What Is Delta 360 Status?

What Is Delta 360 Status?

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All of the “big three” carriers in the United States have invitation-only elite status. I’ve written in the past about how American Airlines has Concierge Key and United Airlines has Global Services. 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 program for our top SkyMiles Members, offering an exclusive suite of benefits and services even beyond Diamond Medallion Status. An invitation into Delta 360° is based on your overall investment with Delta. If you’re selected to join, we’ll contact you directly.

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 based on your “overall investment” with the airline. 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)
  • While unconfirmed, it’s possible that spending on co-branded Delta credit cards can contribute to being invited to Delta 360, given that Delta talks about looking at your “overall investment” in the airline

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 SkyClub Executive Membership, giving you (and two guests or immediate family members) SkyClub access when on an eligible itinerary; this ordinarily costs $845 per year
  • Delta sometimes offers Diamond Medallion members tarmac transfers during short connections, and Delta 360 members have the best odds of getting those
  • 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 SkyClub 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 SkyClub 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?

Conversations (19)
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  1. Michael Lonergan Guest

    I was so excited when I was selected to join Delta 360 in February 2020....just in time for the world to shut down. I never got to take advantage of whatever perks they had in 2020. My travel picked up in 2021 and Delta extended their program to us for 2021, I'd say the biggest perk was the extraordinary service and attention that was paid to you on the phone. As 2021 often had travel...

    I was so excited when I was selected to join Delta 360 in February 2020....just in time for the world to shut down. I never got to take advantage of whatever perks they had in 2020. My travel picked up in 2021 and Delta extended their program to us for 2021, I'd say the biggest perk was the extraordinary service and attention that was paid to you on the phone. As 2021 often had travel disruptions the 360 desk was super responsive and took care of everything. I never had the need for cars between short connections - so that was lost on me. I never noticed anything particularly special on flights (the occasional thank you note at your seat). While I was honored to be invited - I didn't see the perk. Most of my travel is international and all of it is booked in business class, so no need for upgrades. If I'm not invited back I won't be devastated. I will miss the dedicated phone line.

  2. khatl Guest

    What about the top statuses on other airlines - I know BA has one... I assume other airlines do too. BA's gave me my own telephone number, an invite to the UK House of Lords for a reception with the Chairman of BA, and work their butts off customer service including one, where I was running late for a flight to NYC from LHR, with a bag to check, turned up 20 mins before departure,...

    What about the top statuses on other airlines - I know BA has one... I assume other airlines do too. BA's gave me my own telephone number, an invite to the UK House of Lords for a reception with the Chairman of BA, and work their butts off customer service including one, where I was running late for a flight to NYC from LHR, with a bag to check, turned up 20 mins before departure, and they got me and the bag on the plane and escorted me all the way to the gate, and another where I was flying American, from TPA to MIA, then BA MIA-LHR, couldn't get a boarding pass in TPA, flight was delayed, missed the check in window on arriving in MIA, and the gate agent checked me in 10 mins before departure and (unfortunately) then removed a pilot who was a taking a biz class seat to give me the seat.

  3. John Guest

    The key with Delta I have heard is spending a lot for a few flights. For example if in one year you bought 4 round trip from JFK to LHR for 8,000 each, you spent 32,000 on delta and only occupied a seat for 8 one ways. This is much better for delta than someone who purchased 16 round trips in first class at 2000 per round trip ticket because that person then occupied a first class seat 32 times and spent the same amount.

  4. Clay babcock Guest

    NWA (pre-merger) used to have a program called the Compass club. It was basically their top 10 flyers (flight miles) of any year. I was a member for two consecutive years. Beyond having the phone number of a NWA vice president to assist you at any time, you were met by a uniformed employee at the gate who helped with whatever you want. Also the NWA station manager knew you were coming, and would attempt...

