Details: Delta Overhauls SkyMiles Elite Status, Sky Club Access

Details: Delta Overhauls SkyMiles Elite Status, Sky Club Access

270

Delta Air Lines has just revealed changes to Delta SkyMiles and Delta Sky Club access. Delta describes these changes as being “based on customer feedback to remain the industry’s premier loyalty program.” These changes are absolutely massive.

Let’s first cover the Delta SkyMiles changes, and then we’ll cover the Delta Sky Club changes. In a separate post, I’ll talk about the changes to Delta’s million miler program.

Delta SkyMiles simplifying elite status as of 2024

As of January 1, 2024, Delta is changing the way that members qualify for Medallion elite status. Delta claims that these changes are intended to preserve the exclusivity and experience of the carrier’s most loyal customers. So, what’s changing?

Starting as of January 1, 2024, all SkyMiles members will exclusively earn toward status through Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). SkyMiles members will no longer earn Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs). With the new program, status will have the following requirements (this would be when qualifying in 2024 for the 2025 program year):

  • SkyMiles Silver Medallion status will require 6,000 MQDs (compared to 3,000 MQDs currently)
  • SkyMiles Gold Medallion status will require 12,000 MQDs (compared to 8,000 MQDs currently)
  • SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status will require 18,000 MQDs (compared to 12,000 MQDs currently)
  • SkyMiles Diamond Medallion status will require 35,000 MQDs (compared to 20,000 MQDs currently)

In early 2024, SkyMiles members will have options for converting any rollover MQMs that have already been accrued — you can either convert rollover MQMs into MQDs at a 20:1 ratio, or into redeemable miles at a 2:1 ratio. That doesn’t seem particularly generous.

With these changes to how status is earned, SkyMiles members can earn status through spending on Delta Amex cards, through rental cars and hotel stays booked through delta.com, and through Delta Vacations. So, at what rate will members earn MQDs?

  • You’ll earn one MQD per dollar spent on Delta flights; for flights on partner airlines, you’ll continue to earn MQDs based on a percentage of the distance flown and fare class
  • Those with the Delta Amex Reserve Card will earn one MQD for every $10 spent, while those with the Delta Amex Platinum Card will earn one MQD for every $20 spent
  • You’ll earn one MQD per dollar spent on Delta Vacations packages, rental cars, and hotels booked through Delta

There will be no changes to how SkyMiles members can earn and redeem miles, so all that’s changing is elite qualification methods and metrics.

Delta SkyMiles is changing how elite status is earned

New Delta Sky Club access restrictions as of 2024 & 2025

Delta Sky Clubs have had serious crowding issues in the past year or so, with there frequently being lines to enter lounges. We’ve seen Delta make changes to Sky Club access, though the changes haven’t moved the needle much when it comes to crowding.

With that in mind, Delta is introducing even more changes:

  • As of February 1, 2025, those with a Delta Amex Reserve Card (personal or business) will receive 10 Sky Club visits per Medallion year; members who spend $75,000 on their eligible card in a calendar year will receive unlimited club access for the remainder of the current Medallion year, plus the following Medallion year
  • As of February 1, 2025, those with the Amex Platinum Card (personal or business) will receive six Sky Club visits per Medallion year; members who spend $75,000 on their eligible card in a calendar year will receive unlimited club access for the remainder of the current Medallion year, plus the following Medallion year
  • As of January 1, 2024, those booked on a Delta basic economy fare will no longer have Delta Sky Club access, regardless of the entry method
  • As of January 1, 2024, the Delta Amex Platinum Card (personal or business) will no longer provide Sky Club access for a $50 fee

Note that you can only use the visit allotments for yourself (as the card member), so you can’t bring guests, unfortunately. Furthermore, visits are additive, so if you have multiple cards offering lounge access, you could use the allotment on each card. Furthermore, the Medallion program year won’t follow the traditional calendar year, but rather will run from February 1 until January 31 of the following year.

Delta is adding new Sky Club access restrictions

My take on these major Delta changes

Not surprisingly, these changes seem heavily geared at increasing the amount that SkyMiles members spend on Delta’s co-branded credit cards.

The “big three” US carriers generate a large percentage of their profits from their loyalty programs, and particularly from their lucrative credit card partnerships. Earlier this year, Delta’s SVP of Loyalty said that Delta expects to earn $6.5 billion from its Amex credit card agreement in 2023, and hopes to grow that by roughly 50%, to $10 billion per year, by 2028.

Delta has already done an amazing job building up its Amex card portfolio, and consumers charge nearly 1% of the US GDP on Delta’s co-branded credit cards. But if Delta wants to increase its credit card revenue by 50%, the airline is going to need people to spend more money on its co-branded credit cards.

That’s exactly what these changes seem geared at. When it comes to the SkyMiles changes, Delta is clearly copying American AAdvantage’s successful switch to the Loyalty Points concept, whereby you can easily earn status through credit card spending. It’s rare to see Delta copying American, but as I’ve said all along, the Loyalty Points concept is brilliant from the perspective of airlines. With the new program, spending $350K on a Delta Amex Reserve Card would earn you top-tier Diamond Medallion status.

As far as the Sky Club access changes go, I don’t think they’ll do much to actually help with crowding, though I think they’ll do a bit to get people to shift even more spending to Delta Amex cards. Sure, we’ve seen all kinds of incremental changes and Sky Club access cuts that could eventually lead to slight reductions in crowding, but the latest changes don’t seem much different to me than the previous ones.

We’ve seen Amex Centurion Lounge access restrictions based on needing to spend $75,000 per year on an eligible card, and that doesn’t appear to have done much in terms of crowding.

These changes are intended to increase credit card spending

Bottom line

Delta is making huge changes, and we now know what the changes entail.

For one, Delta is completely changing how SkyMiles elite status is earned, as Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) will be the only metric by which members qualify for status. It’ll be possible to earn status exclusively through credit card spending, and $350K of spending on the Delta Reserve Card will do the trick.

Furthermore, we’re seeing new Sky Club access restrictions, which impact those on basic economy tickets, and which also add limits to access for card members, unless they spend a certain amount.

There’s less and less value to being loyal, especially when you consider how rare first class upgrades are nowadays.

What do you make of these Delta changes?

Conversations (270)
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.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Bobby Guest

    Interesting you think these changes were made to *increase* spending on Amex Delta cards because I just quit my Delta Platinum card today and plan to not renew my Delta Reserve when it renews in July 2024. (I actually plan to quit using it at all once I earn Diamond status later this year). I had that Amex Delta Platinum card for 23 years. The value of the Delta Amex cards has been decimated. Whoever...

    Interesting you think these changes were made to *increase* spending on Amex Delta cards because I just quit my Delta Platinum card today and plan to not renew my Delta Reserve when it renews in July 2024. (I actually plan to quit using it at all once I earn Diamond status later this year). I had that Amex Delta Platinum card for 23 years. The value of the Delta Amex cards has been decimated. Whoever at Amex negotiated this deal with Delta ought to be fired and his/her stock options taken away.

    I'm an international resident who enjoyed the MQD waiver and now Delta has completely abandoned us. Since credit card spending is no longer an option I will definitely be trying to get to Global Services status by buying flights on United. Why spend $35K on Delta (with limited upgrades, most are for sale now) to earn Diamond Medallion when you can spend $50K on United and get incredible Global Services status (always upgraded, incredible treatment on flights)?

  2. Tim Gollie Guest

    Unfortunately, this is part of an accelerating effort by Delta to reduce the incentives it provides to its most loyal customers. What kind of well-run business would do that? Also, one of Delta's stated business objectives is to significantly ramp up revenues from its joint-branding efforts with AMEX. But cutting back on benefits to Delta Reserve Card holders runs completely counter to that. Delta's fares are already among the highest in the industry, which it...

    Unfortunately, this is part of an accelerating effort by Delta to reduce the incentives it provides to its most loyal customers. What kind of well-run business would do that? Also, one of Delta's stated business objectives is to significantly ramp up revenues from its joint-branding efforts with AMEX. But cutting back on benefits to Delta Reserve Card holders runs completely counter to that. Delta's fares are already among the highest in the industry, which it is able to do in part because of the loyalty of its frequent flyers. So why would you jeopardize that loyalty (and the significant pricing advantage it has created for Delta) by scaling back benefits to that same group? This is a really poorly thought-out plan and one which its customers and shareholders will react negatively to. Dumb, really dumb!

  3. Charlie Guest

    I appreciate the new changes. It will aid in keeping out riffraff inside the Sky Lounges.
    Poor travelers walking around barefoot and getting lush at the bar.

  4. Eric Guest

    just fly in partners in premiums cabins KL, AF that ll do the job for diamond even quickly, the rules for that partners fare is base on mile/ distance not the dollar amount

    1. Sam Kelly Guest

      unfortunately, this will become less easy too. I hessitate to say gutted, but...if you look at dl’s earning miles with airline partners page, you’ll see just how significantly harder it will be to earn status by flying partners. generally, from CDIZ fares on closest partners (eg VS) will earn 40% distance mqd through eoy, in 24 these will earn only 30%. Earn rate on similar fare classes for other partners seem (mostly?) unchanged.

