Wow: Delta SkyMiles Extends Status For Another Year

Wow: Delta SkyMiles Extends Status For Another Year

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Delta has just become the first major airline in the United States to extend elite status for a second year in a row, with no strings attached.

Delta extends status into 2023

Delta SkyMiles will be extending Medallion status for a second year in a row, meaning status will be valid through January 31, 2023. Furthermore, Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) earned in 2021 will be rolled over to 2022 for the purposes of qualifying for 2023 Medallion status.

This more or less mirrors the status extension we saw from Delta SkyMiles earlier this year. While most airlines extended status last year, this year it has been a different story, at least in the United States, given the pace at which domestic leisure travel is recovering.

Earlier this year Delta launched a promotion that makes it easier to earn status. Specifically, flights count towards status 50-75% faster than usual, and on top of that award flights count towards status. That promotion will continue to be valid.

Lastly, while those who have their status extended won’t be able to select new Choice Benefits, existing earned Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates will be extended through January 31, 2023.

Delta has extended elite status for another year

An incentive to qualify for Delta status

Some people will no doubt say “well that’s not fair, I’ve already requalified for status, and now Delta will just give it away to other members for free.” For those people there’s an interesting angle here.

As of February 1, 2022, those who qualified for status in 2021 will clear for complimentary upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level who had their status extended. I think this is a really smart twist for Delta to add to this opportunity. Elite members are often worried about elite ranks being swelled, and the primary practical implications is competition for upgrades. This perk addresses that, at least for those at the same elite tier.

Another incentive to qualify for status is that you can select Choice Benefits, while you won’t get additional Choice Benefits if your status is simply extended.

Those who earn status will receive priority upgrades

Invitation-only Delta 360 status also being extended

In addition to the published Delta SkyMiles Medallion tiers, there’s also the invitation-only Delta 360 program. The airline has confirmed that this status will also be extended for a further year, through January 31, 2023. All Delta 360 members will be able to select Diamond Choice Benefits.

Delta is the last of the “big three” airlines to extend invitation-only status, as American has extended Concierge Key status, and United extended Global Services status.

Delta 360 status is also being extended

Will other airlines follow Delta’s lead?

You’d assume the answer would be absolutely, since generally the major airlines all follow one another on things like this. Delta was the first major airline to announce status would be extended in 2020, and now it’s the first major airline to announce status will be extended in 2021. That being said, in this case I’m not totally sure other airlines will follow.

That’s not to say that it can’t or won’t happen, but rather that I think there’s a chance other airlines won’t follow. For example, we’ve seen American AAdvantage introduce several promotions that progressively make it easier to earn status. With the most recent promotion, you can maintain whatever status you have simply by spending $15,000 on a co-branded American Airlines credit card, or by earning 2,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQDs).

I’m not sure American feels that it needs to make it much easier than that to earn status, so that’s the main reason I’m not convinced we’ll see other major airlines match. I put the odds at 50/50…

I’m not convinced American will necessarily follow Delta’s lead

Bottom line

Delta has extended elite status for a second year in a row, so anyone who earned status in 2019 or later can now enjoy it through January 2023. The airline is continuing to run its promotions that allow you to earn accelerated status. On top of that, those who actually qualify for status this year will enjoy upgrade priority, which seems fair.

What do you make of Delta extending status again? Do you think other airlines will follow?

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  1. Patrick Poole

    Good news from Delta I guess

  2. Chris

    This is going to totally dillute the medallion pool. It decreases the value drastically. More people in priority lounges, more competition at the gate, for seats. 1 year extension was ok. 2 years is going to oversaturate the program considerably.

    1. Eskimo

      Unless of course you earned your status.
      With rollover MQMs, the hurdle for Diamond still remains, so that should bother Diamonds a bit but not too much.
      I think Gold will get affected the most for upgrades. As more people would likely get MQM to reach Platinum + 25k waiver, Platinum who earns it still has a fighting chance, but all those extended and extra Platinum would make Gold virtually like pre pandemic Silver.
      I don't think it would affect lounges too much.