    NWA (pre-merger) used to have a program called the Compass club. It was basically their top 10 flyers (flight miles) of any year. I was a member for two consecutive years. Beyond having the phone number of a NWA vice president to assist you at any time, you were met by a uniformed employee at the gate who helped with whatever you want. Also the NWA station manager knew you were coming, and would attempt to meet you and assist in anyway necessary when you checked in. Also meant a couple of nice lunches at the Saint Paul grill. Which was pretty OK.

    1. Richard Guest

      There were a lot of nice NWA perks that Delta left behind post merger: Unattended bars and “real” food on real plates in the World Clubs, a straightforward awards structure and a superior website (IMHO). Delta said they were going to give us “best in class” post merger; instead we got “cheapest in class.” The best NWA feature adopted by Delta: the fruit in the first class snack offerings.

  5. Benjamin Guest

    360 is nowhere near as useful as being a Key.

    just read the stories here of former-360 members: AA would never do these things to their Keys. I'm happy we're well taken care of.

  6. theJames Guest

    I've had both 360 & Concierge Key over the years. IMO 360 is a mostly garbage status. While a 360 I was denied boarding because they gave my seat away (they were still boarding while I was at the gate pleading with them). I tried calling and the 360 phone agents said "we have no way to get ahold of the gate". I had a few gate-to-gate assists but not significantly more than I have...

    I've had both 360 & Concierge Key over the years. IMO 360 is a mostly garbage status. While a 360 I was denied boarding because they gave my seat away (they were still boarding while I was at the gate pleading with them). I tried calling and the 360 phone agents said "we have no way to get ahold of the gate". I had a few gate-to-gate assists but not significantly more than I have had as a DM, and almost never when it would've made a difference in my travels. The phone agents, do however, have more agency to handle issues and force things through for you.

    1. Santos Guest

      Flew LAX-JFK once on AA 321T and the gate agents gave about 10 deadheading company employees the remaining seats in F and J. I was ticked off because I would have cleared the upgrade otherwise but a few CKs relegated to MCE with me were absolutely livid. That day helped confirm my decision to part with AA and I've been flying DL One ever since for my transcons. Much better in every regard.

  7. Toby Guest

    The worst part is that as a 360 member you have to spend time in Sky Clubs before your international J flight. They don't even offer first class anymore which is just sad.

  8. Levi Gold

    Given that the benefits described in the thread and published (e.g. something like "if the door closes and a 360 is on the outside, the gate agents and their supervisors have to demonstrate that they expended all reasonable effort to get the 360 on the plane") make having multiple 360s (especially ones who got it by flying a lot) on a flight undesirable, I can work backwards to the criteria I'd use to decide which...

    Given that the benefits described in the thread and published (e.g. something like "if the door closes and a 360 is on the outside, the gate agents and their supervisors have to demonstrate that they expended all reasonable effort to get the 360 on the plane") make having multiple 360s (especially ones who got it by flying a lot) on a flight undesirable, I can work backwards to the criteria I'd use to decide which flyers get invited.

    * 360 Qualifying Dollars are earned as +1 360QD for every MQD earned from Delta-marketed flights (partner marketed earns zero 360QD) and +1 360QD for every $100 of spend on the cobrands (including annual fees)
    * For every 10 MQM earned in the year, 1 360QD is deducted (i.e. discounted tickets regardless of fare class earn little to no net 360QD and flying partners is basically negative)
    * At the end of the year, after totalling up everybody's 360QD, for each flight take the top 1% of passengers (with positive 360QD balances) when ranked by 360QD and credit them with points based on something like base-2 log of flight distance
    * For however many invites will be sent out to frequent flyers, take that number off the top (perhaps docking points for being on the same flight as someone with more points)

    I think it's exceptionally telling that while there's an abundance of Concierge Keys and Global Services folk posting on FlyerTalk, there are close to zero 360s: to the extent that people get 360 from flight activity, it's not the sort of flight activity that the Delta posters on FT engage in (which involves a lot of flying discounted partner fares to max out MQD and otherwise trying to buy cheap tickets). It's consistent with the ways many get Diamond not helping (and likely even being a negative) for 360.

