We’re often asked if Delta Air Lines will roll over all SkyMiles members MQM and any elite status — just as it did last year.
When Delta announced the 50%-75% elite status bonuses earlier this year, I figured that was the airline’s solution to make status chasers happy.
The bonuses and making award tickets eligible for elite status earnings were generous and great moves on Delta’s part.
But now I’m starting to think Delta might have to make another concession for its SkyMiles members. Will the airline indeed roll over MQM and status again? Will it present something like Reclaim My Status for Medallions and maybe offer a Status Challenge-type promotion for general members to earn Silver? (This is pure speculation, by the way. Our sources haven’t told us what’s in the hopper for Delta.)
This is why I won’t be surprised if they throw us another bone.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement that “corporate volumes experienced steady improvement through the quarter, doubling from 20 percent recovered in March to 40 percent recovered in June.” So that’s good news. But I highly doubt they’ll double again this quarter. I wouldn’t be surprised if they steadily rise a little or maybe plateau.
Delta conducted its own survey among its corporate clients and learned:
- 36% of Delta’s major corporate clients expect to return fully to pre-COVID travel levels before June 2022
- 21% plan to fully be back to pre-COVID travel practices no later than 2023
- 5% say they’ll never return to pre-COVID levels
Plus, he expects Delta’s corporate travel to return to about 90% of pre-COVID numbers around 2023. That’s two years away — and a lot of Medallions not regularly traveling.
So if a third of Delta’s major clients won’t resume “normal” business travel until next summer, I wonder if they’ll do something more to keep those companies’ Medallion members happy.
Another COVID-19 Wave?!
USA Today proclaimed last week that “the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases is here.” Oh, joy.
Officials say the Delta COVID-19 strain is the dominant variant around the world. And deaths in the United States are increasing.
People might be apprehensive about traveling if things get worse.
And if shutdowns are put in place again, that’ll make traveling even more difficult.
Some international borders are still closed to US travelers. Spain and Greece recently implemented some curfews.
Granted, plenty of countries are open to Americans. But if people can’t travel where work or their leisure plans would otherwise take them, it’s more difficult to earn and enjoy elite status — Accelerators or not.
Just last month, I thought Delta wouldn’t once again roll over everyone’s MQM and status to next year.
Now I’m starting to think they might. Business travel, the dangerous Delta variant, and travel restrictions may mean fewer Medallions. (Or maybe that’s Delta’s goal — to thin the herd a little.)
I also wonder if Delta will offer all Medallions something like Reclaim My Status.
What do you think?
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