If you have blonde hair and green eyes, wear red on Thursdays and have an uncle named Bob, there’s a chance you qualify for Elite Status on an airline somewhere. 

I’m kidding. 

Sort of.

The truth is, airlines often offer opportunities to accelerate your elite status. But they rarely announce them publicly.

In many cases, they’re “unpublished” elite status challenges that you need to do a little digging to uncover.

Virgin-Atlantic, for instance, just ended a deal where you could sign up for their Flying Club and then purchase a ticket beforeSeptember 30, 2011and you’d automatically get Silver Elite Status.

In another example, American Airlines, is continuously offering an unpublished challenge where members need to accumulate 10,000 elite qualifying points (EQPs) within 90 days. If you do, you’ll automatically get bumped up to Platinum status. If you’re interested, you HAVE TO register for the challenge first by calling AA’s customer service and telling the representative that you’d like to enter their “Platinum Challenge.” (Note: Challenges start on the 1st and 16th of every month and cost $200. So if you were to travel later on this month, you’d want to sign up for the October 16th challenge.)

And, Copa Airlines is currently offering flyers the chance to earn 25% bonus miles with the sole purpose of accelerating you to elite status.

What’s more, some airlines also offer elite “status matching” which can really help.  If you’re already a Silver, Gold, or Platinum on one airline, but you have a flight coming up on a different carrier and want to take advantage of their frequent-flier perks, you can apply for status matching.

Not all airlines offer this but some, like Continental Airlines, are still accepting requests until December 31st.  It can get a little tricky, however. That’s why we’ve added a new section on status matching to the 2011 edition of our “How to Get a First Class Seat for Less” guide.

For more details on all these challenges and miles-boosting promotions, you can do some digging online and uncover them yourself or you can check out our “How to Get a First Class Seat for Less”

Inside, you’ll learn more secrets like the ones I’ve been featuring this week like: 

** The top three credit cards that are perfect for earning and redeeming miles

** How to buy a first-class seat for under $50 – and the airlines that offer these opportunities to you

** How to increase the odds of sitting up front in first class… with a little seating-plan trick

** And more.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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