    It's also worth noting that Diamond, by having generally (at least when all the programs were QD and (QM or QS) based) had a higher threshold than UA 1K or AA EXP, has published benefits that are more like GS or CK (e.g. Diamonds have a 5 day complimentary upgrade window, which is the GS window on UA): 360 vs. Diamond is thus underwhelming relative to GS vs. 1K.

  9. Eskimo Guest

    They hold the last flight out of DTW I was on for 15 mins. Apparently the Porsche doesn't run all night.
    He was also GS and United doesn't hold his flights.

    So is it really weaker?

  10. Mike Guest

    I was a 360 for one year (this was back in 2014). I was based out of DTW and my spend for the year when I was "given" it was only about 15-20k (this was in April, so 4 months in, an average of about $5k per month). I was flying between DTW and ATL every week on full fares, which ran about $1,200 round trip.

    Funny thing is, once I earned the status I...

    I was a 360 for one year (this was back in 2014). I was based out of DTW and my spend for the year when I was "given" it was only about 15-20k (this was in April, so 4 months in, an average of about $5k per month). I was flying between DTW and ATL every week on full fares, which ran about $1,200 round trip.

    Funny thing is, once I earned the status I took a new job, and was booking economy fares between DTW and SEA, but I got upgraded every week, because it is true 360s have upgrade priority over everyone else.

    The other benefit you didn't list Ben was for international IROP, they proactively monitor and re-book 360s if there are any delays, missed connections etc.

    And you are correct that 360s do often get porsche transfers, I think I got it most of the time, but it is not guaranteed (they even took me to the lounge when I had a long layover or directly to baggage claim).

  11. mark Guest

    I have been 360 for 5-6 years now. It is mostly about creating frictionless travel experience for people who value time and don't want to deal with issues.
    360 agents are very accommodating. They will back you up on 3-4 Delta flights if weather looks iffy. If your Delta flight is even just 20-30 mins behind schedule, they will move you to AA/UA in F if it gets you somewhere faster. While there are...

    I have been 360 for 5-6 years now. It is mostly about creating frictionless travel experience for people who value time and don't want to deal with issues.
    360 agents are very accommodating. They will back you up on 3-4 Delta flights if weather looks iffy. If your Delta flight is even just 20-30 mins behind schedule, they will move you to AA/UA in F if it gets you somewhere faster. While there are some politicians/influencers, most members are businesspeople who buy solely J/F and refundable, so the desk will basically do whatever you want because tickets are all full fare and refundable. 360 desk picks up immediately, and best agents, so they solve any problems quickly. the only thing they won't do, in my experience, is bump another F passenger when I want a last minute seat on a sold-out plane in F (they will bump Comfort and create a seat there if you want). They will call gates and try to get them to hold planes if you are running late, but ultimately that is under gate/pilot control, so hit or miss. 360 members do to get higher priority upgrade vs. Diamond, but most 360 members buy J/F. Good special recognition by FAs and SkyClub desks, but nothing remarkable.

    1. Cozmo Guest

      This has been my exact experience. I’ve been a 360 for five or six years now as well. The direct perks beyond those given to Diamond status folks is pretty minimal. In my experience, the best aspect is that agents on the line — they are the best agents, know exactly what they’re doing, and they pick up the phone immediately. Even on the worst travel days. Funniest part is the flight attendants, who often...

      This has been my exact experience. I’ve been a 360 for five or six years now as well. The direct perks beyond those given to Diamond status folks is pretty minimal. In my experience, the best aspect is that agents on the line — they are the best agents, know exactly what they’re doing, and they pick up the phone immediately. Even on the worst travel days. Funniest part is the flight attendants, who often have worked years without meeting a 360 (which makes me think the estimates in the article are high), who want to compare miles flown. Pre-covid, I routinely outflew most FAs.

  12. Bgriff Guest

    So you'll have to take my word for it, but:
    I'm pretty sure 360 members are given Diamond Medallion status, even if they hadn't otherwise earned it
    360 members definitely get upgrade priority over other Diamond Medallion members.

