What Is Delta 360 Invitation-Only Status?

What Is Delta 360 Invitation-Only Status?

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All of the “big three” carriers in the United States have invitation-only elite status. I’ve written about how American Airlines has Concierge Key and United Airlines has Global Services, and in this post I wanted to take a closer look at Delta’s invitation-only status, which is arguably the most mysterious of the three.

What is the status, how do you earn it, what are the benefits, and how many members are there? I’ll share everything I know…

What is Delta 360 status?

Delta 360 is Delta Air Lines’ invitation-only elite status. It’s my understanding that this is the most exclusive of the invitation-only elite tiers, in the sense that there are the fewest members. Despite that, the benefits are actually pretty weak, at least on paper. For that matter, Delta 360 isn’t even a formal elite tier, which is to say that you separately still have to qualify for status in the Delta SkyMiles Medallion program.

For what it’s worth, here’s how Delta describes Delta 360 status on its website:

Delta 360° is an annual, invitation-only membership for our most loyal SkyMiles Members. A Delta 360° Membership offers Delta’s most premium suite of benefits and services exclusive to our top SkyMiles Members. For 2024, entry into Delta 360° will be extended to a very small percentage of Diamond Medallion Members. Considerations include, but are not limited to: overall Delta flight activity, premium product purchases (Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class) and spending on Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards.

Delta 360 is Delta’s invitation-only elite status

How do you earn Delta 360 status?

As is the case with the invitation-only status of American and United, the requirements to earn Delta 360 status aren’t published. However, based on the data points I’ve seen, the criteria are even more confusing. With American and United, you probably have a good shot at invitation-only status if you spend $50,000 per year with a particular airline. That’s not necessarily the case with Delta.

As Delta officially states, getting an invitation to Delta 360 is for the “most loyal SkyMiles members.” Generally speaking:

  • You have the best odds if you book a lot of full fare tickets, as well as first and business class tickets
  • The more influence you have over the travel of others, the better; some people may be given Delta 360 status for securing major corporate contracts, while others may earn the status due to a combination of factors
  • Where you’re based also makes a big difference in terms of being invited — it’s much harder to earn Delta 360 if you’re based in Atlanta, Detroit, or New York (major Delta hubs), than if you’re based in Dallas or Newark (hubs of American and United, respectively)
  • Going forward, spending on co-branded Delta credit cards can contribute to being invited to Delta 360, especially with the changes coming to the program

Some suggest that you’d have to spend $100,000 per year on Delta flights to be invited as a Delta 360 member at major hubs, while the number could be much lower if you’re not based at a hub.

You have to spend a lot on Delta flights to earn Delta 360

What are the benefits of Delta 360 status?

Interestingly Delta 360 isn’t a separate tier in the SkyMiles program. That’s to say that Delta 360 members still have to earn status in the SkyMiles Medallion program. Most Delta 360 members are also Diamond Medallion members, but in theory it’s possible to earn Delta 360 without being a Diamond Medallion member. This is different than American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus, where Concierge Key and Global Services are separate tiers, above the published top tier levels.

What are the benefits of Delta 360 status?

  • A dedicated 24/7 phone line with immediate assistance
  • A Delta Sky Club Executive Membership, giving you (and two guests or immediate family members) Sky Club access when on an eligible itinerary; this ordinarily costs $1,495 per year
  • Delta sometimes offers Diamond Medallion members tarmac transfers during short connections, and Delta 360 members have the best odds of getting those (this is also available with the paid Delta VIP Select program)
  • Bag tags; funny enough, these Delta 360 bag tags have sometimes sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars

Those are all the Delta 360 benefits that I’m aware of. There’s no upgrade priority for Delta 360 members beyond their standard Diamond Medallion status. So the benefits of Delta 360 are weak, though I’d imagine that the “soft” treatment is very good — Delta has great service to begin with, and I imagine it’s even better for Delta’s best customers.

I also think it’s noteworthy how Delta is much quieter about this status than American and United. On American and United you’ll hear the gate agents always inviting invitation-only elite members to board before everyone else, while that’s not the case for Delta 360 members.

Delta 360 members get a Delta Sky Club Executive Membership

How many Delta 360 members are there?

