We are in such a quiet time in the frequent flyer world with all the program changes rolling out this year from Delta and others. Jet Blue and Alaska are working hard to poach elites and get them to switch to their airlines as your preferred carrier. Heck even plucky Southwest is lowering the requirements to earn their A-List Preferred status from 50 flights down to 40!
I have to admit my head is still spinning over everything Delta has done with the 9/14 bomb shell and the subsequent slight walk-backs. I have in my head and with my wife gone over and over all the options and still am firm in my conviction to walk away from chasing Delta status but there are reasons for that choice and they may help you as well.
For me the answer is no. But for many others now may be the time to act and act fast!
I am still stunned that Delta did something good for my years of loyalty and has elevated my near worthless Silver Medallion “lifetime” status to Gold. Gold and above is HUGE when it comes to flying Skyteam partner airlines getting you Skyteam Elite Plus ranking. That can mean free lounge access, waived bag fees, priority boarding and so very much more (until they make changes that is). Before I gave up my quest for status (that really had started well before this year) I lamented that I would not reach Skyteam Elite Plus that had been a goal for me for as long as I can remember – then Delta just gave it to me with the updated program changes for 2024!
But René, looking at the new chart above should you not now reconsider going for 2 million miler? After all you could end up with lifetime / annual Platinum status with Choice Benefits year after year? Is this not worth it?
Yeah, I have thought about that and Chris has been recently crushing it with sweet Delta mileage runs but with so far to go, for me, it is just not worth the effort. But maybe it is for others! Let me explain.
If I were closer, say under 200,000 elite miles away from either 1, 2, 3 or 5 million miler I would buckle down and go crazy before year end (notice I did not include 4 million miler because there is no extra benefit at this level). I would do what I mentioned above, that is, work to spend my brains out on Delta cards (hello mega overpaying taxes and more) and booking every mileage run I could find before year end to get as close as possible to the next million miler level (side note – you can still keep earning in 2024 onward – it just will take longer without the current bonus offers currently in place – #ProTip our friends at Point.me can help you find the perfect run you need).
After all lifetime Diamond Medallion or even Delta 360* would be simply amazing to have handed to you year after year with all the perks associated with both levels. I mean now even “lowly” 1 million miler is a goal worth shooting for if you intend to keep flying Delta and their partners in the years ahead.
I know this is a hard choice for many considering there are so few months left in 2023 and you may already have lots of stuff booked that can not be changed. I guess if you are on the fence about what to do that may be the answer you are looking for, that is, jump off the fence and call it a day. It is also wise to remember we simple can not ever trust Delta again and their goal is still to continue to erode the program over the coming years and thus your hard work, time and expense may yield little going forward. I mean look at the change this year to block GM+ from the Sky Clubs unless you are either on a Premium Select or Delta One ticket! I think I make my point – right?
Bottom line – if you are close go for it and enjoy the perks for as long as Delta dollops them out but be ready for more #KeepDescending moves over the years ahead! – René
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