Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told an Atlanta Rotary Club meeting last month that the airline would make “modifications” to the rather unpopular SkyMiles 2025 Medallion program it announced in mid-September. But he didn’t say when the changes would be announced.
Well, Delta just dropped the news a few minutes ago.
MQM: Not Coming Back
Let’s get this out of the way first: Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) and Medallion Qualification Segment (MQS) will cease to count as Medallion status-earning metrics as of January 1, 2024. That was announced last month and continues to be the case.
Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) will be the only metric that qualifies toward earning Delta elite status.
MQD Requirements Dropping
We — and many other Medallion members with whom we spoke — correctly figured the modifications would involve lowering the Medallion Qualification Dollars required to earn Medallion status.
Here are the updated thresholds:
- Silver: $5,000 (down from $6,000 MQD)
- Gold: $10,000 (down from $12,000 MQD)
- Platinum: $15,000 (down from $18,000 MQD)
- Diamond: $28,000 (down from $35,000 MQD)
Plus, Delta SkyMiles Reserve, Reserve Business, Delta Platinum Amex, and Delta Business Platinum Amex will get an MQD headstart of $2,500 MQD for the current Medallion Qualification Year (I guess we call that the MQY? 🙂 ).
Sky Club Airport Lounge Access
Many people (myself included) were upset with Delta rationing the number of Sky Club lounge visits for cardholders of select American Express products.
Unlimited visits will not return to any Amex cards — unless the primary cardholder spends $75,000 during a calendar year. That criterion remains. However, Delta thought a little outside of the box on this one:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card members can visit Sky Clubs for 15 days per year. All visits made in a 24-hour period will count as one day. (That’s up from the very limited ten visits)
- Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum Card members may visit Sky Clubs for up to 10 days per year.
- Card members can also purchase Sky Club access for $50 per day after using all allotted days.
- Medallion members may buy an annual individual Delta Sky Club membership for $695.
Million Miler Benefits Changing
Mr. Bastian said in a statement, “We want our long-term loyalists to know how much you’re truly appreciated. Effective February 1, 2024, we are moving Million Miler Status up in the hierarchy for Complimentary Upgrades and significantly upgrading annual Complimentary Status achievement levels for all Million Milers.”
- 6M+ from Diamond Medallion to Delta 360°
- 5M from Platinum Medallion to Delta 360°
- 4M from Platinum Medallion to Diamond Medallion
- 3M from Gold Medallion to Diamond Medallion
- 2M from Gold Medallion to Platinum Medallion
- 1M from Silver Medallion to Gold Medallion
Extend Your Status with MQM Rollovers
This is kind of an interesting twist.
“Customers who have MQM Rollover balances over 100,000 will be given special offers to extend their earned 2024 Status—one year for each 100K Rollover MQMs,” Delta said.
The airline said it “will also provide an option to convert MQM Rollover balances into MQDs at a more generous ratio of 10:1 (up from 20:1). Members will also be able to convert MQMs Rollover balances to miles as a ratio of 2:1.”
The 10:1 ratio is more palatable than the absurd 20:1.
A Delta spokesperson told me that we’re not limited to just one option.
Additional Choice Benefits — for 2025
Starting in 2025 (not this coming year), Delta is adding several new Choice Benefits.
- An MQD Accelerator for the next Medallion Qualification Year
- $2,000 for Diamond Medallion Members
- $1,000 for Platinum Medallion Members
- Re-introducing the Delta Sky Club Individual Membership for Diamond Medallion Members, in exchange for two Choice Benefit selections
- Increased amount of bonus miles: 35,000 for Diamond Medallion Members and 30,000 for Platinum Medallion Members
- Increasing Delta travel voucher to $350 for Diamond Medallion Members and $300 for Platinum Medallion Members
- A new Wheels Up statement flight credit
Honestly, I’m surprised Delta made the changes this soon. I figured they wouldn’t alter any plans until next year.
But customer backlash was so severe that they needed to do something.
I’ll offer some commentary in a bit — I just wanted to get the news out to you ASAP!
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