      This change...

      unfortunately, this will become less easy too. I hessitate to say gutted, but...if you look at dl’s earning miles with airline partners page, you’ll see just how significantly harder it will be to earn status by flying partners. generally, from CDIZ fares on closest partners (eg VS) will earn 40% distance mqd through eoy, in 24 these will earn only 30%. Earn rate on similar fare classes for other partners seem (mostly?) unchanged.

      This change in skymiles has gone mostly unreported but deserves coverage. In fact, as I poked around, on nearly every single front, dl has made it more expensive to nearly everyone to earn status at all levels.

    2. Sam Kelly Guest

      unfortunately, this will become less easy too. I hessitate to say gutted, but...if you look at dl’s earning miles with airline partners page, you’ll see just how significantly harder it will be to earn status by flying partners. generally, from CDIZ fares on closest partners (eg VS) will earn 40% distance mqd through eoy, in 24 these will earn only 30%. Earn rate on similar fare classes for other partners seem (mostly?) unchanged.

      So, for...

      unfortunately, this will become less easy too. I hessitate to say gutted, but...if you look at dl’s earning miles with airline partners page, you’ll see just how significantly harder it will be to earn status by flying partners. generally, from CDIZ fares on closest partners (eg VS) will earn 40% distance mqd through eoy, in 24 these will earn only 30%. Earn rate on similar fare classes for other partners seem (mostly?) unchanged.

      So, for argument sake, if you were to travel on partners only in 2023 and 2024 to earn DM, you’d need to fly as much as 2.3x as you did in 2023 to earn status (if it was all on preferred partners in both years and you just met the min MQD threshold for DM). That’s fairly insane math.

      This change in skymiles has gone mostly unreported but deserves coverage. In fact, as I poked around, on nearly every single front, dl has made it more expensive to nearly everyone to earn status at all levels.

  5. Erin Guest

    So long Delta, i've been culled. I've been flying only Delta since 2017 despite higher fares sometimes because I felt valued. Earned Silver my first year, Gold my second year, and Platinum each year after that. I even continued flying through the pandemic and was patient with all the flight changes because I thought I was valued as a loyal customer. With the changes, I will be lucky to even make Silver status because of...

    So long Delta, i've been culled. I've been flying only Delta since 2017 despite higher fares sometimes because I felt valued. Earned Silver my first year, Gold my second year, and Platinum each year after that. I even continued flying through the pandemic and was patient with all the flight changes because I thought I was valued as a loyal customer. With the changes, I will be lucky to even make Silver status because of the new focus on high spending by the most wealthy. So, so long Delta and so long Delta Amex card!

  6. Sam Guest

    Obviously, Delta doesn't care about personal travelers. This is clearly going to be excellent for corporate travelers. No one else is spending 36k a year on airfare.

    If you have the resources to drop 36k a year on airline tickets, perhaps just rent a private jet next time

  7. AD Gold

    Clearly Delta is trying to cull its elite ranks as well, which makes sense.  As a Diamond, I've given up trying to get an upgrade from DCA to ATL and just buy F with miles -- win/win -- A way to use my miles at a good value and guaranteed F.  A couple weeks ago I was 14 on the list for a flight from Augusta to ATL. How is that even possible? But my...

    Clearly Delta is trying to cull its elite ranks as well, which makes sense.  As a Diamond, I've given up trying to get an upgrade from DCA to ATL and just buy F with miles -- win/win -- A way to use my miles at a good value and guaranteed F.  A couple weeks ago I was 14 on the list for a flight from Augusta to ATL. How is that even possible? But my employer pays for my F for long flights so I can live with buying up for my personal travel.  And, also, I'm not hub captive.  I'm also AA Exec Platinum and my upgrade success this year is 100% -- with my rolling LP total somewhere north of 400K -- albeit, again, employer pays for F for the long flights and I don't go through DFW much.  Delta knows that not only do they need to clear out the clubs, but they also need to be able to deliver some benefits to the elite members because right now.. what exactly are we getting? A few bonus MQMs and a thank you from the gate agent and the sky club agent sometimes?

    It is interesting how high the dollars are compared to American. Either they think they are going to have better luck driving CC use OR they really have a lot of folks who are hitting high MQD numbers which is entirely possible. I hit 60K MQDs last year and didn't get offered 360. There could be many folks like me out there.

    So, the changes could be good if it actually makes a difference on both counts. And I'll happily buy a skyclub membership outright and ditch my DL card if the experience in the club is better. But that does beg the question -- will DL drive spending on their card as @Ben thinks they will or will people walk away from the card like some of us here say they will.

  8. RG B Guest

    Delta used to be a really good airline, too bad they want to be a bank.

    Good luck surviving carting vacationers all over. Business travelers will be booking on other carriers.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you do realize that Delta actually makes money on its passenger operations and adds a ton of revenue from its loyalty program, don't you? American, in contrast, hasn't made money on its passenger operations for a couple decades, at least.

  9. Moishe Guest

    "As of January 1, 2024, those booked on a Delta basic economy fare will no longer have Delta Sky Club access, regardless of the entry method"

    That only applies to CC as the entry method - SkyTeam Elite + members from other programs can still access SkyClub on a non-standy, international ticket, even in basic economy.

  10. SLE Guest

    Greedy a$$holes. I’m done with Delta after next year.

  11. Matt Guest

    This new program sucks, when I travel for work I have to book with a agency (via Concur) and I guess a lot of people have that requirement. We can't book with Delta or another site. I'm more loyal to the hotel program (Marriott) as I want those points for stays and upgrades when on vacation. Delta needs to remember they are only the shuttle to get us where we want to be, but we...

    This new program sucks, when I travel for work I have to book with a agency (via Concur) and I guess a lot of people have that requirement. We can't book with Delta or another site. I'm more loyal to the hotel program (Marriott) as I want those points for stays and upgrades when on vacation. Delta needs to remember they are only the shuttle to get us where we want to be, but we spend a lot more time at the hotel or where we are staying. I'll drop the reserve card and accept that my diamond/platinum status will be nothing or silver.

  12. Lucas Guest

    The 6 visits a year is just a killer for anyone that "invested" in the Amex Platinum card, but wasn't already spending gobs of money each year. Makes $700 a year really hard to justify. Even if I decide to keep it for the other perks, this along with the SkyMiles changes pushes Delta from my preferred option to "only if they are cheapest" option. Delta probably doesn't even care about my my butt no...

    The 6 visits a year is just a killer for anyone that "invested" in the Amex Platinum card, but wasn't already spending gobs of money each year. Makes $700 a year really hard to justify. Even if I decide to keep it for the other perks, this along with the SkyMiles changes pushes Delta from my preferred option to "only if they are cheapest" option. Delta probably doesn't even care about my my butt no longer filling those seats, but I am guessing they will lose tons of flyers like me. I really don't see the current big spenders increasing their spend, so I feel like this is going to create a huge hole between their none-status cheap flyers and your big spenders, and I'm hopeful that is more painful for them than they expected

    1. Kiwi Guest

      This is my thoughts. I'm now looking at AS/UA/B6 given that most of my flying is now JFK, IAH, PDX from SJC/SFO. I also am no longer willing to take red-eyes, I'm too old for that $hit

  13. GEG_WA Member

    My purchase of a lifetime Northwest World Club membership in 1985 is looking better and better.

    Pity I'm flying Alaska more than Delta.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Careful, while they recognize your membership, doesn't mean they will continue to honor it's benefits.

  14. John T. Guest

    Delta has now completed the evisceration of their SkyMiles program and associated benefits. The miles have become nearly worthless for international travel/upgrades and only marginally valuable for domestic travel.

    There are other SkyTeam airlines that appreciate my loyalty more. I think I will switch crediting my Delta travel to AF/KLM Flying Blue.

  15. Santastico Diamond

    Diamond or 360 for over 10 years in a row. Live in a Delta hub and have been loyal to them all the time. No more. Here is my strategy. In my opinion, Delta is by far the best of the 3 big US airlines. For those that love to criticize, this is MY opinion. I have had flights on AA and UA every year and they both do not come close to Delta in...

    Diamond or 360 for over 10 years in a row. Live in a Delta hub and have been loyal to them all the time. No more. Here is my strategy. In my opinion, Delta is by far the best of the 3 big US airlines. For those that love to criticize, this is MY opinion. I have had flights on AA and UA every year and they both do not come close to Delta in most of the aspects that matter to me. Second, Delta will continue to be my first option when flying non stop from my hub. That will be the case for most domestic flights as reducing time away from family is my #1 priority when choosing my flights. Now, the way I have kept high status with them for so many years has been international flights in business class. The thing that Delta will suffer with this approach is that in my case, I never ever had any business to do in Amsterdam. I only fly there because that is my option and from there I connect to my final destination. I did that to stay loyal to Delta and reach the $25k spending and getting the miles need to re-qualify to Diamond. Well, there is no way in a post pandemic life that I can spend $35k in Delta flights. That is just not an option for me. Thus, it will open me a huge number of options when flying to Europe and Asia. I will happily fly to a larger US airport and from there get a European or Asian airline that takes me direct to the final destination. If I had to connect in AMS, I will now connect in the US and fly a way more superior product than Delta. Austrian, ITA, Lufthansa, Singapore, Cathay, Qantas. Bye bye Delta international.

