As you may have seen reported, Italy’s government-owned flag carrier Alitalia recently went bankrupt (again!), leading to a transfer of its operations and assets to ITA Airways, a new state-owned airline which will now pick up where Alitalia left off.
ITA has also been running a status match to entice people to join its new frequent flyer programme Volare, which frankly hasn’t been too interesting… until now.
ITA Airways is joining SkyTeam
In late October it was confirmed that ITA Airways has taken Alitalia’s place in the SkyTeam alliance.
“SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has welcomed ITA Airways – Italy’s new national carrier – into the alliance, replacing Alitalia.”SkyTeam, 29th October 2021
This now presents a much more relevant status match opportunity for KrisFlyer members to potentially easily gain elite status with a SkyTeam airline, giving them benefits across 19 carriers globally, including six in Asia-Pacific.
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air Europa
- Air France
- China Airlines
- China Eastern
- Czech Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Garuda Indonesia
- ITA Airways
- Kenya Airways
- Korean Air
- Middle East Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Air
That potentially means lounge access and other status benefits when flying in Economy Class on airlines like Korean Air, Air France, KLM, Delta and Vietnam Airlines.
KrisFlyer (and others) status match
Volare (the ITA Airways frequent flyer programme) is matching status with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members and elite members of 10 other airlines:
- Alitalia – MilleMiglia
- Air France/KLM – Flying Blue
- American Airlines – AAdvantage
- British Airways – Executive Club
- Delta Air Lines – SkyMiles
- Emirates – Skywards
- Iberia – Iberia Plus
- Lufthansa – Miles & More
- Turkish Airways – Miles&Smiles
- United Airlines – MileagePlus
Even if you don’t have elite status with Singapore Airlines, you might be able to do a status match through one of these programmes instead.
Interestingly – ITA is offering a status match to fellow SkyTeam Air France/KLM and Delta members. It’s unusual for intra-alliance airlines to try and ‘poach’ frequent flyers from one another!
The status match campaign can only be joined by members belonging to premium tiers (tiers not accessible simply by signing up to each program), so you’ll need to be KrisFlyer Elite Silver at least to apply.
How it works
You can apply for this status match quickly and easily via ITA Airways here, by 30th November 2021 at the latest, with a simple process in place:
- If you haven’t already joined, sign up to the Volare programme
- Send an email to email@example.com with the following details:
- Email subject: “program of origin” – “status of origin”
- Text of email: First name, surname; “program of origin” – “status of origin”
- Attach a legible copy of your current valid Frequent Flyer program card (digital or physical) and a copy of your identity card (pdf, jpg format)
You’ll therefore be able to do this easily using a screenshot of your KrisFlyer or PPS Club membership card from the Singapore Airlines website or app. ITA isn’t asking for you to show any flight or booking history – just flash the card itself and you should be good.
ITA will then contact you by 31st December 2021 to advise whether your status match application has been successful.
If your status match request is successful, your membership (and equivalent SkyTeam status) will commence from 1st January 2022 and is initially valid for the entire year.
If it’s not successful – frankly this process has only taken you five minutes!
Some points to note
ITA’s Volare programme doesn’t actually commence until 1st January 2022, which is why you’ll only get your status from that date. That’s also when you’ll get a membership number (initially, your account is tied to your email address).
Also, you won’t be able to redeem any Volare points until 1st March 2022 (though you’re more likely to be doing this for the one-year SkyTeam status than to interact with the programme in this way).
Which tier you’ll match to
This is where it gets a little vague!
ITA has not revealed how many membership tiers it will have in Volare, nor has it given any examples of how it will match your status from KrisFlyer or other eligible FFPs.
Update: There will be four membership levels in the Volare scheme:
SkyTeam has only two status levels; Elite and Elite Plus. You need to be Elite Plus to be eligible for lounge access when flying on a SkyTeam carrier.
We therefore have to keep our fingers crossed that ITA will match KrisFlyer Elite Gold (KFEG) members to a tier in Volare which would be equivalent to SkyTeam Elite Plus.
We think that match should work though.
Korean Air SKYPASS, for example, matches its Morning Calm Premium Club members, which we see as an equivalent KFEG tier, to SkyTeam Elite Plus.
Similarly Air France/KLM Flying Blue gives SkyTeam Elite Plus to its Gold and Platinum members (which we’d map to KFEG and PPS Club respectively), while Delta SkyMiles gives Elite Plus to it’s Gold, Platinum and Diamond members.
We would therefore be surprised to see KFEG members left without a lounge-eligible SkyTeam tier after this status match, while of course it’s nearly certain that PPS Club members will score Elite Plus.
SIA’s earn status on the ground campaign
This status match comes at quite a good time for many of our readers, who are using a credit card points transfer with 15% bonus, among some other methods, to trigger a year of KrisFlyer Elite Gold status.
Do note, however, that applications for this status match with ITA Airways end on 30th November 2021, so with the 15% bonus Elite miles not crediting until perhaps mid-December at the KrisFlyer side you may not upgrade to KFEG in time to apply for this one.
Singapore is not a significant SkyTeam hub, with no dedicated lounge facility here, for example, and only a few of the alliance’s carriers spread across all four of Changi’s terminals prior to COVID-19.
With travel opening up, however, especially to Europe (Air France/KLM) and North America (Delta), there are potential opportunities to take advantage of elite status benefits in SkyTeam for all of 2022 if you successfully match your KrisFlyer status to Volare during this campaign.
This would potentially give those who successfully match more lounge options when flying domestically in the USA (use Volare status for Delta or KrisFlyer for United), or when flying between VTL countries in Europe (use Volare for Air France/KLM or KrisFlyer for Lufthansa), etc.
Ultimately there’s no harm in trying to match your KrisFlyer status with ITA during this campaign.
The process is quick and easy and the worst they can do is either deny the match or give you a useless tier without lounge access benefits, but in the best case (and more likely scenario in our opinion) you should find yourself with SkyTeam Elite Plus status throughout 2022.
(Cover Photo: ITA Airways)