Right now, several airlines are offering you opportunities to accelerate your elite status. They just don’t tell you that these opportunities are out there.

In many cases, they’re “unpublished” elite status challenges that you need to do a little digging to uncover.

American Airlines, for instance, challenges members to accumulate a certain number of points within a specific period of time.  If you do, they’ll automatically bump you up to Platinum status.  You HAVE TO register for the challenge first by contacting them and telling that you’d like to enter their “Platinum Challenge.”

And Copa Airlines, along with a few others, offers flyers the chance to “Earn 25% Bonus Miles” during certain periods which, again, accelerates you into elite status faster.

You often have to abide by certain date ranges and purchase your tickets directly on their site rather than through a third-party site like Orbitz or Expedia, but it’s worth it if you’re planning to fly them a lot and you want the free upgrades their Elite Status affords you.

Similarly, other airlines like Virgin-Atlantic offer free points for random things like referring a friend to them that can push you toward elite status faster.

And several airlines offer elite “status matching” which can really help.  If you’re already Platinum or Gold 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, do.  It can get a little tricky, however. That’s why we’re adding 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” on our catalog page, here.

When you do, I’ll be sure to send you a free copy of our 2011 edition when it’s ready in July, too.

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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