  3. AJ

    Today a delta agent confirmed to me that once you board you are removed from the upgrade list. In fact, I was #1 and immediately after I was marked as boarded the person behind me was upgraded

  4. jrr

    I’m Delta Platinum now, with AmEx spend MQM bonuses & planned flights I should requalify for status. If I end this year with 80k MQM in my account, all I would need to do make Platinum for 2023 is meet the 25k credit card spend to get the MQD waiver? (Unless Delta changes those rules.)

    1. Eskimo

      I don't understand why is this confusing for so many people.

      From my earlier post, which everyone should read before asking how much I have to reach to get this in that year. Or what is my rollover.

      "Any status you will "earn" (MQM/MQS+MQD) in 2022 will expire 01/24"

      So, yes spend 25k on Amex in 2022.

  5. CyberG99

    You imply that the MQM/MQD bonuses 50-75% will be around next year, I didn't read it like that. It seems to be the bonuses end this year, thoughts?

    1. Eskimo

      I don't understand why is this confusing for so many people.

      MQM/MQD bonus of 50-75% ends in 2021.
      Award ticket or Cash+Miles earns MQM/MQD ends in 2022.

  6. Martin

    Wondering if I should even try to get MQDs now. Is it worth that upgrade priority next year to have requalified status vs. extended status?

    I booked an October mileage run with JuicyMiles and now I'm wondering if I should just push it back to 2022 so I can get those MQDs next year, and just deal with the lower upgrade priority. Especially since I'd end up doing some mileage runs during what could be the height of a Delta wave.

  7. Eskimo

    I don't understand why is this confusing for so many people.

    Delta will rollover what ever MQM you have at December 31 2021, will rollover to January 1 2022.
    --------------------------
    Any status you "have" in 2020 (MQM/MQS+MQD from 2019) will now expire 01/23 (extended from 01/22)
    --------------------------
    Any status you "earn" (MQM/MQS+MQD) in 2020 will expire 01/22 but you will "have" it until 01/23
    --------------------------
    Any status you "earn"...

    I don't understand why is this confusing for so many people.

    Delta will rollover what ever MQM you have at December 31 2021, will rollover to January 1 2022.
    --------------------------
    Any status you "have" in 2020 (MQM/MQS+MQD from 2019) will now expire 01/23 (extended from 01/22)
    --------------------------
    Any status you "earn" (MQM/MQS+MQD) in 2020 will expire 01/22 but you will "have" it until 01/23
    --------------------------
    Any status you "earn" (MQM/MQS+MQD) in 2021 will expire 01/23
    --------------------------
    Any status you will "earn" (MQM/MQS+MQD) in 2022 will expire 01/24
    --------------------------
    Each of the 5 statements above are not to be combined.

    1. polarbear

      > Delta will rollover what ever MQM you have at December 31 2021, will rollover to January 1 2022.

      Don't think so. I believe if I have 150,000 MQM on Dec 31 2021, of which 50k is earned this year and 100k is a rollover from last year, only 50k will roll over to next year

    2. JW in GA

      Eskimo is correct. The original articles and wording was unclear but I finally got the email from Delta this morning and think it is crystal clear on this from the fine print at the bottom of the email:

      Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) Rollover : All SkyMiles Members will roll over all MQMs that they have at the end of 2021 into 2022. These MQMs will be counted toward earning 2023 Medallion Status. This includes MQMs...

      Eskimo is correct. The original articles and wording was unclear but I finally got the email from Delta this morning and think it is crystal clear on this from the fine print at the bottom of the email:

      Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) Rollover : All SkyMiles Members will roll over all MQMs that they have at the end of 2021 into 2022. These MQMs will be counted toward earning 2023 Medallion Status. This includes MQMs from travel and any Status Boosts from your Delta SkyMiles American Express Platinum or Reserve Card, and any MQMs you rolled over from 2020 to 2021 – all MQMs in the account at the end of 2021. For example, if you rolled over 20,000 MQMs from 2020 to 2021 and earned an additional 20,000 MQMs in 2021, your final balance on December 31, 2021 will be 40,000 MQMs, and all 40,000 will be rolled over and counted toward earning 2023 Medallion Status. If you have 5,000 MQMs in your account on December 31, 2021, all 5,000 will be rolled over and counted toward earning 2023 Medallion Status.