    1. hilton Guest

      Well stated my exact sentiments as well.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      and yet Delta just noted that its international growth will shift from Europe to Latin America and Asia which puts them in play with AA and UA for a much higher segment of elite passengers.

      US carriers simply win the majority of US based high value revenue because they offer the total network and loyalty program benefits including negotiated business that foreign carriers simply cannot do except to a more limited basis through joint ventures.

    3. Santastico Diamond

      If flying to Latin America, LATAM offers a much better service for a fraction of what Delta charges. Delta talking about Asia is a total joke. Who wants to be stuck for over 12 hours in Delta One if you can fly JAL, Cathay, Singapore. Again, I would do it because of the status but now, if I have to connect in Tokyo on Delta to fly to Singapore, I will just connect in LA...

      If flying to Latin America, LATAM offers a much better service for a fraction of what Delta charges. Delta talking about Asia is a total joke. Who wants to be stuck for over 12 hours in Delta One if you can fly JAL, Cathay, Singapore. Again, I would do it because of the status but now, if I have to connect in Tokyo on Delta to fly to Singapore, I will just connect in LA or SF and fly Singapore Airlines direct. Same for Europe. I have no need to go to AMS. If flying to Italy, I will fly ITA from the US. Same for Austria, Switzerland, etc... No more Delta international where I used to spend the big $.

    4. Bobby Guest

      Delta is going to be surprised at how many people were choosing them and paying more or going at inconvenient times just to make the thresholds. Now that there is no incentive I won't be making any of these sacrifices either. They truly have destroyed the concept of "loyal."

      On a related note, I always quit flying AA and United towards the end of the year once I had reached my desired status and flew...

      Delta is going to be surprised at how many people were choosing them and paying more or going at inconvenient times just to make the thresholds. Now that there is no incentive I won't be making any of these sacrifices either. They truly have destroyed the concept of "loyal."

      On a related note, I always quit flying AA and United towards the end of the year once I had reached my desired status and flew Delta almost exclusively because miles "rolled over". By removing the rollover they remove all incentive for me to fly Delta when I don't need to.

  16. ChrisR Guest

    This is going to backfire big time for their Delta AmEx spend. They removed the MQMs at each $15k spend and the $25k for MQD waiver. Used to chase platinum with flight miles and at least $75k card spend to get enough MQM credits. Now I'm just not going to chase the next status level. Let's say I get 8k MQD in Delta ticket spend then have to put $100k on card for 10k MQD...

    This is going to backfire big time for their Delta AmEx spend. They removed the MQMs at each $15k spend and the $25k for MQD waiver. Used to chase platinum with flight miles and at least $75k card spend to get enough MQM credits. Now I'm just not going to chase the next status level. Let's say I get 8k MQD in Delta ticket spend then have to put $100k on card for 10k MQD to hit the 18k for new platinum level. Maybe I'll just spend $40k on my card and only get gold status, and so be it. Heck, maybe I won't spend anything and just get silver. I'll still keep the Delta Reserve card for the companion ticket, the 10 club visits, and the other benefits. I think they got a little too greedy on this one. I get that they need to thin the ranks and curb the club overcrowding which this will definitely do, but the changes won't make me fly more or spend more. I'll just spend way less which gives them a lot less card revenue, use all my extra points earning on CSR to perhaps book one flight each year on a different airline instead of Delta and deal with a priority pass lounge, heaven forbid, and then be a whole lot less stressed about climbing status.

    1. ZTravel Guest

      Vote with your wallet! If you keep the reserve card, you're supporting this new model.

    2. Bobby Guest

      Agreed. I just quit my Amex Delta Platinum today and won't renew Amex Delta Reserve when its time is up. Am waiting for the OMAAT story on how many cardmembers Amex lost over this. Honestly I don't care, though, at this point I'm glad to be gone.

  17. Sara Guest

    I guess United here I come. I work for the government and we are only allowed to buy basic. I got the card to get in sky club for the 3 hr layovers! I guess Amx will lose my business also

  18. gideyup11 Member

    For those saying they will switch their loyalty away from DL. Genuinely curious: which airline are you switching to?

    I stopped chasing airline status ~10 years ago and now get cheapest fare. DL/AA/UA/B6/WN/NK, it’s all good for me!

    Put your spend on transferable currency or cash back credit cards. Trust me, it’s good for your mental health to stop chasing status. You won’t need to clutch your pearls every time your “loyal” airline...

    For those saying they will switch their loyalty away from DL. Genuinely curious: which airline are you switching to?

    I stopped chasing airline status ~10 years ago and now get cheapest fare. DL/AA/UA/B6/WN/NK, it’s all good for me!

    Put your spend on transferable currency or cash back credit cards. Trust me, it’s good for your mental health to stop chasing status. You won’t need to clutch your pearls every time your “loyal” airline further devalues their loyalty program. LOL

    1. ZTravel Member

      100%! There are many options out there, key is to make sure you remain loyal to your wallet and your time. Did that earlier this year, ditched Delta and their 2MM/Diamond and flew business / premium on TAP, Turkish, Singapore, Air France and others… much more enjoyable. Only thing I’m still stuck with is domestic delta and Reserve card… which I’m cancelling soon.

    2. Matt Guest

      I'm just going to be avoiding loyalty altogether, and booking the flight option that gets me in and out at the most convenient time and/or the best value on the fare. I used to spend more on personal trips just to fly Delta, I would pick pick less convenient options with connections instead of more convenient and direct options on their competitors. I didn't mind spending a few hours in SLC or LAX since I could spend that time in the sky club. This is atrocious.

    3. gideyup11 Member

      @ZTravel, and @Matt: Agree with you 100%. It just baffles me why people still chase airline status nowadays. I guess if you live in a fortress hub then you are beholden to that airline. Even then, yes by all means fly Delta if you are ATL based, but don't assume DL will care about you unless you spend a ton of $ with them. After all, why should they, they are a for profit company....

      @ZTravel, and @Matt: Agree with you 100%. It just baffles me why people still chase airline status nowadays. I guess if you live in a fortress hub then you are beholden to that airline. Even then, yes by all means fly Delta if you are ATL based, but don't assume DL will care about you unless you spend a ton of $ with them. After all, why should they, they are a for profit company. And contrary to anything Ed Bastian says, their absolute first priority is their shareholders, then it's a tossup between their staff and customers.

      Fortunately, I'm based in FLL and NYC so I have a lot of choice. Pre 2011, I used to be PHL based and in retrospect the amount of irrational behavior I did to chase US Airways status is just plain dumb. I totally own it! But back then, at least I would get upgraded >50% of the time. Now say on a DL LGA-FLL flight there are 100+ elites on a A320, what the heck is the point of being DL elite??? I haven't been elite with any airline since 2013 even though I fly a ton and I think it's really the right way to go. I have no regrets.

    4. Bobby Guest

      You can spend $35K to earn top published status on Delta (Diamond Medallion), or you can spend $50K on United to get top unpublished status (Global Services). With GS status I have been upgraded every single flight this year except one and this includes 3 of 3 flights between SFO and SIN - yeah that's right, pay for coach, ride in Polaris Business Class. Try getting upgraded on any international flight with Delta Diamond status,...

      You can spend $35K to earn top published status on Delta (Diamond Medallion), or you can spend $50K on United to get top unpublished status (Global Services). With GS status I have been upgraded every single flight this year except one and this includes 3 of 3 flights between SFO and SIN - yeah that's right, pay for coach, ride in Polaris Business Class. Try getting upgraded on any international flight with Delta Diamond status, even with Global upgrades.
      The choice is really clear for me. For an extra $15K I can get near-perfection on United when flying. And I am moving all my spend to AA credit cards where I can earn Executive Platinum simply by earning loyalty points at a much, much better rate. This is easy guys. Anyone who continues to fly Delta other than the fact they live in ATL or another hub is crazy.

  19. JW in GA Guest

    In my quick review of various blogs and the 200+ comments in this thread, the part I'm not seeing to my surprise is about the tiers themselves. There are multiple points about everyone being elite and so I get why they took action.

    The part I don't get is that the tiers have become so watered down over time (and usually available easily via other means), what are you putting crazy spend on AMEX...

    In my quick review of various blogs and the 200+ comments in this thread, the part I'm not seeing to my surprise is about the tiers themselves. There are multiple points about everyone being elite and so I get why they took action.

