Delta Elite Status Will Be Harder To Earn In 2023

Delta Elite Status Will Be Harder To Earn In 2023

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Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite status will be harder to earn in 2023, for those looking to qualify for status for the 2024 program year.

Delta Medallion revenue requirement increasing

In order to earn Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite status:

  • You need to earn a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) OR Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs)
  • You also need to earn a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) OR you can get a waiver by spending money on a co-branded Delta Amex card

Currently Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite requirements are as follows:

  • Delta Silver Medallion requires 25,000 MQMs OR 30 MQSs AND 3,000 MQDs
  • Delta Gold Medallion requires 50,000 MQMs OR 60 MQSs AND 6,000 MQDs
  • Delta Platinum Medallion requires 75,000 MQMs OR 100 MQSs AND 9,000 MQDs
  • Delta Diamond Medallion requires 125,000 MQMs OR 140 MQSs AND 15,000 MQDs
  • You can get an MQD waiver for spending on Delta credit cards — all tiers require $25,000 of spending per year, except Diamond Medallion, which requires $250,000 of spending per year
Delta SkyMiles elite requirements for 2022

As of 2023, Delta SkyMiles will be increasing how much you need to spend in order to earn status:

  • Delta Silver Medallion will require 3,000 MQDs (no change)
  • Delta Gold Medallion will require 8,000 MQDs (an increase of 2,000 MQDs, or 33%)
  • Delta Platinum Medallion will require 12,000 MQDs (an increase of 3,000 MQDs, or 33%)
  • Delta Diamond Medallion will require 20,000 MQDs (an increase of 5,000 MQDs, or 33%)
Delta SkyMiles MQD requirements are changing

Note that:

  • There will be no change to how many MQMs or MQSs you need to earn
  • You earn one MQD for each eligible dollar spent on a Delta ticket, not including taxes and fees
  • As you can see, Silver Medallion status spending requirements aren’t changing, while spending requirements for other tiers are increasing by 33%
  • You can continue to get an MQD waiver for spending on Delta credit cards — $25,000 of spending per year will get you a waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion, while $250,000 of spending per year will get you a waiver for Diamond Medallion

Delta claims these are the “first Medallion qualification change affecting multiple tiers since 2015.” Here’s how Dwight James, Delta’s SVP of Customer Engagement and Loyalty, describes these changes:

“These limited SkyMiles Program changes are a necessary step toward both preserving and improving the customer experience for our most loyal and engaged Members. The travel and loyalty landscape has changed considerably since we last made changes to the earn qualifications of multiple membership tiers. We are continuing to invest in the customers who invest in us so those Members experience the best of what Delta has to offer—with our new Choice Benefits, our premium and transformed Delta Sky Clubs, and our expansion of the use of SkyMiles as currency throughout the journey.”

Earning Delta elite status will be harder in 2023

Delta rolling out new Choice Benefits

Delta has also announced that Diamond and Platinum Medallion members who qualify for 2024 Medallion status (in 2023) will be able to select from an expanded slate of Choice Benefits starting February 1, 2023. New Choice Benefits include the following:

  • Diamond and Platinum Medallion members with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card, or Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card, can choose a statement credit for their card — $500 for Diamond Medallion members or $200 for Platinum Medallion members
  • Diamond Medallion members will receive two Gold Medallion gift statuses per selection, while Platinum Medallion members will receive two Silver Medallion gift statuses per selection 
  • A Delta Vacations Experience (flight and hotel) — $500 for Diamond Medallion members and $400 for Platinum Medallion members
  • An MQD “head start” for the next Medallion year — $1,000 MQD boost for Diamond Medallion members and a $500 MQD boost for Platinum Medallion members
  • Increasing the Delta Travel Credit Voucher to $250 
  • A $250 sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) contribution
Delta is rolling out new Choice Benefits

My take on Delta Medallion program changes

During the pandemic, Delta was probably the most generous US airline when it came to extending status. So it’s interesting to see the airline now also being the first to increase elite requirements as we see an increase in travel demand. In reality I don’t think this will do much to thin elite ranks.

Rather this is clearly part of Delta’s effort to make sure that a vast majority of SkyMiles Medallion members are also using a Delta Amex card. The Delta and Amex partnership is worth billions of dollars, and really Delta has pretty smartly used its loyalty program as a way of drumming up spending on co-branded credit cards.

