A Touch Of Gold – Star Alliance Gold Status Match

Is Air New Zealand trying to have the cake and eat it too? It sure looks like it! A few days ago the Star Alliance Airline launched a status match promotion clearly targeting Australian frequent flyers. In an attempt to poach loyalty from its ex-bestie (Virgin Australia) and new partner Qantas, instant gold status is on the table for those holding Gold or higher with any airline; excluding Star Alliance members and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo status holders.

How to Request A Status Match

Star Alliance Gold can be yours for 6 months by simply emailing a photo or copy of your current Gold Status card to [email protected]

Make sure to include your Airports membership number (if you don’t have one yet, you can sign up for free https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/vloyalty/action/registration) and a copy of your current flight history  (with a competing airline) is sure to be favoured.

In the addition to the 6 months of gold status you will also benefit from the following (based on the information found on the https://www.airnewzealand.com.au/touch-of-gold-benefits:

Lounge access

Members may access any Air New Zealand, Star Alliance and partner airline lounge prior to departure on an Air New Zealand or Star Alliance operated flight along with our qualifying partner airline flights.

You may also invite one additional guest (travelling on the same service and subject to space) to join you in any Air New Zealand International, Domestic and Regional Lounge (excluding Koru Express, which does not allow guest entry), Star Alliance lounges and some partner lounges.

Please note that Star Alliance and partner lounge access regulations stipulate that any travellers, including children aged two years old and over will be included as part of the member’s guest allowance. More about lounges.

Upgrades

Short haul recognition upgrades

You will receive two short haul recognition upgrades to be used during the six-month trial period. A short haul recognition upgrade can be used to move from Economy to Business Premier on services between New Zealand and applicable east coast Australia or on New Zealand to Pacific Island routes. This type of upgrade doesn’t apply to medium haul flights from New Zealand to Perth, Honolulu, Tahiti and Bali or between Sydney and Rarotonga.

Short haul recognition upgrades are only able to be applied to Air New Zealand ticketed and operated flights. Airpoints members will earn Airpoints Dollars and Status Points according to the earn rate of the original fare purchased.

How to request short haul recognition upgrade

To request a short haul recognition upgrade, sign into your Air New Zealand account and go to the My Bookings section. Alternatively, you can call the contact centre.

To improve your chances of having your upgrade confirmed, it’s best to request a recognition upgrade at the time you book or at least seven days before your flight.

OneUp upgrades

OneUp is Air New Zealand’s upgrade offer system that gives people travelling on Air New Zealand the opportunity to move up one cabin class when travelling internationally. Touch of Gold members’ OneUp offers will be up-weighted by 30%.

Complimentary frequent flyer seating

Touch of Gold members have access to our frequent flyer seating located towards the front of the cabin on most Air New Zealand flights. These can be booked during the Seat Select process when booking online, by visiting My Bookings or by calling the contact centre. Frequent flyer seating is available on a first come first serve basis and available on any fare type purchased on Air New Zealand.

Baggage privileges

NZ domestic flights: Members may check in one extra bag (up to 23kg) on New Zealand domestic flights over and above their ticketed allowance for no additional charge, provided travel is on a fare that includes a checked bag.

International flights: Touch of Gold members may check in one extra bag (up to 23kg) on international flights at no extra charge. This is over and above the ticketed allowance, provided travel is on a fare that includes a checked bag. A maximum of three bags is permitted. Additionally members are entitled to one additional standard piece of checked baggage without charge, where the ticketed itinerary has two or more Star Alliance airlines. This offer is not applicable to customers travelling on fares which do not have a baggage allowance e.g. ‘Seat’ fares.

Carry-on bags:  Touch of Gold members may take two pieces of carry-on baggage, with a combined total weight of 14kg with a maximum weight of either bag of up to 10kg.

Priority travel benefits

Priority check-in: To speed up your journey through the airport, Touch of Gold members are invited to check in at the Premium counter when travelling on an Air New Zealand operated flight or the Star Alliance Gold counter when travelling on a Star Alliance flight. When travelling on flights operated by any of our partner airlines please check in with the operating carrier.

Priority boarding

Once boarding commences, you may board at your leisure on Air New Zealand and most Star Alliance flights.

Priority baggage claim

You will be among the first to collect your baggage after disembarking an Air New Zealand operated flight. This benefit also applies to most Star Alliance airline operated flights.

Discounted Business class award fares

Discounted long haul Business class fares are available in limited quantities to Gold members.

Shortcut to Gold

In addition to your 6 month trial, you can also gain full gold status by earning an additional 450 status points by flying Air New Zealand metal or Star Alliance partner flights.

Is It Really Worth It?

Air New Zealand’s Airports program is universally recognised as one of the worst frequent flyer programs to collect points/miles in. For this reason alone, it’s probably not worth chasing status as there are far superior Star Alliance airlines out there such as Singapore Airlines. However if you already hold gold (or higher) status, why not match it? It’s a very handy benefit to have if you plan to fly economy with Star Alliance members; the fast track security lines in Europe alone make it worth it.  In addition, it could also open other doors along the track when another airline decides to one up Air NZ…

A Few Thing To Keep In Mind

  1. The promotion is open to Australia and New Zealand residents only.
  2. You will not receive a physical gold card and will need to rely on the digital app edition.
  3. After 6 months you will drop down to Silver Status if you don’t earn the required 450 status points