The Fastest, Easiest, Most Painless Way to Airline Elite Status

Like so many others who travel for business, I’ve been working my way toward Elite status the old-fashioned way:  by flying a single airline (or alliance) as much as possible, sometimes giving up better flight times or greater in-flight comfort to get status miles.

That’s for suckers.

Want to know the easiest way to Elite status?


I work for a decent-sized company, and I was speaking with our travel manager about something unrelated when he mentioned that he’d be happy to ask his contact at our preferred airline to bump me up to first-level status.  And if I flew another couple of trips, they’d give me mid-level status.  Fantastic.

I’m hardly the first person in the universe to benefit from this, but I’d really completely forgotten about just asking because I was so entranced by the game of trying to fly my way to status.  Bleh.  If you work for a mid-sized or larger company (especially if you’re flying to the same city repeatedly; even more especially if you prefer an airline that does not have a hub in your city), just ask your travel manager if she’ll talk to her contact at the airline and get you status.  Sure beats a mileage run to Spokane.


  1. And after you get decent-level status (i.e. mid or top-level) on one alliance, call an airline in a competing alliance and asked to be comped with equivalent status. With the right “story” about your travel patterns and producing evidence of current status, you can usually find someone who will do it.

  2. Or, as my son learned from watching me for many many years, beg.