It’s pretty obvious that this is the motive, given that nothing else about elite status qualification is changing — the airline is just increasing the revenue requirement for status, since this is also the requirement that’s easiest to get around with credit card spending.

Of course I’m not a fan of this change, and I find it strange to be doing this at a time when business travel is still way down. But you have to view this through the Delta SkyMiles lens, which is different than the approach taken by other airline loyalty programs. Heck, on some level I’m surprised Delta even lets members earn elite status without credit card spending!

I’m not surprised to see these changes

Bottom line

Delta SkyMiles is making it harder to earn elite status in 2023, for 2024 qualification. The revenue requirement for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion elite status will be increasing by 33%. Meanwhile the number of miles or segments required isn’t changing, and there continues to be an opportunity to get a revenue requirement waiver by spending on a Delta Amex credit card.

On the plus side, Delta is improving Choice Benefits, which should be rewarding for many Platinum and Diamond Medallion members.

What do you make of these Delta SkyMiles Medallion qualification changes?

Conversations (71)
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  1. BigTee Guest

    Gold mostly was nice for my intercontinental flights lounge access and flashy luggage tags, Given that the 1980's are calling and want their Frequent Flyer Miles back, and that SkyClubs are all about credit cards, and that I always pay out of pocket for pointy end seats for a few holiday flights to family, I think that I'll just settle for Silver 2023. *A Gold is easy enough with TP. AF, QR, and EK let...

    Gold mostly was nice for my intercontinental flights lounge access and flashy luggage tags, Given that the 1980's are calling and want their Frequent Flyer Miles back, and that SkyClubs are all about credit cards, and that I always pay out of pocket for pointy end seats for a few holiday flights to family, I think that I'll just settle for Silver 2023. *A Gold is easy enough with TP. AF, QR, and EK let me buy upgrades and lounge access.

    Unless I do a strategic AF flight in December for the MQD, I'll settle for Silver, because of no change in MQD.

  2. Former New Yorker Guest

    And now the sky clubs are too full. The last month I have seen very long limes for people waiting to enter the sky clubs at JFK, LGA, and ATL.

    Look for higher club prices next year by at least $100.00

  3. Greg Guest

    This makes the Diamond level more what is should be - difficult to attain - the upgrades will be given to the best customers - IMO

    1. Eskimo Guest

      And strategically lose the next tier frequent flyers to please the top tier because Diamond is very hard to attain.

      So you make it 200,000 MQM, your Diamonds would be happy and everyone who was earning 100,000-199,999 MQM annually would move to AA. That's a lot of addicted flyers you just lost your business so a few people who wouldn't pay for First Class gets to sit in First Class.

      Bankrupt all the capitalism and...

      And strategically lose the next tier frequent flyers to please the top tier because Diamond is very hard to attain.

      So you make it 200,000 MQM, your Diamonds would be happy and everyone who was earning 100,000-199,999 MQM annually would move to AA. That's a lot of addicted flyers you just lost your business so a few people who wouldn't pay for First Class gets to sit in First Class.

      Bankrupt all the capitalism and consolidate it as a socialist company. Even AOC or Bernie couldn't beat this plan.

  4. giacomo Guest

    i own a residenc ein brazil where i live mostly if i change my residence do i follow these new rules?

    1. tjc57 Guest

      No, Delta currently doesn’t have a spend requirement if you prove that you’re living outside of the US.

  5. Juan Guest

    It's not too surprising. Delta rolled over MQMs knowing that MQDs were the gate keeper from too many having status. But with increased travel demand and higher prices, it's been easier for people to hit the MQD requirements, and the gate keeper let too many in.

    I am surprised that Delta didn't raise the MQM and MQD Waiver requirements, but they probably saw on their end that the influx of new medallions came from those meeting the spend requirements.

  6. Ambrose Frances Guest

    Delta aggressively wants all this extra revenue but they are not prepared to provide the same level of aggressive recruitment to provide better cabin crew and customer service agents. The level of service provided is shockingly bad by overweight, uneducated and uncouth people of little interest.

  7. Rick Guest

    As for Platinum members...apparent loss of 4 RUCs is a bummer!

