|Update January 2022: Since this post was originally published in November, ITA Airways has emailed participants in the status match virtual membership cards, their membership numbers, and how Volare statuses map to SkyTeam’s alliance tiers. More on that and more here.|
A few weeks ago, ITA Airways’ Volare frequent flyer program began offering a status match to elite members of other frequent flyer programs.
ITA Airways is the Italian government’s latest attempt to fund a national carrier. Like other iterations of Alitalia, it has supposedly shrunk to be more efficient, but it’s also lost some of its most valuable assets in the process.
The status match was available to elite members of 24 other airline programs including Alitalia’s Millemiglia, major European carriers, and the U.S. big three’s programs. We don’t know much about the Volare program so it’s unclear how useful the status will be.
But, with confirmation that ITA Airways is replacing Alitalia in Sky Team, it couldn’t hurt, right? A few days ago, I got around to applying for a match and got approved today. Here’s how it went.
Who’s Eligible to Status Match?
ITA Airways is being quite generous in which programs it will match status with. Despite its confirmed membership in Sky Team, the list of 24 programs includes multiple Sky Team members:
- Aeroflot – Aeroflot Bonus
- Aerolíneas Argentinas – Aerolíneas Plus
- Air Europa – Suma
- Alitalia – Millemiglia
- Air France/KLM – Flying Blue
- American Airlines – Aadvantage
- ANA – Mileage club
- British Airways – Executive Club
- Czech Airlines – OK Plus
- Delta Airlines – SkyMiles
- EL Al – Matmid
- Emirates – Skywards
- Iberia – Iberia Plus
- Korean Air – SKYPASS
- Lufthansa – Miles and More
- Middle East Airlines – Cedar Miles
- Qatar Airlines – Privilege Club
- Royal Jordanian – Royal Club
- Saudia – Alfursan
- Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
- Swiss Air – Miles & More
- TAP – Miles & Go
- Tarom – Sky Team
- Turkish Airways – Miles & Smile
- United Airlines – Mileage plus
We know that the Volare program has four tiers: Smart, Plus, Premium, and Executive. But it’s unclear how statuses will map over to the ITA Volare program from other programs and few data points have been reported.
For what it’s worth, I applied with my British Airways Gold status which mapped to Executive (as detailed below).
How to Apply for the Volare Status Match
The status match campaign is available until November 30, 2021 with cards becoming available on December 31, 2021. The details are all on the campaign’s landing page but the first step is to register for Volare if you haven’t already.
Then, send an email to email@example.com with the following or fill out the support form inside your member portal including the details below.
- Email subject: “program of origin” – “status of origin”
- Text of email: First name, surname; “program of origin” – “status of origin”
- Please attach a legible copy of your current valid Frequent Flyer program card (digital or physical) and a copy of your identity card1 (pdf, jpg format)
If your status match is approved, you will be issued your new Volare status on December 31, 2021 and it will be valid for one year. Check out the Volare website for full terms and conditions.
Related: Which Airlines Offer Free Stopovers?
My Experience: Applying for the Status Match with British Airways Gold
It’s not at all clear how useful the Volare program will be but given how easy it is and the potential for SkyTeam Elite or SkyTeam Elite Plus (which I don’t currently have), I decided to sign up for Volare and apply.
Interestingly, when I signed up for a Volare frequent flyer account, I was not issued a membership number. In fact, the member portal for the program could not be more basic. Presumably, they will be issued on December 31 when it seems the program will launch in earnest.
That said, I crossed my fingers and sent off an email with a photo of my passport and screenshot of my British Airways virtual membership card. After they received all of the information yesterday, it took them just one day to confirm my status match from British Airways Executive Club Gold to ITA Airways Volare Executive.
Dear Giovanni Hashimoto
We are pleased to inform you that your request for Status Match to the Volare loyalty program by ITA Airways has been accepted and, from now on, you have joined the Club as an Executive Member.
In addition to 10,000 welcome points that will be credited to your account after two flights, you can start to immediately accumulate points on all ITA Airways flights by purchasing your tickets on the following sales channels:
1) the website ita-airways.com and ITA Airways app;
2) Customer Center at 89 34 90 49 (special tariff number);
3) travel agent.
Independently of the purchase channel you have chosen, do not forget to enter/communicate to the operator your credentials including the email used to register in the program.
Points will be credited to you by December 31, 2021 and you can start spending them from March 1, 2022 onwards.
In the coming weeks, we will inform you of all the details of the program.
In the meantime you can start taking advantage of special SKYPRIORITY services offered to Executive Members:
-check-in at the Business Class desks;
-Fast Track at the security gates in Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate;
-priority baggage drop-off.
Thank you for joining the Volare program and we look forward to seeing you soon on board ITA Airways flights!
ITA Airways Status Match Team
ITA Airways clearly still needs to do a lot of work to level up their technical infrastructure but signing up for Volare and applying for the status match couldn’t be easier. Given everything we know about ITA Airways and Volare, it appears that Executive is the top tier at Volare and would presumably map to SkyTeam Elite Plus once the program launches. If so, that’s an incredibly generous offer for simply sending an email and probably the easiest way to secure top-level Sky Team status for 2022.
Of course, we have no idea at this point whether Volare will be a useful program. Given Alitalia’s history with Millemiglia, I’m not holding my breath but hope to be proven wrong. Stay tuned for more as ITA Airways reveals more details about their Volare program.
Did you sign up for a Volare status match? Let us know how it went in the comments.
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