    The part I don't get is that the tiers have become so watered down over time (and usually available easily via other means), what are you putting crazy spend on AMEX for exactly?

    Some big ones for me: free checked bags at Silver and above (which is also nice with the 20 minute guarantee) -- IIRC it's free with a $95 AF AMEX and above; free lounge access when flying internationally free for Gold and above (removed entirely for elites in one of the last changes to address overcrowding); award ticket redeposits for Plat (now free for everyone which is great but not a benefit now). Upgrades? Barely ever got them being in ATL as Plat and not sure domestic F is worth as much as some think anyway; Comfort+ is nice but again nothing to write home about.

    The only one tier benefit I see of real value, to me admittedly, is Same Day Change/Confirmed at Gold and above. That's handy but since I'm not flying as much for business I'm even down to using it 1-2 times per year anyway.

    Bottom line -- the elite benefits don't come CLOSE to the new, raised costs. What do people value in these tiers?

    PS When my yellow tagged bag is one of the last to come out on the carousel, talk to me about Priority this and that, LOL!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Upgrades
      IRROPS
      Hold time
      Brag tag
      Things to joke about, like never being picked up by a Porsche.

      And your personal Tim Dunn to stroke your medallion and his ego along with DL's quarterly financial performance.

    2. Patti Guest

      Okay, I laughed at the final perk

    3. Matthew Ballard Guest

      I also value the 70lb bag limit on Delta with status (that you cannot get with a credit card).

      I was debating trying to hit Gold next year for planned International travel in 2025, but now I'm debating my long term strategy.

    4. Matthew Ballard Guest

      Forgot to add - also being able to book exit rows right away at no additional cost.

  20. Erik Guest

    How does this impact auth users?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You're expected to spend more on your Amex card for less benefit.

  21. Michael Klein Guest

    If I understand the changes correctly, it is unlikely that I will ever spend enough to get MQD diamond or platinum status and unless you have changed the actual elite benefits, there won't be enough of them (especially international upgrades) to make that status matter. So I guess now the only residual benefits are not having to pay for luggage, and perhaps not getting my front teeth knocked out when you give away the overbooked...

    If I understand the changes correctly, it is unlikely that I will ever spend enough to get MQD diamond or platinum status and unless you have changed the actual elite benefits, there won't be enough of them (especially international upgrades) to make that status matter. So I guess now the only residual benefits are not having to pay for luggage, and perhaps not getting my front teeth knocked out when you give away the overbooked seat I'm occupying and try to remove me from the plane (so far that perk only seems to come with United). Not sure then why I should spend money on your platinum Amex card, which isn't accepted in a lot of places anyway, or even remain loyal to Delta when I can get equal cattle car treatment in one of the economy air lines. A tearful goodbye after 24 years of complete loyalty. I think that this was just a bad business decision, but you can evaluate it in two years to see how your customer base has changed. I really enjoyed your airline --it was the closest domestic equivalent of Singapore or Emirates (at least in terms of how the flight attendants treated customers) and I will miss it so!!!

    1. Matt Guest

      Agreed 100%. This feels like a big FU to me. I've been a loyal platinum medallion for a long time. Thinking of all the times I voluntarily flew through LAX or SLC when I had direct options available on the competitors. I have used the delta platinum Amex to reach the MQD waiver every year and have the regular platinum Amex primarily for lounge access. I'll be converting both to zero fee cards now. I'm...

      Agreed 100%. This feels like a big FU to me. I've been a loyal platinum medallion for a long time. Thinking of all the times I voluntarily flew through LAX or SLC when I had direct options available on the competitors. I have used the delta platinum Amex to reach the MQD waiver every year and have the regular platinum Amex primarily for lounge access. I'll be converting both to zero fee cards now. I'm sure this will cause further stress on centurion lounges since Platinum card holders won't be able to get into the sky clubs while using their allotment up.

  22. Eskimo Guest

    A throwback to Covid lockdowns.

    When SkyClubs are empty and Silver have some hope of upgrades again.

  23. alex Guest

    Looks like the best way to get diamond status is by flying in premium cabins with partners as base on distance flew and fare class of service,

    1. ZTravel Member

      But why credit those to Delta then? Signup with one of the partners… skypesos are worthless.

  24. chris Guest

    "premier loyalty program?

    It's not premier, there is no loyalty (to the customers), and its not a program but a ripoff.

  25. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Delta just updated its investor guidance for the 3rd quarter and is seeing a smaller negative impact from higher fuel than other carriers while not eroding its revenue guidance.
    DL is simply making these changes from a position of greater strength in the industry than other carriers.
    More customers are coming through the doors at DL to generate high revenue than are leaving or will leave.

    1. chris Guest

      Hubris doesn't go very far or last very long.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      being at the top of the game didn't just start yesterday for DL nor is it likely going away.
      It isn't hubris but simply the financial reality.

      I get that some people are ticked that their loyalty doesn't mean as much as they thought OR as much as others but that is the reality.

      DL is simply moving up the bar for attaining loyalty levels BECAUSE they have too many elites and the benefits...

      being at the top of the game didn't just start yesterday for DL nor is it likely going away.
      It isn't hubris but simply the financial reality.

      I get that some people are ticked that their loyalty doesn't mean as much as they thought OR as much as others but that is the reality.

      DL is simply moving up the bar for attaining loyalty levels BECAUSE they have too many elites and the benefits to the highest level of passengers has been diluted. This is simply a reset.
      Other airlines will do the same because the same thing has happened other than geographic and network shifts - which cannot be fixed just by loyalty programs.

      DL is simply in a stronger competitive position compared to the rest of the industry than it has ever been and they are attracting more premium passengers and at a faster rate than other carriers.

    3. AD Gold

      Exactly, I don't know why people are so insulted. Delta's success has caused them to have too many elite members and can't provide benefits. They have too many people in their lounges and can't serve their customers. It's not pride. It's an adjustment to the business model.

      AA or UA would do the same if they had the same problem. But they don't. Wonder why?

    4. Eskimo Guest

      Don't mistake chatGPTim's fellatio with hubris.

      He can't blow an Airbus with hubris, but maybe so with N102DA.

    5. ZTravel Member

      Yes but they are no longer an airline. An airline that doesn’t track miles or appreciate ppl who actually fly isn’t an airline. Call them a credit card company, a travel agency… whatever.
      This the new trend they are setting, I think the days of loyalty programs are counted… we are in an era of true free market, they’ve got to work hard to earn my business.

    6. Brian Guest

      AA and Southwest both operate on the same model. They make more consistent profit from the CC companies than rewarding economy pax who dont generate the same level of money once costs are removed and are cyclical.

  26. Bgriff Guest

    I'm confused how you don't see these Sky Club access changes as different. This seems huge to me? Yes, some people will just spend the $75k on the card and continue to have unlimited access, but that is not a realistic target for most people, even people who don't care about optimizing their spend across credit card reward programs ($25k would be much more achievable...). And 6-10 visits per year is very few, considering you...

    I'm confused how you don't see these Sky Club access changes as different. This seems huge to me? Yes, some people will just spend the $75k on the card and continue to have unlimited access, but that is not a realistic target for most people, even people who don't care about optimizing their spend across credit card reward programs ($25k would be much more achievable...). And 6-10 visits per year is very few, considering you could use as many as 4 on a single roundtrip if connecting.

    So I'd expect that this will dramatically reduce Sky Club entries, though maybe not in a useful way -- for example in ATL it may crater demand for some of the lower-quality clubs, while the nice new club at B will continue to have high demand because people would "save" scarce visits for that one.

    But there are tons of upper-middle-class people who travel 6-10 times a year (and would therefore use the lounge 12-20 times ideally, or more if connecting) who will have significantly less access with this change ... and may choose not to seek out flying Delta any more if they don't have the extra luxury of club access with their trip.

    1. JW in GA Guest

      Your point about the ATL B concourse SC is a good one. With visits at a premium there will be a flight to quality (pun intended) potentially creating new issues. Hopefully Delta will upgrade the laggard SC's...

      That said, taste is personal. I actually don't love the massive B SC. If I have time I'd go F->E big dropoff ->A17 (not the windowless A upstairs)->T->B-> everything else?

    2. Omar Guest

      I agree with you. Ben conflates restricting guests who don't meet the 75k threshold as not having an impact with restricting the primary user. That is a huge difference.

    3. Matt Guest

      I had the same thought with the 4 visits in one trip. I used to do that regularly with connections in SLC when a direct flight wasn't available on Delta. Now I'll just fly whoever has the direct flight. I have no chance at keeping my status with the new rules, and now I won't even be able to visit the sky club.

  27. KIM Guest

    Thanks for nothing Delta. I'm finding a new airline. I'm done! As if it wasn't enough to get bumped out of my Comfort Plus seats only to find 2 Delta pilots sitting there, and then have you separate my fiancee and I on an overseas flight only to find 1 individual sitting in that 2-person block, you keep changing the rules. Selling me on this credit card with all the associated promises that are now...