    1. Andrea Guest

      I think they were just sharing the *new* choice benefits and not indicating that RUCs would be gone but maybe not.

  8. Mark Guest

    Terrible logic here. As a 13 year Diamond who was already wavering on maintaining my loyalty based on other downgrades in value (upgrade certs. , impossible to use companion certs, lower quality of recent hires, etc). You may think you’ll be “thinking out the Diamonds” to platinum but in reality you’ll be presenting your frequent traveler to weigh platinum with Delta vs obtaining top-tier with another airline. Rather than fighting to increase my annual spend...

    Terrible logic here. As a 13 year Diamond who was already wavering on maintaining my loyalty based on other downgrades in value (upgrade certs. , impossible to use companion certs, lower quality of recent hires, etc). You may think you’ll be “thinking out the Diamonds” to platinum but in reality you’ll be presenting your frequent traveler to weigh platinum with Delta vs obtaining top-tier with another airline. Rather than fighting to increase my annual spend to $20k, it makes more sense for me to move my $15k over to Southwest or United.

    1. O'Hare Is My Second Home Guest

      Right now, $15000 will get you 1K on United, who are a little more generous with reward travel and has excellent perks (like boarding with pre-boarders). Southwest, I can't think of anything other than guaranteed A-List and free wi-fi; they used to have good reward travel reimbursement but that's gone downhill since the pandemic.

  9. polarbear Member

    That's about as good as the bad news get.
    no practical change for those with Amex

    1. diamonddave Guest

      significant change. I usually just eek out the 15K spend requirement. Even though I fly a ton, my company requires that I buy economy. 20K will basically condemn me to platinum. there are a lot of people in my position I am sure.

    2. Sara H. Guest

      Yep. Same. This, combined with some truly terrible customer service and flight experiences lately makes me seriously rethink my loyalty to my formerly beloved Delta.

    3. NSS Guest

      See this is all fantastic. Clear out the ranks for us real Diamonds.

  10. TheJanitor Guest

    I wish Delta increases mqd requirement further but allowed us to club card spend and ticket spend to meet mqd requirement. For instance, if the mqd req for diamond was $30k and if Delta allowed at most 15k of that from card spend, those who currently don't use the cards will start using them thereby bringing in more revenue. Currently, those who can hit the mqd req without card spend have no reason to use the cards given that there are better cards out there.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Even if you don't use the Delta Reserve American Express card, it's worth having as a tiebreaker for upgrades.

  11. Jan Guest

    Looks like PM will still be crowded even after the rollover MQMs dry out in the future.

  12. tebriggs New Member

    I can get this. Most of my flying is for business, and our policy is nonrefundable coach, or premium economy on international flights if the $ delta is within a certain window. With where ticket prices are coming out now, I don't think it would be too hard to hit the spend targets for Platinum and Diamond tiers even with the MQD increase. I also use a Delta Amex and easily hit the spend threshold...

    I can get this. Most of my flying is for business, and our policy is nonrefundable coach, or premium economy on international flights if the $ delta is within a certain window. With where ticket prices are coming out now, I don't think it would be too hard to hit the spend targets for Platinum and Diamond tiers even with the MQD increase. I also use a Delta Amex and easily hit the spend threshold for Platinum so I don't get affected by the new MQD target. Some of my colleagues put in similar miles without the Amex so they may need to be a little more creative with our travel policy to hit $12k but it doesn't really seem all that unreasonable. Frequent flyer programs are great for us flyers to get the perks, but miles aren't what really matter to the airlines - dollars are. So it makes pretty good business sense to make sure that the people who generate the profit are the ones that get the most rewards.

  13. Jim Guest

    As a practical matter, I almost always hit the current MQD threshold before the MQM threshold. But, DL is not what it used to be, and like some other commenters, I'll freely admit my loyalty is already wavering; this change doesn't affect much.

    1. Hoosier in Paradise New Member

      Totally agree. New to DL due to relocation, and exclusively booking nonstop discounted domestic first tickets, I reach the MQD threshold easily but only have 50% of the MQMs or MQSs required. I'm currently earning AA loyalty points good toward elite status without even flying them. My one year experience with the UA program was positive. It is time to reassess.

