Many travel membership programs have tiers with which one can earn elite status, through which benefits are rewarded — but achieving elite status can be quite difficult for many people and is usually not worth the time and effort for those people who do not travel frequently. However, here is one example of when elite status may be worth chasing.
Elite Status Worth Chasing: One Example
Back in January of 2023, Platinum elite status fast track Spring 2023 with IHG One Rewards membership program was announced and is in effect through which you can earn Gold elite status by completing two qualifying nights and Premium elite status by completing an additional three qualifying nights — for a total of five qualifying nights — but you must complete the registration process by Sunday, April 30, 2023. Once earned within 90 days of registration, either Gold elite status or Platinum elite status are good through Tuesday, December 31, 2024.
Anyone who has achieved either Gold elite status or Platinum elite status with IHG One Rewards — or, for that matter, elite status in 16 airline membership programs and 16 lodging membership programs — may qualify for the fast track to elite status which is currently being offered in the Free Spirit membership program by Spirit Airlines. You can earn Free Spirit elite:
- Silver Status for $49.00 — usually requiring 2,000 SQPs. Silver members earn 8 points for every dollar spent on fares and 16 points for dollars spent on options.
- Host a Points Pool
- Dedicated Guest Care support
- Redemption fee waiver
- Exit Row seat assignment
- Shortcut Boarding
- Shortcut Security
- Same-day standby
- Overweight baggage fee waiver
- Gold Status for $99.00 — usually requiring 5,000 SQPs. Gold members earn even faster with 10 points for every dollar spent on fares and 20 points for every dollar spent on options.
- All the benefits of Silver
- Free checked bag
- Free carry-on bag
- Free drink and snack onboard
- Zone 1 boarding
- Free Flight Flex
- Pet fee waiver
- Group 2/3/4/5 seat selection at purchase
Although this fast track to elite status from Spirit Airlines may be quite beneficial — as the fee of $99.00 can easily save money over the fees for some of the products and services — some potential drawbacks include:
- No date has been given as to when this fast track offer will expire
- You must have earned a certain level of elite status in another membership program to qualify
- No guarantee is given that you will be granted elite status
- You cannot participate in another fast track to elite status of Free Spirit with Spirit Airlines for at least two years
- None of the benefits can be shared with a companion traveler
- When irregular operations occur, resolving them usually does not go as smoothly as with legacy carriers
Final Boarding Call
I believe that if everyone has elite status, then no one has elite status — but I do believe that everyone should experience what elite status is like at least once in their lifetimes, as frequent travelers already know how to earn it, achieve it, and keep it.
Sometimes elite status in one membership program can help you fast-track or challenge into elite status in another membership program — an easier way into the realm of elite status, so to speak…
…but because the end of the fast track to elite status from Spirit Airlines has not been publicly announced, perhaps even earning Gold elite status in only two days with IHG One Rewards may possibly be too late — and the status match is not guaranteed anyway.
Trying certainly would not hurt if you are interested, though…
All photographs ©2018 and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.