    Thanks for nothing Delta. I'm finding a new airline. I'm done! As if it wasn't enough to get bumped out of my Comfort Plus seats only to find 2 Delta pilots sitting there, and then have you separate my fiancee and I on an overseas flight only to find 1 individual sitting in that 2-person block, you keep changing the rules. Selling me on this credit card with all the associated promises that are now rescinded is the final straw. I'm sure your new MBA hires that only think of numbers instead of humans have gotten big bonuses for screwing your loyal customers and I hope you all enjoy the additional revenue until tons of passengers leave and never come back. You should be ashamed.

  28. Ben Dover Guest

    I woke up and my butt hurt, I turned around and I saw my Delta Skymiles card! Thanks Delta!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You missed Tim Dunn coming out of your hole.

  29. Steve Guest

    Downgrading my card and I’m stopping status chasing. Bye Delta

    1. BKAloha Guest

      It's not fun anymore! This is a get-rid-of-the-poors move.

  30. Adam Guest

    I've been a loyal Delta flyer for the last 5 years. I starting chasing Delta status in my mid 30's.. spend around 30k on their Delta Reserve cc. These announced changes to their loyalty program have me really questioning my future loyalty to Delta. I feel like this is the end of the road for me in chasing status.

  31. JetSetFly Guest

    Unless you are hub captive or forced by your company to use certain airline, not sure why anyone would bother with these airline status? I put all my purchases on different cc that would give me the highest return and then transfer points to almost all airlines under the sun. In fact, taking emirates 777 F and A380 F in few days. So excited! Delta who?

    1. D3Kingg Guest

      That’s cool. Unless part of your itinerary is JFK MXP. New Yorkers are so loud and rambunctious. Hopefully You’re flying between DXB and anywhere else.

  32. Kevin Guest

    With the MQM rollover going away, has Delta said whether or not they would replace with a MQD rollover for Medallion members? If one earns 50k MQDs in a year, 35k MQD would be used for Diamond, it would be nice if the remaining 15k MQD could be rolled over to the following status qualifying year instead of disappearing.

    1. Ralfinho Member

      Yes, Delta said something about it. There won't be any rollover MQDs, they reset to 0 each year.

  33. Razzie Guest

    With UK Amex Plat, is it also 6 visits?

    Separately, if you spend $75k on US Amex Plat, do you get access to Amex lounges for a guest in that year and the following year?

  34. gil Guest

    What would happen to international Amex Platinums? I know the $75k in spend for guests doesn't apply to them, so maybe this wouldn't either? Or would they just entirely not be able to enter the SkyClubs

    For those of us who spend our time between the US and Mexico, the Amex Platinum in Mexico is not looking that bad at $1,508. It includes 3 supplementary cardholders and you can get around $1,000 back in coupons/credits....

    What would happen to international Amex Platinums? I know the $75k in spend for guests doesn't apply to them, so maybe this wouldn't either? Or would they just entirely not be able to enter the SkyClubs

    For those of us who spend our time between the US and Mexico, the Amex Platinum in Mexico is not looking that bad at $1,508. It includes 3 supplementary cardholders and you can get around $1,000 back in coupons/credits. So $130 per card user and guests are always included.

  35. tcATL Guest

    So will you just be unable to access Sky Clubs now after your allotment of visits is used up, or just be charged for visits after 6 or 10?

    1. Calico698 Guest

      Am I correct that a Delta American Express Platinum card will require spending $60,000 in order to achieve Silver Medallion status? Can someone please do the math for Reserve and Platinum so that it's truly understandable?

    2. HP Guest

      120k for platinum, 60k for reserve

    3. meballard New Member

      From what I can tell, there's no additional visits after that. You can pay for guests on your primary visits, but nothing beyond that.

  36. iamhere Guest

    This shows where Delta's loyalties lie and I guess many people will give up on their credit card and not use it for many purchases.

  37. Gabo New Member

    Makes becoming a free agent easier. Plus, flying these days has become such a hassle, that I would welcome less work travel now that I won’t be chasing status.

  38. Derek B Guest

    As a diamond medallion, I’m done. Will officially fly whoever is most convenient on a given route.

  39. Diana Brixner Guest

    A lot of responses have come to a similar conclusion, purchase all tickets using a Delta Amex card, on airlines that give status based on miles flown. $35,000 on airline tickets is about as ridiculous as $350K on a Delta credit card, there have to be better ways to do this. On the other hand, if you want to be exclusive to your top 1%, this should do it. So I guess my 2.5 million...

    A lot of responses have come to a similar conclusion, purchase all tickets using a Delta Amex card, on airlines that give status based on miles flown. $35,000 on airline tickets is about as ridiculous as $350K on a Delta credit card, there have to be better ways to do this. On the other hand, if you want to be exclusive to your top 1%, this should do it. So I guess my 2.5 million miles flown mean nothing to Delta anymore.. I agree the exchange of MQMs to MQDs is really insulting. Here's to going back to looking at other airline options. There are lots of programs out there that can get you cheaper first class seats, and as someone else pointed out, once you have a first class ticket you get all the perks of elite status.

    1. ZTravel Guest

      Do that...but do not credit these flights to Delta. Sign up for a Partner airline loyalty program or ANY other airline. I've found this year that paying up for an upgrade on airlines like AF, TAP, Singapore...etc is far more reasonable and I collect generic points. I did this after being a 2MM and Diamond for years.

  40. Hotcrab Guest

    @ben does this make flyingblue the loyalty program to credit delta flights to? Or virgin atlantic? Would love to see a future article on this topic!

    1. It’s me Guest

      Been wondering this too. Used to credit to flying blue before the devalued like 4 years ago. Then delta made it worth my whole by saying awards counted for elite status. Now none of it matters.

  41. Ron K Guest

    I guess this is goodbye Delta and hello United. I fly from Detroit to Chicago weekly and usually have a third city in there somewhere half the time. My annual spend will get me gold at best now. I’ll do the United status match and, meet the challenge in a few weeks and have the highest status level. Sad, I really like Delta….. but not giving my loyalty where there isn’t any back.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Sure, but you'd only be doing so just in time to have United (inevitably, since AA and DL have already done so) do the same to you with their program..... so not exactly sure what you think you'd be getting, for your loyalty.

  42. todd Guest

    The HOUSE always wins

  43. 305 Guest

    Only fly Delta 8-10 times a year, but all of this is making me reconsider my Amex Plat. Limited access to sky clubs sucks, but the implications of these changes are worse. Centurion Lounges are already extremely overcrowded, and this is only going to add to that issue.

  44. Kevin Guest

    Wait, ya get 1 MQD for every $10 ya spend with a reserve card, but 1 for every dollar with no card? So its 10X worse to buy with my reserve card?

    1. Matt Guest

      That's $10 for every MQD outside of Delta airfare. You still get 1 MQD for every $1 you spend on Delta airfare.

  45. Anthony Diamond

    Two points....

    1) Before today - basically everyone agreed Delta had a problem... That it was too easy to earn status (through all of the credit card waivers, flying, etc), resulting in too many elites. And that it is was too easy to access SkyClubs (through card access). Delta basically made it more difficult for everyone to gain access to these perks - this is truly an across the board change. And now people complain...

    Two points....

    1) Before today - basically everyone agreed Delta had a problem... That it was too easy to earn status (through all of the credit card waivers, flying, etc), resulting in too many elites. And that it is was too easy to access SkyClubs (through card access). Delta basically made it more difficult for everyone to gain access to these perks - this is truly an across the board change. And now people complain - so I guess the question is, did Delta actually have a problem with elite inflation and club crowding or not?

    2) Delta, like AA, is rewarding complete loyalty with credit card spend, portal bookings, etc. It's a bit much for me - I could see myself spending $75K on a Reserve (up from my $30K), which will help be get Platinum every year, but pushing for Diamond (while giving up transferable currency) is a no go. I will still largely fly Delta out of NYC but they may lose that incremental booking to a competitor if I am not going to be pushing for Diamond anymore. But many the clubs won't be crowded and my upgrade chances will improve a bit. Who knows.

    1. chase_wanderlust New Member

      I've spent $90k on my Reserve this year, specifically for the MQMs to keep me Platinum and try to run for Diamond. I use the Sky Club access with an AU, while I hate the crowding, Delta gets a lot of money from me. I normally pay for D1/First and I pay handsomely as I live in the fortress hub of Detroit - where it's Delta or AA/WN/NK/F9 (hard pass) or AA/UA to hubs then...

      I've spent $90k on my Reserve this year, specifically for the MQMs to keep me Platinum and try to run for Diamond. I use the Sky Club access with an AU, while I hate the crowding, Delta gets a lot of money from me. I normally pay for D1/First and I pay handsomely as I live in the fortress hub of Detroit - where it's Delta or AA/WN/NK/F9 (hard pass) or AA/UA to hubs then onward. This just stinks because when I lived in DC it was so different because so many choices were available.