  14. Scott Guest

    I sure wish Richard Anderson was around. Yes they were very generous to us by extending status during Covid. For that I’m forever grateful. It I also kept meeting the requirements for Diamond every year. So I see this as a slap in the face from Ed Bastian. I agree they herd needs to be culled especially at silver and gold. Literally you are fighting with half the plane for upgrades and boarding. I get...

    I sure wish Richard Anderson was around. Yes they were very generous to us by extending status during Covid. For that I’m forever grateful. It I also kept meeting the requirements for Diamond every year. So I see this as a slap in the face from Ed Bastian. I agree they herd needs to be culled especially at silver and gold. Literally you are fighting with half the plane for upgrades and boarding. I get it, it’s a business. It’s about revenue. It I’m trying to wraps my head around it.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Silver has never been a real elite status since you were never entitled to Sky Priority with silver. 10 years ago, gold used to mean something. These days it is completely worthless, especially with bonus MQMs from credit cards. I think it would have made sense to increase diamond MQD to $20,000 and 150,000 MQMs. Maybe add another global upgrade certificate for the extra 25,000 miles. I would simplify the MQM thresholds of program: eliminate...

      Silver has never been a real elite status since you were never entitled to Sky Priority with silver. 10 years ago, gold used to mean something. These days it is completely worthless, especially with bonus MQMs from credit cards. I think it would have made sense to increase diamond MQD to $20,000 and 150,000 MQMs. Maybe add another global upgrade certificate for the extra 25,000 miles. I would simplify the MQM thresholds of program: eliminate silver since the benefits of silver are basically the same as the credit card; Gold at 50,000; platinum at 100,000; and diamond at 150,000.

    2. TheJanitor Guest

      Diamonds make up of not only those who fly a lot, but also those who don't fly as much but do spend on full price first class tickets. That's why focusing on mqds and letting mqms rollover makes sense.

    3. Jerry Wheen Member

      Y'all seem to forget that credit cards only are available to flyers from the US (and maybe Canada)?

  15. Edw3rd Guest

    I've been watching to see if they change the Partner 40% of mileage MQD factor... this definitely deletes any late year travel runs for me, pushing everything to Q1 next year to focus on a double year run.

    The real winners here are the business owners (and I know quite a few) that obtain DIA just through their biz expense charging habits.

    1. DLPTATL Diamond

      I fall into the biz owner category, but it's not worth plowing $250k on a Delta AmEx card when I get a far better return on spend with Chase Biz cards, hitting spend thresholds on hotel cards, putting dining on AmEx Gold, etc. I earn a mountain of transferrable currencies which are worth much more than SkyPesos and I can always transfer some to Delta if I want to fly them, but I also have...

      I fall into the biz owner category, but it's not worth plowing $250k on a Delta AmEx card when I get a far better return on spend with Chase Biz cards, hitting spend thresholds on hotel cards, putting dining on AmEx Gold, etc. I earn a mountain of transferrable currencies which are worth much more than SkyPesos and I can always transfer some to Delta if I want to fly them, but I also have access to nearly every other airline in the world through transfer partners.

      It's dumb and/or lazy to put $250k on the Delta AmEx to get a status that isn't worth a fraction of what it used to be in terms of devalued GUCs (with one-class bump ups), limited upgrade capabilities, etc.

    2. Harry Guest

      Totally agree - "dumb and/or lazy" is a good way to put. Spend for transferable points. Right now I waiting on the calendar to move forward another day or two so I can book a return two business class tickets from Europe. If I where trying to book Delta or American for that matter, I would be broke on points. However, there's a lot of airlines flying across the pond at reasonable points and transferring makes it possible.

  16. George Romey Guest

    DL is moving more towards AA. In short it will take more spend either on flights, partners or credit card to earn status, particularly higher status. At the same time the airlines are moving towards monetizing upgrades. Complimentary upgrades are going away at some point. My only beef is that with AA spending on upgrade offers (versus gambling for a complimentary upgrade) does not count towards status (or loyalty points). This is the wave of...

