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.
Mr. Bastian also discussed business travel projections during last week’s Q2 earnings call.
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.
(And no, Delta Air Lines is not humored by the Delta variant.)
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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From the USA Today article: “infection rate could get high, while hospitalizations and deaths stay relatively low.”
At that stage did we stop considering cases as problematic and return to the normal practice of allowing people to get minor sickness without lockdown?
That should start “At what stage do we stop”. I’m ok if you want to edit the original rather than posting this correction.
Also if they do roll over status I certainly hope they will give extra recognition to those that actually earn their status in 2022.
@Barry – Delta gave nothing extra for those who earned their status last time they did a rollover.
I know, but you can always hope!
When it comes to international travel it is not only of interest which parts of the world are open to US travellers or not. Also vice versa! So for example SkyMiles members from the EU are not allowed to travel to the US … so no travelling on Delta flights.
Maybe those restrictions will be lifted soon, but we don’t know yet.
I really do hope we will be able to fly Delta again this year. But there is some uncertainty right now.
Another year of rollover would greatly increase the number of elites, especially at the Gold and Platinum levels.
Another MQM rollover would be pretty generous – probably too generous. You then will have two years of people getting AMEX spend bonuses, multiple years of flying, etc. A blanket MQM rollover would have many more new people starting at 50,000 to 75,000 or more MQM. Just meeting the MQD requirement or getting an Amex waiver puts them at Platinum through 2023. Given the status accelerator, MQM rollover, the number of elites could easily be going up. not down.
Get rid of that 250k spend for Diamond. That’s what they should do. Right when I started flying enough to hit the miles they implemented that ridiculous spend requirement. Still grinds my gears.
I would go one step further and say to eliminate the MQD requirement completely. International travelers don’t have to reach it.
Quick clarification: SkyMiles members who live outside the United States don’t have the MQD requirement.
I agree that the spend requirement is the big concern I have. I have been diamond since I can remember mostly because of overseas business travel. No problem reaching $15K in actual spend (although rarely on my dime). I already with the roll overs reached MQM limits, but way off MQD limits, especially as these did not roll over. Would like to know before trying the AeroMexico MQD flights if the MQD might be suspended.
I agree-Reaching the other will be possible, but with less trips to take for business-and probably NONE for pleasure-$250k on my AMX cards is a stretch–why couldn’t it be more reasonable –like $100k. That is still 4 times for Platinum.
Personally I hope they don’t roll over again. At this point I am 17k away from diamond, but will never reach the spend. I have 5 more trips to the office this year and also plan an overseas vacation in November.
Next year I will have 12 more trips to the office and vacations as well, so that should work out for another year of platinum.
I’m torn on this. Although I’m likely to make Diamond, I’m sure I would have appreciated a rollover otherwise. I still think, despite the previous comment exchange, that offering something additional to those that make it on their own would be very appropriate if a rollover is offered.
With the new Variant and US still on Amber list- it would be best to extend GUC for next year.
If you are vaccinated, the variant is a distraction not a danger. Amber status is a problem since it’s not warranted.
For those who actually earned 2021 Diamond status, welcome kits go out the 9th of Never.
All my travel used to be international to Asia. Going into parts of Asia I can’t afford to spend 2 weeks in mandatory quarantine into each country before even being eligible to go to the factory for a one day visit. With this way of doing things I would have to spend almost 2 months away from home to do a 4-5 day trip. I have to wait for the mandatory 2 week quarantine to be lifted before I even consider business travelers again. They better extend the status!
@William – You could take a mileage run or two in January? With rollover and a few runs in January I will be Diamond for all of 22 and 23!
That’s not completely true. I made Platinum again last year. As they rolled over all my miles, I’ve easily made Platinum this year, and am well on my way to making Platinum next year, too.
It’s not much, but it is something
@Greg – That is not extra – that is just what was already in place. The question was if anything EXTRA would be done for those who EARNED status vs just those who were gifted status via the push/rollover.
My wife and I were scheduled to fly to the UK in September.
We’ve been through 6 schedule changes. The most recent took away our (paid for) Premium Select. So I told Delta to cancel the ticket and give us our money back.
I don’t know what domestic flight looks like, but the way they keep on cancelling international flights says to me they’re not getting a lot of flying.
So another roll-over would surprise me.
As a minimum I think they ought to extend the deadline on Regional and Global upgrade certificates