      Basically I'm going to shift that $90k of spending to my CSR whose points are worth so much more than Skymiles. I'll still fly Delta but whenever I have a chance to find a really good deal now I will go for the deal and not trying to maintain status.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      As to your point #1, I'd say the main source of ire is that people are still spending the same to get far less.

      Though we haven't had an official announcement, there's nothing to indicate annual fees, etc will be going down... thus many (if not most?) people will be charged $600+ to get a tiny fraction of what they once did.

      I mean, if the leaks had come out with "You can only...

      As to your point #1, I'd say the main source of ire is that people are still spending the same to get far less.

      Though we haven't had an official announcement, there's nothing to indicate annual fees, etc will be going down... thus many (if not most?) people will be charged $600+ to get a tiny fraction of what they once did.

      I mean, if the leaks had come out with "You can only access the clubs 10x/yr, but your annual fee is now $200, unless you exceed the spending threshold and gain unlimited, then you'll be charged another $400".... what could anyone say to that?

    3. Anthony Diamond

      These SkyClub access changes happen in February 2025, so a full 16 months from now. There is plenty of time for cardholders to cancel if they want.

    4. Melissa Guest

      Not for those of us who have our Delta Platnuim Skymiles Amex branded card. We will no longer be given access to the Delta Sky Club's, for us we will have no access to Sky Club starting Jan. 1 2024

    5. deltaFanOnceUponaTime Guest

      You're absolutely right about today's problems, but Delta's new policies and program are an overcorrection. I could be wrong but I feel that Delta will lose a lot of high value customers over the next 2 years.

      Today Delta has a ton of Platinum members. In addition to the effect of 3 years' MQM rollover, this issue was mostly because Delta previously handed out Platinum statuses like candy to a lot of corporate employees. I...

      You're absolutely right about today's problems, but Delta's new policies and program are an overcorrection. I could be wrong but I feel that Delta will lose a lot of high value customers over the next 2 years.

      Today Delta has a ton of Platinum members. In addition to the effect of 3 years' MQM rollover, this issue was mostly because Delta previously handed out Platinum statuses like candy to a lot of corporate employees. I used to work in consulting and for a long time people could do status challenge every year, which was ridiculous.

      The overcrowding lounges problem is mostly due to Amex Plat. Limiting Amex Plat access is for sure happening (I'd think 6x is too few though unless they lower the annual fee). But it's absurd that they limit the Reserve card members and doesn't let their own Gold+ members in when fly internationally.

      The new medallion program is absolutely absurd compared to AA and UA. Business travelers don't use Delta credit cards and Delta vacation/hotel that much, and they're the most valuable customers. I know a lot of Delta loyalists who would pay extra and do extra layover to fly Delta, but I feel that most of the business travelers would be dumb to choose Delta unless they live in a Delta monopolized hub. We shall see.

    6. Watson Diamond

      @Anthony, regarding #1, they've swung the pendulum too far.

    7. meballard New Member

      On 1 - that is not universally agreed. There may be some agreement that some statuses were not balanced well, but it was not too easy to earn status, I have to plan for it to keep Silver, and this makes it significant worse (although I should be fine for one more year with the MQM->MQD one time conversion).

      It was also not generally agreed that it was too easy to get SkyClub access. A...

      On 1 - that is not universally agreed. There may be some agreement that some statuses were not balanced well, but it was not too easy to earn status, I have to plan for it to keep Silver, and this makes it significant worse (although I should be fine for one more year with the MQM->MQD one time conversion).

      It was also not generally agreed that it was too easy to get SkyClub access. A lot of people (including me) liked it where it was. Where/when clubs do hit capacity I can see there being an issue to deal with, but I haven't still have never seen a SkyClub at capacity when I'm travelling (if there's a line, it's just to be processed). I know it happens, but it doesn't mean there is a universal problem.

  46. Shawn McHugh Guest

    Looks like Feb 1st 2025 I say good by to my reserve card. It has been a fun ride

  47. Grey Diamond

    'As of January 1, 2024, those booked on a Delta basic economy fare will no longer have Delta Sky Club access, regardless of the entry method'

    Does this apply to non-DL Elite Plus pax on international itineraries?

  48. Extraordinary1 Member

    It's not too late to switch to AA! If it wasn't apparent enough when Skymiles were first gutted, DL is not afraid to worsen its loyalty program. I don't get why anyone would be a DL loyalist unless they leave in a fortress hub city. AA is better than DL in every aspect!

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      AA is better than DL in every aspect!

      Here, these should help. Learn to distinguish them:

      https://www.dictionary.com/browse/opinion
      https://www.dictionary.com/browse/fact

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Agreed Extraordinary1!

    3. JC Guest

      Every? Ever compared the actual in-flight products?

  49. AG Guest

    There must be more to the Delta Amex card changes that we don't know about yet. They are drastically reducing Sky Club access, eliminating MQM waiver (as there are no MQMs) and cutting off Status Boost (bonus MQMs after certain spending.) That's 3 giant devaluations. They must be replacing them with something else. Normal people don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income they can put on card spend. Where does Delta think...

    There must be more to the Delta Amex card changes that we don't know about yet. They are drastically reducing Sky Club access, eliminating MQM waiver (as there are no MQMs) and cutting off Status Boost (bonus MQMs after certain spending.) That's 3 giant devaluations. They must be replacing them with something else. Normal people don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income they can put on card spend. Where does Delta think we will get that kind of cash put on these cards? Let's wait to hear what Amex says.

  50. Tom Guest

    I'm officially off the status wheel now, and will save the $550/year my Reserve card costs. Right now I spend $30,000/year to get the 15,000 MQMs (which also means the MQD waiver at $25,000). Under the new program, behavior that previously got me Platinum (because I actually flew) will now result in being a Silver? The only way I'd be hitting $15,000 in a year is if I got lucky with clients that are paying...

    I'm officially off the status wheel now, and will save the $550/year my Reserve card costs. Right now I spend $30,000/year to get the 15,000 MQMs (which also means the MQD waiver at $25,000). Under the new program, behavior that previously got me Platinum (because I actually flew) will now result in being a Silver? The only way I'd be hitting $15,000 in a year is if I got lucky with clients that are paying for F (which are becoming rarer and rarer)

    I'll fly DL if they are the most convenient flight to my destination, but what is the point of trying to fly Delta after this?

    1. Bob Guest

      Be prepared to have conversations with multiple customer service agents who will try to convince you that you should keep the card because they seem to think domestic delta 1st class is better than delta one so you would save money with the companion pass. I explained the differences to them but I mind as well teach calculus to my cat. Then they transfer me to "the regional manager" and she too didn't know the...

      Be prepared to have conversations with multiple customer service agents who will try to convince you that you should keep the card because they seem to think domestic delta 1st class is better than delta one so you would save money with the companion pass. I explained the differences to them but I mind as well teach calculus to my cat. Then they transfer me to "the regional manager" and she too didn't know the difference. I should have been paid for that phone call because I essentially conducted a remote delta training class to 2 people.

    2. AA Guest

      And then did you forget to actually cancel?

  51. Carl jenkins Guest

    Regarding the sky club visits if you don’t fly out of a hub, you really get screwed. I fly out of Philadelphia and in order to go to California I have to go from Philadelphia to Atlanta and then to California so one-way I would have to use two visits and returning back another two so one trip I would use four of my qualifying 10 visits that’s a real screw job.

    1. 305 Guest

      Agreed, each “visit” should grant access for that day’s entire itinerary. I would have used all of my allowed visits on one RT to Fairbanks this summer that required two stops each direction

  52. Tim Dunn Diamond

    It appears a whole lot of people simply do not understand how strong Delta is competitively and financially relative to the industry - the best positioning it has ever been - and millions of high revenue passengers are moving their business to Delta. The incentives to retain customers simply do not need to be as high as they have been in the past.
    The low cost/ULCC segment of the industry is in financial free...

    It appears a whole lot of people simply do not understand how strong Delta is competitively and financially relative to the industry - the best positioning it has ever been - and millions of high revenue passengers are moving their business to Delta. The incentives to retain customers simply do not need to be as high as they have been in the past.
    The low cost/ULCC segment of the industry is in financial free fall. JetBlue, Frontier and Spirit are fighting for their financial lives.
    Formerly mighty Southwest simply cannot get its revenue back after its December 2022 operational meltdown and faces an increasingly unhappy workforce because they cannot afford to increase pay for their pilots and flight attendants.
    Among the big 3, American continues to shrink in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, with Delta gaining in the corporate travel rich coastal markets. American's customer service drives high value customers into Delta's hands except in the hub markets which AA dominates, causing millions of passengers in medium and small markets where AA and DL compete to leave for DL.
    United is strong in big corporate travel international markets but still has a very small presence in most domestic markets outside of its hubs.
    Delta is simply picking up more and more revenue that other carriers cannot hold onto - and the financial statements from the industry shows it.