    DL is moving more towards AA. In short it will take more spend either on flights, partners or credit card to earn status, particularly higher status. At the same time the airlines are moving towards monetizing upgrades. Complimentary upgrades are going away at some point. My only beef is that with AA spending on upgrade offers (versus gambling for a complimentary upgrade) does not count towards status (or loyalty points). This is the wave of the future-higher thresholds and some sort of "co pay" for domestic upgrades.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      " At the same time the airlines are moving towards monetizing upgrades. Complimentary upgrades are going away at some point."

      For all practical purposes, they've already done that... as just prior to any flight with decently available capacity, they blast out the "You can upgrade for $x00!" emails/notifications, and the cabin suddenly sells out jusssst before that 5day window begins.

      And for clarity, I'm not actually complaining.
      I've often bit the bullet, about 7days...

      " At the same time the airlines are moving towards monetizing upgrades. Complimentary upgrades are going away at some point."

      For all practical purposes, they've already done that... as just prior to any flight with decently available capacity, they blast out the "You can upgrade for $x00!" emails/notifications, and the cabin suddenly sells out jusssst before that 5day window begins.

      And for clarity, I'm not actually complaining.
      I've often bit the bullet, about 7days out, rather than sweat it at the gate.

  17. Nick Thomas Guest

    This makes sense but Delta could really address Sky Club access by making it harder for non-platinums and non-diamonds to get inside the lounges.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      That would be antithetical to the Delta business model, which relies on getting credit card holders of all levels engaged in the product.

    2. Harry Guest

      Let's not forget where the airline's profit comes from - card spending, not flying. In the grand scheme of things, Delta makes more money of me as a Platinum card holder than someone that's a Diamond. Think about that!

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Is that true for Delta? I know AA makes more money off credit cards than flying planes but I didn't know that about Delta.

    4. Alan Guest

      Maybe this is true from an income statement perspective, but it's a simplistic view- obviously, airlines wouldn't make any money if they didn't fly planes. People like Gary Leff saying AA is a credit card company, not an airline, are being willfully obtuse.

    5. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      It does beg the Q why AA or Delta doesn't buy a credit card company or payment processor if financial products are their biggest source of revenue. If I was Delta or AA, I would buy a rental car company and a hotel chain. Like the old days when the big airlines owned hotels. Keep all the revenue in-house.

    6. Eskimo Guest

      Begs the Q why Amex doesn't buy Delta.
      Or Hertz and Marriott don't buy AA.

      And since we're talking consolidation, why not let the government own everything since the public is the biggest source of revenue for everything.

      Maybe you're right(left) and Lenin did see something we didn't.

    7. Harry Guest

      People are the only source of revenue. Corporations are owned by people eventually, Eventually as a corp my own another corp but eventually people. And that said people pay all taxes. You get something from the government, your drinking buddy may have just financed that. The big bubble called inside the beltway!

    8. diamonddave Guest

      not really. delta splits the profits with amex. Let's say they clear 1% on your spend, net plus 125 dollars of your annual fee. . If you spend 100K a year, they net a cool 1, 125 dollars. They will make more than this on a diamond who spends 15000, now going to 20K a year on tickets. Not to mention the fact that most Delta devotees who are likely to hit Platinum or Diamond also have a delta amex.

    9. Harry Guest

      Guys look at Delta and American Express. IMO American Express is so far ahead of the cc pack and they are married to Delta until at least 2029. To me that says a lot. AA is married to Citi, which is not too bad, but Barclays! Try doing cc business with Barclays. And finally what does AA do late last year - really copy Delta and the cc business model. You can whine about flying...

      Guys look at Delta and American Express. IMO American Express is so far ahead of the cc pack and they are married to Delta until at least 2029. To me that says a lot. AA is married to Citi, which is not too bad, but Barclays! Try doing cc business with Barclays. And finally what does AA do late last year - really copy Delta and the cc business model. You can whine about flying bank or whatever, but aside from thinking like some inside-the-beltway do good, it's about $$$. Always has been and always will be as long as America is a capitalistic country. Somebody has to pay the fuel bills on those big guzzlers!

    10. Jaded platinum Guest

      Or allow access to those with paid memberships preferred access over CC holders....

  18. Julie Guest

    Is Delta doing away with Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates?

    1. Anthony Diamond

      No - the Choice Benefits Ben listed are new (i.e. in addition to RUC and GUC). Also, allegedly, they are introducing a new automated way to use RUC/GUC.