  8. Jim

    The mental math has been head-spinning... I anticipate flying just under 25K miles on DL this year, and have paid less than $2K for tickets, yet I will comfortably requalify for gold status (nominal thresholds: 50K miles + $6K).

    Perhaps the goal is to make it so confusing that nobody knows what's going on, and buys more stuff?

  9. Matty

    Actually, didn't Air France do the same one or even two months ago? I'm mentioning that as it is the same alliance (Sky Team). And not only that, AF is currently offering double XP points on all flights until the end of the year...

  10. Lori

    I was platinum status since 2019 and extended this year. I just looked and see I’m now silver. How do I go about getting the status back?

  11. INS Vikrant

    Delta bribed Gavin Newsom and Xavier Bereca over $2.3M to look the other way while they illegally colluded with Alaska air and VX to fix fares from SFO and LAX FROM 2016-2018.

  12. Moe

    Didn’t air Canada extend status for another year in March?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Moe -- Yep, Air Canada did, it was among the first global airlines to do so.

  13. Daniel Rogers

    AA extended CK status several weeks ago. Well ahead of UA and Delta.

    1. CJ

      You’re right I was one of them. The article is incorrect. It appears Delta was last among the major 3 to extend invite only status.

  14. Sel, D.

    AA would have to refund the $495 people paid for the 7,500 EQMs, no?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Sel, D. -- Some people would now doubt he annoyed over having paid that, but I think American would argue that counts towards the elite choice benefits and also gets you a higher rolling EQD, so there's some tangible benefit.

  15. FNT Delta Diamond

    If Delta brought back full on-board service it might not have to do this. People are flying Jet Blue Mint and even American and United because all of those airlines are kicking Delta's butt in terms of meals and drinks in first and business classes. Delta is now serving $2-$3 wine in domestic first-class. Sky Clubs regularly serve Cook's sparkling wine now.

    1. Jan

      Imagine booking flights because of airline food.

  16. INS Vikrant

    Slap in the face to anyone who requalified

    1. Brewer

      I don't understand how this is a slap in the face of those who requalified. Doesn't this also mean that if you (re)qualified purely based on 2021 flying, you will start 2022 with your EQM total from 2021? Meaning you just have to spend $25k or $250k for Diamond on a DL Amex or "repatriate" to a foreign address to instantly qualify for 2023, unless you only requalified because of your combined 2020+2021 EQM...

  17. Steve

    Having re-qualified for EXP in June I really don’t have a dog in this fight. But it would be nice to see AA implement the same upgrade criteria that DL is using here. And since it makes sense…it’s not gonna happen.

  18. DT

    Delta is awesome. Sitting on 155k MQMs and at Plat status. By the end of 2022 I'll probably be at over 225k MQMs from CC spend and flying, but still below MQD threshold for Diamond. That means each subsequent year, when my points rollover, I'll have Plat status again when I hit the waiver. At least 3 more years of Plat, maybe more!

  19. Benjamin G Guttery

    Aadvantage re-qualifying is HARD this year. I have no problem with the EQD's, but my EQM's are HARD to match. I find myself with enough EQD's for Plat Pro, I already hit the $30k spend waiver for Gold, Plat, & Plat Pro, and am well on my way to hitting the $15k total re-qualifying. But First Class domestic flights are only getting me 2X EQM's on short flights. This year I have ZERO incentive to...