This is a real mystery, and all I can do is speculate. For context, I’ve speculated that there are 10,000-20,000 American Concierge Key members, and I’ve speculated that there are 15,000-25,000 United Global Services members (that’s a range, but my best guess is that the numbers are in the middle of the range).

This is purely a guess on my part, but I think the number of Delta 360 members is probably in the 3,000-8,000 range. That’s simply because the status seems to be more difficult to earn. Like I said, this is purely a guess on my part, and I could be wrong. If anyone has any data or info, I’d love to hear it.

I’d guess there are roughly 5,000 Delta 360 members

Bottom line

Delta 360 is Delta Air Lines’ invitation-only elite tier. It’s the US airline status that’s probably hardest to earn, yet oddly it comes with weaker benefits than what you’d find for comparable members at American and United. Delta 360 offers dedicated customer support, a Sky Club membership, and good odds of tarmac transfers.

To earn Delta 360, be prepared to spend a lot on Delta flights, especially if you’re based out of a Delta hub.

Are any OMAAT readers Delta 360 members? If so, what has your experience been like?

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  1. Jake Guest

    I'm an attorney and travel extensively, I have had CK with AA and my firm partner had D360. We compared perks and I am sorry to say, D360 perks are pretty much non existent compared to what AA offers. If you are a status hunter, you are better off going after AA or United, their top tier programs are just better. Most airlines are moving away from catering to business travelers but Delta has moved...

    I'm an attorney and travel extensively, I have had CK with AA and my firm partner had D360. We compared perks and I am sorry to say, D360 perks are pretty much non existent compared to what AA offers. If you are a status hunter, you are better off going after AA or United, their top tier programs are just better. Most airlines are moving away from catering to business travelers but Delta has moved away the fastest and furthest. They, for whatever reason, are concentrating on the leisure traveler. 10 years ago, I would have flown Delta over AA and United any day because they were known for stellar first class and wonderful seats. This has changed, now AA really has by far the best domestic first class. Delta one is amazing but that is mostly on international routs and now AA just released their new Biz class that, includes closing doors for privacy, is going to outshine Delta One. Don't get me started on United, their first/biz class product is abysmal, stick with AA or Delta. But end of story, don't bother with D360, not worth it at all. And if you're a leisure traveler, Delta has the edge and if you're a biz traveler who prefers first/biz class, go with AA. And if you're white trash that fly's spirit, you will find United okay!

  2. Sherry clayton at [email protected] Guest

    I fly every year from Virginia to Arizona I'm disabled and some jerk stold my rewards I could just cry I go see my son every year I can't believe delta can't investigate to see

  3. Emery Mammothlover Guest

    Don't forget, 360 gets to check in the LAX D1 check-in facility!

  4. AD Diamond

    I'm curious about what it takes as well. I had $60K MQD last year at a non-hub (DL flies to DTW, ATL and MSP from my home airport), most of it on long haul business. Had slightly more spend than $60K on my DL AX as well. However, I suspect that since ALL my international was on VS, KL and AF, that DL doesn't really consider me a good candidate for 360. I think DL metal matters a lot in the equation.

  5. Kevin Guest

    Does anyone know Delta’s target attrition rate of the medallion tiers with the new qualifying changes?

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Anyone in a sensitive-enough position to know that specific information for fact, is not going to be releasing it on an enthusiasts' site.... else they surely wouldn't expect to be in such a position for long.

    2. Kevin Guest

      Fair enough, valid point Lol. With the collective wisdom of all these aviation, junkies, Was thinking more along along the lines of a theory. The Dimond increase is massive and wonder how many of the current members can really maintain that level of spend.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      I too would love to know the logic behind it...

      ...as I truly wonder what demographic can put an average of $1K per day onto a non-business card, but who wouldn't also have the option of private travel, such that they'd even care about such a thing as Diamond status.

  6. ZTravel Member

    Flying used to be a sticky business but with loyalty programs failing to deliver any value for frequent travelers, things are about to change. Rapidly.

    These traditional airlines don’t know that and some old timers pax don’t either. They are happy that they can easily meet the new spend criteria but completely unaware that things will shift when demand moves to other airlines and now these airlines have to spend resources to reestablish loyalty...