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I'll believe it when I see it. If the capability exists, why not launch it now? Calling into the Diamond Desk to redeem a global is the biggest waste of everyone's time.

  19. Daniel Guest

    Arguably Delta is following American’s lead on increasing revenue requirements for status.

    1. Levi Gold

      United did it first, remember? Starting with 2020 flying for 2021 status, the requirements were going to be (in addition to 4 segments on UA)

      1K: 24k PQP (typically 1 PQP per dollar) or 54 PQF + 18k PQP
      Plat: 15k PQP or 36 PQF + 12k PQP
      Gold: 10k PQP or 24 PQF + 10k PQP
      Silver: 5k PQP or 12 PQF + 4k PQP

      With the pandemic (and especially the...

      United did it first, remember? Starting with 2020 flying for 2021 status, the requirements were going to be (in addition to 4 segments on UA)

      1K: 24k PQP (typically 1 PQP per dollar) or 54 PQF + 18k PQP
      Plat: 15k PQP or 36 PQF + 12k PQP
      Gold: 10k PQP or 24 PQF + 10k PQP
      Silver: 5k PQP or 12 PQF + 4k PQP

      With the pandemic (and especially the continuing TPAC softness), UA reduced the requirements but they haven't indicated that the current reduced requirements will continue next year.

      MQD are also somewhat easier to earn (setting aside the waiver) than PQP, thanks to award ticket earning and not having the preferred/not-preferred partner distinction.

  20. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I think the missed story here is that Delta considered abandoning the semi-traditional model of a frequent flyer program (wholly or partly based on distance flown) for a model wholly based on spending, like American or United. It rejected that move. Hopefully, that means this is settled matter for the foreseeable future.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Or Delta saw something different in credit spend. Putting a MQD requirement or a card spend waiver is already factoring in revenue model. But rather than making it pure greed to earn status, DL wants your effort and money.

      If you look at AA, you would need to spend just 200k vs 250k on DL to earn EXP or DM.
      On UA, you can't even spend your way to 1K. (even more flying than...

      Or Delta saw something different in credit spend. Putting a MQD requirement or a card spend waiver is already factoring in revenue model. But rather than making it pure greed to earn status, DL wants your effort and money.

      If you look at AA, you would need to spend just 200k vs 250k on DL to earn EXP or DM.
      On UA, you can't even spend your way to 1K. (even more flying than DL).

      To be honest, I don't see it better or worse. It's more does it personally fit you or not.

  21. Anthony Diamond

    Also, I would say the new choice benefits are "mid," as they kids day.

  22. dx Guest

    I agree this change won't really affect many people who have co-branded cards unless they are going for Diamond (since Platinum is still covered by the $25K MQD waiver). Some of the enhanced benefits are nice though.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      That was my biggest fear... I thought for sure they'd bump Platinum waiver to $50K+

      So glad it didn't happen here!

  23. Anthony Diamond

    A few comments:

    1) While business travel is way down, all signs to elites being way up, particularly at Delta, given the coompany's already generous rollover rules, multiple years of pandemic rollover, Delta MQM earning, etc. The idea that there will be some drop off in elite numbers doesn't make sense given overall airplane traffic numbers and ticket prices.

    2) Inflation has driven ticket prices higher. Someone that flies just one business trip to...

    A few comments:

    1) While business travel is way down, all signs to elites being way up, particularly at Delta, given the coompany's already generous rollover rules, multiple years of pandemic rollover, Delta MQM earning, etc. The idea that there will be some drop off in elite numbers doesn't make sense given overall airplane traffic numbers and ticket prices.

    2) Inflation has driven ticket prices higher. Someone that flies just one business trip to Europe, and maybe one or two business transcons, are well over 10K in MQD already. Regular way flights like JFK to PHX are at $1,000 this weekend. With inflation up, spending requirements are up.

    The changes are negative for me as it makes Diamond harder to get, so we will see where I end up next year

  24. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I would rather them increase the MQM threshold from 125,000 miles to 150,000 miles, but I think the MQD change from $15,000 to $20,000 for diamond will probably help with upgrades. There should be fewer diamonds. This really hurts mostly domestic travelers or those whose clients or employers require them to purchase the lowest economy-class airfare.