  13. Tom Guest

    I had the impression that 360 was more about the relationship than the direct spend. Like, I know of one in the political sphere like this who buys almost entirely main cabin so those expenses show up in financial disclosures that way rather than spending public money on C+ or First.

    In general, there are a lot of Mayors, State Senators, Congresspeople, etc., who might be flying in and out of Columbia, SC or Tallahassee,...

    I had the impression that 360 was more about the relationship than the direct spend. Like, I know of one in the political sphere like this who buys almost entirely main cabin so those expenses show up in financial disclosures that way rather than spending public money on C+ or First.

    In general, there are a lot of Mayors, State Senators, Congresspeople, etc., who might be flying in and out of Columbia, SC or Tallahassee, FL on a nearly weekly basis, and who in turn have a lot of influence as a chair of a state legislative committee, etc., and in turn are types of people that Delta might want to keep on the satisfied side for reasons beyond keeping them spending $30,000/year.

  14. Mike Guest

    I was traveling with a 360 member out of London flying to ATL, we were booked on Delta, he was on Virgin Atlantic, but we all wanted to make an earlier Virgin flight. After calling the 360 line, he got us all transferred with no fees to the Virgin flight. Another time, he was working in the terminal and forgot about boarding time, so the 777 flying to Amsterdam was held up for 20 minutes...

    I was traveling with a 360 member out of London flying to ATL, we were booked on Delta, he was on Virgin Atlantic, but we all wanted to make an earlier Virgin flight. After calling the 360 line, he got us all transferred with no fees to the Virgin flight. Another time, he was working in the terminal and forgot about boarding time, so the 777 flying to Amsterdam was held up for 20 minutes as they called his name over the speakers. Apparently the policy for 360 members is once they go trough security the flights don’t leave without them. So I’d say the soft benefits are pretty nice.

  15. Mick Guest

    I get the idea that you’re more likely to get these status bumps if you’re at a non hub airport… but that seems pointless. If I fly out of ord to Asia , Europe every month in business why would I plump a ton of cash into delta so that I have to fly via msp or Detroit? Or why would our company align with delta and not United or American ?

    1. Jeff Guest

      The strategy could be to cater to corporations with a presence in multiple markets - even non-hub ones. Profitable or influential customers might be associated with organizations that have an HQ or branches in major Delta markets elsewhere. In non-hub cities, Delta could encourage purchases of Delta-marketed flights operated by joint-venture partners (e.g., ORD-ICN on KE, ORD-AMS on KL, ORD-CDG of AF).

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Clay babcock Guest

NWA (pre-merger) used to have a program called the Compass club. It was basically their top 10 flyers (flight miles) of any year. I was a member for two consecutive years. Beyond having the phone number of a NWA vice president to assist you at any time, you were met by a uniformed employee at the gate who helped with whatever you want. Also the NWA station manager knew you were coming, and would attempt to meet you and assist in anyway necessary when you checked in. Also meant a couple of nice lunches at the Saint Paul grill. Which was pretty OK.

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Mike Guest

I was a 360 for one year (this was back in 2014). I was based out of DTW and my spend for the year when I was "given" it was only about 15-20k (this was in April, so 4 months in, an average of about $5k per month). I was flying between DTW and ATL every week on full fares, which ran about $1,200 round trip. Funny thing is, once I earned the status I took a new job, and was booking economy fares between DTW and SEA, but I got upgraded every week, because it is true 360s have upgrade priority over everyone else. The other benefit you didn't list Ben was for international IROP, they proactively monitor and re-book 360s if there are any delays, missed connections etc. And you are correct that 360s do often get porsche transfers, I think I got it most of the time, but it is not guaranteed (they even took me to the lounge when I had a long layover or directly to baggage claim).

1
Richard Guest

There were a lot of nice NWA perks that Delta left behind post merger: Unattended bars and “real” food on real plates in the World Clubs, a straightforward awards structure and a superior website (IMHO). Delta said they were going to give us “best in class” post merger; instead we got “cheapest in class.” The best NWA feature adopted by Delta: the fruit in the first class snack offerings.

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