    Aadvantage re-qualifying is HARD this year. I have no problem with the EQD's, but my EQM's are HARD to match. I find myself with enough EQD's for Plat Pro, I already hit the $30k spend waiver for Gold, Plat, & Plat Pro, and am well on my way to hitting the $15k total re-qualifying. But First Class domestic flights are only getting me 2X EQM's on short flights. This year I have ZERO incentive to go further and also to jump up to Executive Platinum either. I've participated and nearly maxed out every bonus, offer, campaign they have done (even the $495/7500 one too)and I haven't even reached Gold level miles yet. Sucks. Very dissolutioned with AA this year.

  20. Kevin

    Currently a Platinum Medallion but SkyMiles Member for 2022.

    All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) will roll over to 2022 to qualify for 2023 Medallion Status – for the second year in a row.

    Members who earn Status in 2021 will receive additional benefits, as a special thank-you for their continued flight activity: Starting Feb. 1, 2022, those who earned 2022 Status will clear for Complimentary Upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose...

    Currently a Platinum Medallion but SkyMiles Member for 2022.

    All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) will roll over to 2022 to qualify for 2023 Medallion Status – for the second year in a row.

    Members who earn Status in 2021 will receive additional benefits, as a special thank-you for their continued flight activity: Starting Feb. 1, 2022, those who earned 2022 Status will clear for Complimentary Upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose Status was automatically extended, and Platinum and Diamond Medallion Members who have earned Status will be able to select Choice Benefits.

    I am currently at 55,800 MDMs, so if I read this correct, all of them will go over even if I meet the MDM and MQD for 2022? Just want to be sure, in the past it would only be the 5,800K (aka the MDMs between the statuses after receiving Silver).

    Just wondering if I should continue my MQD waiver (currently at 17K of 25K). Last year, I didn’t make the MQD so I thought all my MQMs rolled over because of that. Thank you!

    1. beachmouse

      I'm assuming you're throwing the spend on the DL Platinum or DL Reserve card to get the MQD waiver and kind of feel like you might as well pick up the MQMs from that card now and roll them over for the new year too.

    2. Kevin

      Yes, I am putting it on the DL Platinum and then you get the additional 12,500. I just wanted to know if all the MDMs would go over even if I meet the MQD waiver? aka...54,000+12,500+anything else I earn or would it just be the amount that is in between status, aka between Platinum and Diamond. But it appears you had all of them roll over regardless.

      Last year I didn't make the MQD since they were extending status so I stopped and the 36K rollover to this year.

    3. Santastico

      Not sure I understood. In 2020, I earned 103,000 MQMs that were rolled over to 2021 (mainly credit card bonuses and spending). I now sit at 103,000 (from 2020) + 30,000 (earned so far in 2021). Assuming I don’t earn any more MQMs this year, will I start 2022 with 133,000 MQMs or just 30,000?

    4. Kevin

      Did you complete the MQD part last year when they rollover the 103,000 from 2020? I didn't last year and thought they rolled them over because of that. Just want to make sure if I earn Platinum again for 2022, I get the choice benefit and will all 75,000+ MDMs roll over too? In the past it would only be what was between 75,000-125,000 MDMs.

    5. Santastico

      No, I didn't. I only took a few flights in 2020. Most of the MQMs were from rollover from 2019 and credit cards signup and spending.

    6. Kevin

      Looks like Ben said, "MQMs will roll over regardless of whether or not you actually earn status" so that answers my question. I should complete the MQD waiver, get Platinum and have them all rollover for 2023 status.

    7. Eskimo

      @Santastico
      @Kevin

      From my post below.
      Delta will rollover what ever MQM you have at December 31 2021, will rollover to January 1 2022.

      Assume your MQM today is same as Dec 31 2021.
      @Santastico 133,000 for you on Jan 1 2022. (No info on current status or MQD provided)
      @Kevin 55,800 for you on Jan 1 2022. If you do nothing else in 2021 you will "hold" your Platinum until...

      @Santastico
      @Kevin

      From my post below.
      Delta will rollover what ever MQM you have at December 31 2021, will rollover to January 1 2022.