    1. DLPTATL Diamond

      I'm not sure it will help with upgrades. Delta is pushing people to pay to sit up front. If you aren't striving to spend $20k with Delta to get upgrades, when you fly Delta you just pay a few hundred more to guarantee that you get to sit up front. When you fly AA, UA, JetBlue, etc. you just pay to sit up front as well. I'm not sure I see any incremental value in getting to Diamond any more.

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Maybe, maybe not. But I would rather be diamond than platinum. From boarding zone to IROPs to Diamond Desk to global certificates (if they clear) to compensation when shit hits the fan.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      As someone who had to clean the fan dozen times during the last few years, Delta is playing around with shit more that before. From meltdowns to hold times, Diamond are not looked after as good as it used to.
      When it comes to compensation, there is likely an internal award chart for what type of shit hits the fan. For similar issues, I've always been offered the same compensation. (consider the devaluation, not...

      As someone who had to clean the fan dozen times during the last few years, Delta is playing around with shit more that before. From meltdowns to hold times, Diamond are not looked after as good as it used to.
      When it comes to compensation, there is likely an internal award chart for what type of shit hits the fan. For similar issues, I've always been offered the same compensation. (consider the devaluation, not as generous)

      INTL IRROPS using GUC has always given me a headache by the Diamond Desk. So three strikes on you scale.
      I caught them few times for calls not getting routed to the Diamond Desk and just the Elite Desk, likely staffing issues or routing glitch.

  25. DLPTATL Diamond

    I may file for divorce from Delta after more than 20 years of wedded bliss, but first I'm going to talk to her about an open relationship. I've been playing footsie with Qatar and think we may run off together next summer for a tryst.

    1. Donna Diamond

      Actually, DL is the ex that I go back to for occasional flings.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Love Qatar so freakin' much, but sucks that they've joined themselves with Avios.

      I was actually hoping that despite all their b.s. from a few years ago, that DL would be the one to land Emirates as the stateside j/v partner that the airline truly wanted (the JetBlue relationship was laughable)....

      ....but alas, that wasn't meant to be. And Etihad continues to shrink to near regional status, so they're hardly worth anything more than what...

      Love Qatar so freakin' much, but sucks that they've joined themselves with Avios.

      I was actually hoping that despite all their b.s. from a few years ago, that DL would be the one to land Emirates as the stateside j/v partner that the airline truly wanted (the JetBlue relationship was laughable)....

      ....but alas, that wasn't meant to be. And Etihad continues to shrink to near regional status, so they're hardly worth anything more than what a relationship with Gulf Air or Oman Air would yield.

      *sigh*

  26. Santastico Gold

    Thank you Delta! Nowadays everyone is a Diamond medallion just because Delta kept rolling over the perk during the pandemic. As a real Diamond medallion that spends a lot of money and flies lots of miles with Delta I have been #30 and below on the upgrade list for domestic first class which is ridiculous. Finally only people that are really loyal will be Diamond.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I've never been that low as a diamond medallion and million miler with the Delta AmEx Reserve credit card, but I've definitely seen upgrade lists where more than 50% of the passengers are on the list for first or comfort. I would rather them change the MQM threshold because 125,000 miles really isn't that much. With that said, I think this will help diamonds on the margins and really hurt platinums since platinum status can...

      I've never been that low as a diamond medallion and million miler with the Delta AmEx Reserve credit card, but I've definitely seen upgrade lists where more than 50% of the passengers are on the list for first or comfort. I would rather them change the MQM threshold because 125,000 miles really isn't that much. With that said, I think this will help diamonds on the margins and really hurt platinums since platinum status can be achieved with a MQD spending waiver if you have the credit card.

    2. Santastico Guest

      My understanding is that among Diamonds and Delta Reserve card members, the next level to sort where you get to the upgrade list is how much you spent for your ticket. At my company, we are very good in planning in advance as I seat on Boards for companies we invest and early in the year we already have the full calendar for Board meetings. Thus, with no penalties to change flights, I usually book...

