Status matching is the process by which an individual who already has airline status, usually with one of the three major alliances (Star Alliance, OneWorld, and Skyteam), presents that status to another airline, and the other airline provides the passenger with equivalent status in their program.
As a result of studying in the States, I used to be a Delta Gold (Elite Plus) member. I used that status a lot, getting lounge access and preferential seats. Alas, it recently expired.
Before my Delta Gold status expired, I status matched it to Turkish Airlines (Star Alliance), a match which is valid for 2 years.
With the matched Turkish Gold status, I sent an email to Skyteam partner China Airlines and requested a status match to their program. In that email, I sent my formal request, my China Airlines account number, and a scanned copy of my current Turkish Gold card.
I never received a response, so I emailed again. Again, no response, and I gave up. Out of the blue a couple months later, I received an Emerald (Elite Plus) orientation pack, including the card, in the mail. I now have SkyTeam Elite Plus status for a full year!
To apply for a status match, send an email to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. I sent an email to both, but I don’t know which one worked. Include a copy of your current status card, your China Airlines account number, and a pleasant request 🙂