Here is the note I received from Southwest after sending a status match request via email. I let them know that I was a former Airtran Elite member and switched to Delta after Airtran was purchased. I am currently Silver with Delta and have spent over $10K on 40 flights in 2015.
"Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry.
A-List and A-List Preferred status provides lucrative benefits to recognize and reward our most loyal Customers, and we must rely on our Rapid Rewards Members to gain entry to these tier levels through their activity in the program. In order to maintain the integrity of our Rapid Rewards program and continue to provide the perks associated with each tier status, we must consistently adhere to the program rules. Saying “no” to a request for tier status that has not been truly earned helps ensure that we are able to say “yes” to offering benefits to our qualifying Members in the future.
It's our hope that you will be flying Southwest Airlines as it would be our privilege to welcome you onboard for many years to come.
Gloria, Southwest Airlines "
on December 1, 2015