      My understanding is that among Diamonds and Delta Reserve card members, the next level to sort where you get to the upgrade list is how much you spent for your ticket. At my company, we are very good in planning in advance as I seat on Boards for companies we invest and early in the year we already have the full calendar for Board meetings. Thus, with no penalties to change flights, I usually book my trips way in advance which saves us a lot of money. Well, at the end I am penalized since I paid way much less than someone that buys the same ticket a week before the flight. To give you an example, not that this specific flight matters for upgrade, I booked a trip for next week to Europe in Delta One almost 6 months ago. I paid $4,500 round trip. Same ticket now is $13,000.

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Anyone in a company who pays $13,000 for Delta business-class to Europe should be fired. That is an incredible waste of money, especially when a meeting can be done remotely. You could buy an entire row of economy and have arguably as much comfort (and certainly space!) as a seat in Delta One. If I'm spending $13,000 on a ticket, it's not going to be on Delta. Under no circumstances is there product worth that money.

    4. Santastico Guest

      I didn't say I paid that. I said it is the price if I were to buy it today. And I can guarantee you the cabin will be full because someone will pay that price. I disagree with you comment about meetings can be done remotely. Yes, if it is a 1 hour meeting to get to know someone for the first time, I agree. Not when you are closing a multi million $ deal....

      I didn't say I paid that. I said it is the price if I were to buy it today. And I can guarantee you the cabin will be full because someone will pay that price. I disagree with you comment about meetings can be done remotely. Yes, if it is a 1 hour meeting to get to know someone for the first time, I agree. Not when you are closing a multi million $ deal. Not when you are visiting a plant, farm, etc... that you want to invest in. Not when you are attending a large expo where you need to meet entrepreneurs, try products, etc.. You cannot do those things via Zoom. Would you invest $100mm of your own money in a company without visiting their operations in person? Without meeting the owners in person? So, face to face meetings will continue mainly in Asia and Latam (and in many EU countries) where trust is built by shaking hands and not waving via video. Oh, and I can tell you that when you have to travel to close deals that are worth millions $, a $13,000 ticket is the least of your concerns although I agree it is very expensive. It is all relative to how much that trip is worth in return.

    5. Eskimo Guest

      @Santastico

      Unless this is your own company with significant ownership, this is the corporate world conflict of interest.

      @FNT Delta Diamond

      Would you fire your rainmaker over a plane ticket because he was too busy closing deals that he didn't have attention to book anything until last minute?

      Airlines probably see that they can pocket more from corporate travelers by pushing out these 'psychological' spend barrier. This move is in complement to justify raising their...

      @Santastico

      Unless this is your own company with significant ownership, this is the corporate world conflict of interest.

      @FNT Delta Diamond

      Would you fire your rainmaker over a plane ticket because he was too busy closing deals that he didn't have attention to book anything until last minute?

      Airlines probably see that they can pocket more from corporate travelers by pushing out these 'psychological' spend barrier. This move is in complement to justify raising their ticket price.

    6. Harry Guest

      As a lowly silver for life via million miler status, my experience is definitely what you pay for a ticket puts you way up on the upgrade list. My experience has been great being upgraded and out of ATL too.

    7. YS Guest

      Just this month I was told there were 23 other Diamonds ahead of me and I’m also a million miler ( just barely under 2 million). I’ve been a diamond for many years but now I’m not sure I see an advantage. Many airlines are now offering very affordable transcontinental first class. I may soon just forget the miles, may not be worth the aggravation- especially since the Delta agents have become much less helpful and some much less pleasant then in the past.

  27. Khatl Diamond

    But, Ben, Delta says that "Our commitment to you is to always deliver the most elevated experience possible with premium rewards and benefits you won’t find anywhere else." These changes are surely totally revolutionary for loyalty program travel, no? ;-)

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

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O'Hare Is My Second Home Guest

Right now, $15000 will get you 1K on United, who are a little more generous with reward travel and has excellent perks (like boarding with pre-boarders). Southwest, I can't think of anything other than guaranteed A-List and free wi-fi; they used to have good reward travel reimbursement but that's gone downhill since the pandemic.

1
diamonddave Guest

significant change. I usually just eek out the 15K spend requirement. Even though I fly a ton, my company requires that I buy economy. 20K will basically condemn me to platinum. there are a lot of people in my position I am sure.

1
polarbear Member

That's about as good as the bad news get. no practical change for those with Amex

1
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