    Delta has long been the preferred airline for corporate travel and that gap is widening esp. as Delta grows on the coasts including in large international markets - and that trend will continue.

    It hurts to find out that your loyalty isn't enough esp. when others come in and pass you by but that is the reality right now.
    There are other airline choices but Delta continues to grow its control of the most premium revenue in the US airline industry even as its non-transportation strategies -the Amex relationship, its engine maintenance contracts. and its refinery continue to allow it to enhance its strength even further relative to its peers.

    1. jetset Gold

      100% - this is what it all boils down to.

      At the end of the day, loyalty in the traditional sense as it related to these programs is no longer important. Delta invested in a competitive product to drive people to preference them regardless of their medallion status. This program is now a means to maintain lucrative credit card contracts and incremental spend which are profitable for them.

    2. Leigh Guest

      Usually a smart guy…but he’s drowning in his ego with this post.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      no, I am drowning in nothing.

      I simply see the big picture which many simply cannot.

      Even others recognize that Delta made being an elite too easy.

      They are setting the bar higher. No one wants to be told that you aren't good enough any more but there are clearly many DL passengers that meet those requirements now and will continue to meet them.

      They just don't happen to see a need to reply to blogs talking about what others see as cuts.

    4. nc-retiree Guest

      Tim, I understand your point. I just think they went a little too far. Somebody who has a typical PM profile over the course of a few years should have a realistic chance of making GM now with that same profile. But Delta is going to dump them down to SM.

      That seems overly harsh. No more upgrades unless you are on oddball Saturday evening CR9, very little C+ other than middle seats, and much less lounge access. Everything which disincentivizes trip generation.

    5. Lune Diamond

      Haha. I knew Tim could be relied on to spin Delta's decision as something positive.

      For the record, I don't give a fig about Delta's profits. I'm not a shareholder. I'm their customer. Their profit margins make no difference to me as I don't receive a dividend or capital gains from them.

      Tim, you constantly spin any news about Delta as good news by constantly switching POVs between customer and shareholder / executive. They (usually)...

      Haha. I knew Tim could be relied on to spin Delta's decision as something positive.

      For the record, I don't give a fig about Delta's profits. I'm not a shareholder. I'm their customer. Their profit margins make no difference to me as I don't receive a dividend or capital gains from them.

      Tim, you constantly spin any news about Delta as good news by constantly switching POVs between customer and shareholder / executive. They (usually) don't have the same interests. My interest is in getting the most value for my money. Their interest is in providing the least value for as much money as possible. It's easy to always make Delta (or anyone) look great if you constantly switch sides to whichever one is happening to be "winning" with each change.

      All your talk about how Delta is so awesome that it no longer needs my business is only awesome *if you're an investor*. But this isn't an investment blog. It's a traveler blog. So your comments aren't useful unless I'm looking to invest some money in an airline. (And if you are an investor, you're foolish if you put money into any airlines at all. Warren Buffett famously stated that, looking at current market cap of all airlines compared to the amount of money put into them by investors, govt bailouts, etc. throughout their entire history, airlines have been a net negative return for anyone who's put money in them).

      *As a traveling customer* these changes suck. Yes, there might be some incremental value if crowding goes down and upgrade percentages go up because there are fewer elites (assuming you're not one of the elites that's filtered out by the new changes).

      The only customer that this (and American's changes) help are customers who spend a lot on credit cards, but are only marginally loyal to Delta for their travel. It's clear that Delta would rather have loyal credit card customers than loyal travel customers. That is their right, and it may even make sense from a business perspective, but it undoubtedly makes travel customers the main losers.

      FWIW, I'd also argue that in the long run, it also damages Delta because those loyal credit card users are only loyal because they expect travel benefits in return, and when they realize their SkyPesos buy them nothing, and that Diamond Medallion status doesn't mean much if you don't actually travel much on Delta, then they will leave for greener pastures. These things go in cycles, and after burning people for a few years ("I've been putting all my spend on this stupid card for 5 years and I still can't get a business class seat to Paris for my anniversary?!"), their loyal credit card customers will follow their loyal travel customers out the door (same as what I argued for AA BTW, so this isn't just an anti-Delta rant).

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      all of that typing and you can't seem to understand that NO successful profit-motive company is going to do what it does if it doesn't gain financially from the decisions.

      YOU buy services from companies that intend to make money. Period.

      As much as people want to tell us that they are going to walk away from Delta and their loyalty program and Amex cards, there clearly are more than enough that will pay the...

      all of that typing and you can't seem to understand that NO successful profit-motive company is going to do what it does if it doesn't gain financially from the decisions.

      YOU buy services from companies that intend to make money. Period.

      As much as people want to tell us that they are going to walk away from Delta and their loyalty program and Amex cards, there clearly are more than enough that will pay the freight.

      THAT is the reality that some struggle to accept.

      Delta's move is being done to enhance their profits and the benefits that SOME will continue to receive to an even greater degree.

    7. Grey Diamond

      'NO successful profit-motive company is going to do what it does if it doesn't gain financially from the decisions.'

      Right, because NO successful profit-motive company has ever made massive mistakes or gone out of business or anything...

    8. Miles Ahead Guest

      But your point is and had been that Delta is the most profitable airline, so cearly their loyalty scheme hasnt hurt them financially, up to this point. But you must acknowledge that this is a change and one that is not risk free for them. If a substantial amount of their customer base determines that flying more or spending more with them just isnt worth it anymore, then allbof this advantages you note will be...

      But your point is and had been that Delta is the most profitable airline, so cearly their loyalty scheme hasnt hurt them financially, up to this point. But you must acknowledge that this is a change and one that is not risk free for them. If a substantial amount of their customer base determines that flying more or spending more with them just isnt worth it anymore, then allbof this advantages you note will be no more. No business can win in the long term by taking its customers for granted and that includes prioritizing gates, market placement over customer experience. While i can't conclude that this change will result in a signifacant customer exodus, neither can you or Delta Management. Just ask Soutwest if customer sentiment can suddenly and adversely change.

    9. Jason Guest

      After reading your comment, I once believed Delta credit cards are made for corp purchases only……

    10. Brian Guest

      You’re missing something. I fly a lot all over the world on all the big 3 (DL Diamond, AA Plat, UA Gold) and I’m telling you Delta’s operational performance has been falling for 12-18 months.

      You may be right about the corporate contracts. At the end of the day, I need the airline to perform and that’s why I will choose them. It’s upsetting to see them focus on this when their house is in...

      You’re missing something. I fly a lot all over the world on all the big 3 (DL Diamond, AA Plat, UA Gold) and I’m telling you Delta’s operational performance has been falling for 12-18 months.

      You may be right about the corporate contracts. At the end of the day, I need the airline to perform and that’s why I will choose them. It’s upsetting to see them focus on this when their house is in disarray.

      Disagree with me all you want. I’m actually out here, 150 days on the road from Paris to Tokyo to Omaha and I’m telling you AA is the best performing airline at moment. And that’s not a story of AA progression, it’s a story of Delta regression. And now this.

  53. Kip Guest

    Here is what I fail to understand. At these spending thresholds, unless you are truly a several-days-a-week butt-in-seat road warrior, you are almost certainly flying in first/business class to qualify.

    But if you are flying up front...why do you need status? You already get all the perks with your ticket! What is the value of lounge access or sky priority to a flyer who already gets these things? Surely no one is spending $35,000...

    Here is what I fail to understand. At these spending thresholds, unless you are truly a several-days-a-week butt-in-seat road warrior, you are almost certainly flying in first/business class to qualify.

    But if you are flying up front...why do you need status? You already get all the perks with your ticket! What is the value of lounge access or sky priority to a flyer who already gets these things? Surely no one is spending $35,000 a year in order to ensure quicker service on a phone tree...

    1. jetset Gold

      This isn't for butt-in-seat road warriors - they are the least profitable compared to credit card spenders and high spend business/first class travelers.

      At the high spend level, you don't need upgrades - what matters is mileage earning for vacations / friends and family, and better handling in IRROPS. If they thin their Diamond medallion ranks they can offer better service for those folks.

      I was United Global Services - the benefits were #1 priority...

      This isn't for butt-in-seat road warriors - they are the least profitable compared to credit card spenders and high spend business/first class travelers.

      At the high spend level, you don't need upgrades - what matters is mileage earning for vacations / friends and family, and better handling in IRROPS. If they thin their Diamond medallion ranks they can offer better service for those folks.

      I was United Global Services - the benefits were #1 priority IRROPS handling and #2 lucrative exceptions and ability to upgrade my partner and friends successfully. Those don't come just from buying a first class ticket for yourself.

    2. Mark Guest

      What Delta is doing is reducing the amount of upgrades, GUCs...etc. you're right about them only caring about their high (ticket) spenders. I'm at $25k right now...will have $30k+ at end of year...means nothing to Delta because I don't buy D1/FC

    3. Lune Diamond

      @jetset-
      Road warriors may be less profitable than those business/first class travelers based on revenue per sq ft of space taken, but they're what enable those business and first class cabins to exist. If it weren't for road warriors, kayakers, and VFRs filling those economy class seats, that front of the cabin wouldn't exist. Why do I know this? Because plenty of airlines exist profitably with no biz/first seats (Southwest, ULCCs, etc), but every...