      Assume your MQM today is same as Dec 31 2021.
      @Santastico 133,000 for you on Jan 1 2022. (No info on current status or MQD provided)
      @Kevin 55,800 for you on Jan 1 2022. If you do nothing else in 2021 you will "hold" your Platinum until 01/23 but you will not get the choice benefits next year.
      Since you are not too far, I suggest you reach 25k MQD waiver and 75k MQM in 2021. That way you will "earn" your Platinum with choice benefits until 01/23.

    8. Kevin

      @eskimo thank you so much. Yep I'll be going for platinum and getting the choice benefit. Also will help with complementary upgrades. Really appreciate all the help. I can certainly make Platinum with the 12,500 bonus with the MQD waiver. Only need 8,500 more MDM worse case I can sign up for Referral Reserve card which last longer than public one ending today.

  21. DCS

    Delta was the first major airline to announce status would be extended in 2020...

    If memory serves me correctly, I believe UA, and not DL, was the first airline to extend status in 2020...

    1. Leo Guam

      Same day, but DL was first.

    2. Ben Schlappig

      @ DCS -- To my knowledge United made the announcement a few hours after Delta.

  22. khatl

    I like that Delta are doing this although the fact that skymiles are constantly being devalued makes a choice to stick to loyalty with delta questionable.

  23. S

    Disagree. I think UA and AA are forced to match this.

    1. dmstorm22

      Yes I agree, just to big a comparative difference if they don't.

      My guess is they do the same and just like Delta make a distinction between those who get their status extended and those who requalify.

      As a UA 1K with zero chance of requalifying I'm hopeful I'm right. I'm also completely understanding if my upgrade priority is below those that did qualify. Not to mention me not getting more plus points, etc.

  24. Michael

    Ben, how does this work practically with MQDs? If you do NOT make status on MQDs this year, I assume those do not carry over. If you DO make status on MQDs, likewise - start from $0?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Michael -- MQMs will roll over regardless of whether or not you actually earn status, so members flying this year will have a huge head start next year. However, MQDs won't be rolled over, so that will be the biggest hurdle to earning status (especially Diamond).

    2. Will Bruckner

      I’m assuming “all” also applies to MQMs earned via reserve card. Sound right?

    3. Ben Schlappig

      @ Will Bruckner -- That's my understanding.

    4. JS

      Ben, so I was a Diamond in 2019 and this year, likely will qualify only Platinum. Does that mean I'll be Diamond or Platinum from 2022 to 2023? Thanks!

    5. Ben Schlappig

      @ JS -- You'd have Diamond through January 2023.

    6. Gaurav

      Yes, curious about this. Will MQDs from last year and this year carry over into next year?

    7. Michael

      So basically as a Gold, given I never get upgraded anyway, I might as well save my money and spend it on MQMs next year :). Thanks Ben

    8. Ryan

      I am wondering the same thing. It sounds like “MQMs earned in 2021 will be rolled into 2022” while also maintaining your status. So with 150k MQMs (125k roll over from 2019 and 25k flown in 2021) will all 150k roll over or will it just be the 30k?

Featured Comments Load all 54 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Jan

Imagine booking flights because of airline food.

Kevin

Currently a Platinum Medallion but SkyMiles Member for 2022. All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) will roll over to 2022 to qualify for 2023 Medallion Status – for the second year in a row. Members who earn Status in 2021 will receive additional benefits, as a special thank-you for their continued flight activity: Starting Feb. 1, 2022, those who earned 2022 Status will clear for Complimentary Upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose Status was automatically extended, and Platinum and Diamond Medallion Members who have earned Status will be able to select Choice Benefits. I am currently at 55,800 MDMs, so if I read this correct, all of them will go over even if I meet the MDM and MQD for 2022? Just want to be sure, in the past it would only be the 5,800K (aka the MDMs between the statuses after receiving Silver). Just wondering if I should continue my MQD waiver (currently at 17K of 25K). Last year, I didn’t make the MQD so I thought all my MQMs rolled over because of that. Thank you!

Patrick Poole

Good news from Delta I guess

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