am still just Member Status.

  4. maybe i’m missing something but aren’t UA (and for that matter United Club members) going to be royally pissed that suddenly any AA elite has access to United Clubs domestically? i would expect some of these lounges will become a bit more crowded…

  5. @pavel: Other way around, it would mean they poached a AA/OW flyer. If you have Copa status, it would mean you have to be flying on a *A carrier to access the lounge in conjunction with your status. That would mean an AA elite not flying on AA metal, which is pretty much the point of status matches.

  6. Matched EXP to Platinum. Sent email, they responded in 30 minutes with status upgraded. I send along with the EXP proof a paragraph about how I do 90% travel in Central America (which I do).

  7. I tried to match TK *Gold and sent them my account Statement with a lot of activitity on Copa and Avianca but got denied as well. It seems they don’t care if you actually fly in the region, just if you have a status with an airline based in north / south America.

  8. It seems that Copa can see your MP activity since my match was processed without any documentation. I simply provided my MP and Copa numbers and was matched from 1K to Platinum. When I asked why not to Presidential Platinum, I was told because I did not have 95,000 EQM for the year.

  9. I sent Alaska MVP Gold 75K, Air Berlin Gold and Al Italia Freccia Alata (Gold) but only got matched to Silver 🙁 so much for nothing

  10. Sent copies of both Airberlin gold ( Oneworld sapphire ) and Aegean Gold ( Star alliance gold ) and got the same ” within our region only ” reply.

  11. @jason, totally see your point but what I wonder is how many OW fliers they will really poach to *A metal from this. For me, at least, it’s just a nice to have when I’m forced to fly UA or a *A carrier. I’d imagine there are plenty like me and when you add those all up, that could be considerable added foot traffic at United Clubs domestically.

  12. Sent email on the 23rd. Explained that I have AA Plat status and sent them a copy of the card. Said that I have upcoming trips to South and Central America. No response yet.

  13. AA EXP –> Copa Platinum. Emailed them with my ConnectMiles number and EXP screenshot and I got a response in about a week. (I did this in late August)

  14. Hey Ben,
    Thanks for the heads up on this! I tried to match my Qantas Gold (OW Sapphire) status and received a response back with the same message “only our region” decline within 24 hours.
    Julian

  15. Hi Ben,

    My partner and I opened up ConnectMiles accounts when I read your post. My partner and I are both UA Premier Platinum members. I sent a copy of our UA Premier Platinum cards via e-mail for a status match. I sent that e-mail on 9/21/15. Received confirmation today via e-mail that both of us now have Platinum status with Copa.

    John

  16. I emailed my Alaska Gold 75 info on Sept 15 and received a match to Gold less than 24 hours later. I did the same for Mr Mouse on Sept 16 and have yet to hear back.

  17. Sent the request in on September 22 for a match to UA 1K / AA ExecPlat. Heard nothing thus far. Sent a followup email to them this evening after reading this post requesting an update.

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