Elite Status The Basics

From Zero To Gold In 7 Hours – Status Matching For oneworld Sapphire

Written by Charlie

The other day, a great post by Scott over at Travel Codex reminded me about the opportunity to match my elite status to airberlin. Thanks to the generous status match terms, this gave me the opportunity to match a different status match to airberlin’s Gold status. That gives oneworld Sapphire status which allows for the use of lounges around the oneworld network – even when traveling in economy.

With many people closing out their Citi AAdvantage Executive cards from a year ago, people will again not have status to the AA Admiral’s Clubs, at least not without having such a membership. Having oneworld Sapphire status (mid-tier status on oneworld airlines) allows you to again get access to the Admiral Clubs while traveling on domestic tickets in economy, or anywhere else in the world as well. Being able to gain that status with a simple e-mail is fantastic!

From Zero to Gold in 7 Hours


Get airberlin Gold status with a simple match!

Gary at View From the Wing had a great writeup on some status match opportunities last December that would be a good read if you have other statuses to match as well, but in it, he had mentioned the ease of applying for a status match with airberlin. I had not been too interested in doing so at the time because I had been planning on applying for a challenge to AA’s Executive Platinum (I later decided to not do that when looking at my travel plans).

Now, I will have some flights on oneworld airlines and will have a couple of them not in business/first. Since I want lounge access on these itineraries, I decided to go ahead and try my match to airberlin’s Gold status, which equals oneworld Sapphire.

How I Matched Status


Oneworld Sapphire status in 7 hours!

For this status match, I used my Alaska Airline’s MVP Gold 75K status. The fun part about that was that I had actually received that status as a result of my match from United’s Premier 1K! The great part is that you do not have to have top tier status with one of these airlines to try for a match with MVP Gold 75k. Many people have reported success using their Southwest Companion Pass to match to MVP 75K status! So, this could become a very fun chain of status matching!

First, I sent my airberlin number and photo of my Alaska Air baggage tag (I didn’t have the membership card with me at the time!) to statusmatch@topbonus.de and asked to be matched to topbonus (airberlin’s status program) status. That was it!

In 7 hours, I received a confirmation that my status match had been received and I had been matched to airberlin’s Gold status to give me oneworld Sapphire and lounge access when traveling on oneworld airlines!

I have received a few status matches in my flying life but this was absolutely the fastest I have ever gotten a response, let alone a match confirmation! It was certainly faster than the having to fly the 50,000 miles normally required for airberlin Gold! 🙂

Status Notes

Many reports indicate that airberlin only matches Aegean Gold to their own Silver level so that will not give you lounge access. Also, you cannot match a oneworld alliance member’s status to airberlin as they are in the same alliance. Any other elite status level should work from the major airlines.

My matched status shows that it is good through April 30, 2016, so over a year of free status from airberlin! If you fly a lot of domestic flights on AA or US Air, this could be tremendously helpful as it gives you the lounge access and priority boarding/access when flying oneworld airlines.

If you do not already have an airberlin account, sign up for that here before you e-mail them. You will need to include your number in the request e-mail. While signing up for the account, you will receive an offer for 500 miles. While that may not sound like much, Gary has written about their fantastic award sales that can get you free flights for as little as 1,500 miles!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • @Charles Barkowski
    can you please explain the “From Zero” part?
    i dont have any status.
    must have SW companion pass? SW pass -> AS MVP -> AB gold -> 1W sapphire?

    • Hi, Gene – The “From Zero” part refers to having nothing at all with airberlin at the start. If you can get the SW companion pass (through the credit card bonuses is the easiest route – when they are at 50K, you can then match it to the AS status and then to AB, just like you said. The AB Gold is oneworld sapphire so it would really just be a match from SW -> AS -> AB=OW.
      Hope that helps!