    Flying used to be a sticky business but with loyalty programs failing to deliver any value for frequent travelers, things are about to change. Rapidly.

    These traditional airlines don’t know that and some old timers pax don’t either. They are happy that they can easily meet the new spend criteria but completely unaware that things will shift when demand moves to other airlines and now these airlines have to spend resources to reestablish loyalty or stickiness.

    I think it’s an exciting time to be a frequent flyer, let the airlines compete to earn my business and we are going to be selective on which premium product to fly for a specific route and repeat that process for every trip (non-sticky??) :)

  7. Gary Clefft Guest

    @Ben, some outdated info on here. 360s do have upgrade priority over Medallion tiers. Also the description you have as being from DL's website has changed.

    1. Mike Guest

      This^^^^
      360s do have upgrade priority but it’s not a “published” benefit

  8. Eskimo Guest

    Consider that the new Medallion program is also “overall investment” program no different than the 360. Maybe it's time to leak that $1M Amex spend criteria.

    But be warned the new 360 program will limit you to only 6 times per year recognition. To earn unlimited 360 recognition you need to reach the $5M spend waiver.

    And the best unpublished benefit, your personal Tim Dunn to stroke your 360 and his ego along with DL's quarterly financial performance.

  9. Jake Guest

    Please don’t pursue status with airlines. Achieving them often means you spent your money poorly.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      No.... it means you spent some other entity's money, lavishly.

    2. Lune Guest

      That's a good point. I wonder what percentage of Diamonds, or United 1Ks, American EXP, etc get there with other people's money. I'm assuming it's probably well over 90%.

      I mean that was the point right? Corporate travel policies historically have been loose enough that employees could steer business to a specific airline as long as it wasn't too egregious. So the deal was, get your company to spend an extra 50, 100, maybe 200...

      That's a good point. I wonder what percentage of Diamonds, or United 1Ks, American EXP, etc get there with other people's money. I'm assuming it's probably well over 90%.

      I mean that was the point right? Corporate travel policies historically have been loose enough that employees could steer business to a specific airline as long as it wasn't too egregious. So the deal was, get your company to spend an extra 50, 100, maybe 200 bucks on a ticket with us, and we'll give you free stuff for your personal benefit (points to use on family vacations, upgrades, etc). The more lavish your loyalty program was, the more incentivized the employees were to steer travel their way. Truth is lots of airline programs are basically designed to create an alliance between the airline and the flyer in order to screw over the person actually paying for the ticket (remember guaranteed upgrade Y seats to defeat corporate policies that mandated economy only?)

      I think 2 things have changed this. Short term, lots of leisure travelers, flush with cash saved from the pandemic, are buying tickets with their own money. Offering them reasonable upgrade prices over free upgrades to elites is a no brainier, for as long as that cash source lasts (ie until the next recession).

      Long term, corporate travel policies have gotten much stricter and smarter about gaming. To the point that now it's probably worth more to bribe -- sorry, incentivize -- the travel manager with super-elite status and other perks so he / she steers their employees to them like cattle, since the cattle don't have as much of that power as they used to.

    3. Jake Guest

      Even if spending employer’s money, if it’s a reimbursement arrangement, better to get 3.5% for travel from BOA premium rewards or almost any other rewards card.

  10. Jim Guest

    I wonder if WheelsUp spend counts? Since anyone who's willing to drop $100k (per year) on plane tickets alone, is probably going to want to fly private...

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      I would guess the majority seeking status ( me included) rely on someone else picking up the bill.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

ConcordeBoy Diamond

No.... it means you spent some other entity's money, lavishly.

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Eskimo Guest

Consider that the new Medallion program is also “overall investment” program no different than the 360. Maybe it's time to leak that $1M Amex spend criteria. But be warned the new 360 program will limit you to only 6 times per year recognition. To earn unlimited 360 recognition you need to reach the $5M spend waiver. And the best unpublished benefit, your personal Tim Dunn to stroke your 360 and his ego along with DL's quarterly financial performance.

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Anyone in a sensitive-enough position to know that specific information for fact, is not going to be releasing it on an enthusiasts' site.... else they surely wouldn't expect to be in such a position for long.

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