      @jetset-
      Road warriors may be less profitable than those business/first class travelers based on revenue per sq ft of space taken, but they're what enable those business and first class cabins to exist. If it weren't for road warriors, kayakers, and VFRs filling those economy class seats, that front of the cabin wouldn't exist. Why do I know this? Because plenty of airlines exist profitably with no biz/first seats (Southwest, ULCCs, etc), but every airline that tries to fly with only biz/first service inevitably goes bankrupt (La Companie is currently the sole exception).

      IOW, economy class traffic can be profitable in its own right due to its volume, but biz/first is not, because there aren't enough of those travelers to efficiently fill an entire flight. Even the highest revenue, richest routes, like LHR-JFK, can't sustain biz/first only flights.

      So driving away those road warriors will inevitably lead to downsizing of those flights, or reducing service, at which point, those biz/first customers also leave.

  54. Sean S. Guest

    To be honest the way Singapore Air does it is probably the best way of both rewarding high frequency customers and high spending customers, by having two separate tiers/systems for achieving status. Because to be fair if you are spending 50K on premium cabins a year with an airline you should frankly be getting some sort of elite status.

  55. Henry Guest

    Spending so much money and efforts, finally DL will roll out something worse than simply doing 1% cashback. You do not need a team to run a 1% cashback program LOL Let's see how much money they will lose.

  56. Jen Guest

    Just moving to Flying Blue in 2024…

  57. DC Guest

    Delta really hates their customers. Hah.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      I'd argue they hate loyalty programs. They love customers who pay them money. Loyalty programs occasionally work against that interest (see: crappy TikTok influencers who "travel for free"), so they will make them worse until the loyalty program is in name only.

  58. Mark Guest

    I'm a DM, have been for 3 years running, PM before that. I earn it with seat miles. I'm at $25k this year on main cabin tickets (because my company doesn't let us book anything higher without being important). $35k is ridiculous. The transfer rate from MQMs to MQDs is insulting.

  59. Eric Guest

    "Based on customer feedback."

    I find that BS as most medallion members, myself included, don't like the MQD component. I fly over 150K miles a year with Delta but just make the $15K MQD component largely because I fly domesticly 90% of the time. That would move me from Diamond each of the last 2 years to Gold in 2025 if I flew the same amount of miles. Do they want me to go fly...

    "Based on customer feedback."

    I find that BS as most medallion members, myself included, don't like the MQD component. I fly over 150K miles a year with Delta but just make the $15K MQD component largely because I fly domesticly 90% of the time. That would move me from Diamond each of the last 2 years to Gold in 2025 if I flew the same amount of miles. Do they want me to go fly another airline because it sounds like all they want is me to charge more on my credit card. Should I charge those flights on American or United on my credit card to get to the number needed and not fly Delta? Sounds counter intuitive.

    I ask is Delta an airline or a credit card company?

    1. jetset Gold

      If you fly 150K miles a year with them and only spend $15K, they don't care about you. Either you're a hub captive (in which case you'll still spend some amount with them), or you're in a competitive market and if you don't fill the seat they'll find someone else.

      And certainly they'd rather have the credit card spend because it's higher margin.

    2. Mark Guest

      150k MQMs but barely $15k spend?! How is that even possible?! I'm at 125k MQMs and $25k spend...all main cabin seats

    3. Eskimo Guest

      Well if I only pick my highest MQM to MQD ratio.

      The best I got 125k on is about 9k spend.
      But then those 5k transcon spend also compensated the other end.

      35k MQD is acceptable, but I'm expecting more benefits not less like what DL is doing now. At least give Diamonds some of the exemptions like the 360s.

  60. ND Guest

    During covid, Delta tried so hard to retain Medallion members with MQM bonuses on flights, rollover MQMs and other perks. It's kind of strange that Delta now is doing a 180 finding ways to offboard more elite members. Sure they want more AMEX cc spend. For what a Delta aspiring Medallion gets for all that spend, the benefits aren't that great.
    Making medallion is surely attainable if spending for hotels and rental cars from...

    During covid, Delta tried so hard to retain Medallion members with MQM bonuses on flights, rollover MQMs and other perks. It's kind of strange that Delta now is doing a 180 finding ways to offboard more elite members. Sure they want more AMEX cc spend. For what a Delta aspiring Medallion gets for all that spend, the benefits aren't that great.
    Making medallion is surely attainable if spending for hotels and rental cars from Delta's ecosystem, as well as spending on their cobrand cc's. I could continue to be a Medallion, but just isn't worth it for me. Opportunity Cost indicates my spend is more rewarding elsewhere. I will still fly Delta, but after 2024, Medallion status is no longer for me.

    1. Nathan Guest

      They are relying on Expedia to post your hotel spend correctly. it won’t work.

  61. Fred Guest

    Do you know if these changes also apply to international Amex cards? The 75k requirement for example does not apply (Cent Lounge). Not only the visit limit but also the Basic Economy limit. At least in Germany, this has not been communicated.

  62. derek Guest

    This is an enhancement! In the year 2033, there will be an enhancement where the FA will punch you in the mouth when you board, which will be an enhancement over basic economy, where they will hit you on the head with a hammer.

    I am glad that I ended my quest to become a Million Miler in 2016. Wasn't that far away but I got off the Delta train wreck.

  63. ger Guest

    Well Delta finally managed to push me away after being Diamond for years. Ed Bastion is sleezy and if he and his groupthink buddies believe they are going to increase Delta Amex spending...he's nuts. Dropping both cards at their expiration date as they are worthless. $35,000 spend for Diamond, $18K for Platinum...guy must think we are all idiots chasing a moving carrot. Already at work changing airlines for planned travel next year. Hello United! Hello...

    Well Delta finally managed to push me away after being Diamond for years. Ed Bastion is sleezy and if he and his groupthink buddies believe they are going to increase Delta Amex spending...he's nuts. Dropping both cards at their expiration date as they are worthless. $35,000 spend for Diamond, $18K for Platinum...guy must think we are all idiots chasing a moving carrot. Already at work changing airlines for planned travel next year. Hello United! Hello EU based carriers. Goodbye Delta and Sleezy Ed. Oh, notice how scummy Delta always pulls these boners within the last 3-4 months of the year? They give a few months notice of ridiculous changes. Fed up with this airline and time to kiss them off.

  64. Nathan Guest

    I see they want a piece of the hotel and rental car bookings. Their problem will be that frequent and premium travelers don’t want to book through Expedia, don’t want to lose their hotel benefits and don’t want to miss half their MQDs from their hotel spend (which is what happened in their March experiment this year…I’m still missing a few hundred MQDs).
    I wonder if they miscalculated.
    It will be interesting to...

    I see they want a piece of the hotel and rental car bookings. Their problem will be that frequent and premium travelers don’t want to book through Expedia, don’t want to lose their hotel benefits and don’t want to miss half their MQDs from their hotel spend (which is what happened in their March experiment this year…I’m still missing a few hundred MQDs).
    I wonder if they miscalculated.
    It will be interesting to see Delta and Amex’s 10Ks in a couple years. I spend 30-40K a year on airline tickets (mostly premium cabins except for short haul domestic) and hold the Amex vanilla Platinum (along with CSR and Venture X etc.). I’ve been Diamond for a few years and will be again next year. I go to Sky Clubs about 60 times a year. With the MQM conversion I would be Diamond again for 2025…but I’m not sure that I’ll bother with that…looking like free agency for 2025 with the Sky Club changes. Since there is no point in flying Delta and having to connect.

    1. Nathan Guest

      And No Tim Dunn, I’m not putting 75K on the Platinum or Reserve…the ROI just isn’t there. I suppose buying a Sky Club membership is an option but then I might just drop the Platinum. I’m not sure that’s what Amex wants.

    2. Tony Guest

      Your comments on Expedia are so true and probably one of the biggest things I find frustrating. The only people who would use the Delta travel portal unsavvy leisure travelers. Those are the only people who will book through that and the only ones who will be rewarded for it. Business travelers can't (and won't because its stupid) to book hotels/cars through Delta. I guess this shows that Delta wants to cater to the high-spend unsavvy leisure traveler.

  65. Deirdre Brownlow Guest

    any changes for lifetime club members. we’ve had so many give and takes and give backs../

  66. ZTravel Member

    So delta will surely and most definitely have massive layoffs especially when it comes to FAs early 2026. They are transforming their business to a travel agency (hotels, cars, cc spend) and can careless about volume travel or butts in seats. Eventually this means less number of actual pax (unless they become extremely price competitive) and less flights which will lead to the need to resize their FA team.

  67. Lee Guest

    As Tim Dunn said, a lot of pissing and moaning. But, the changes seem like a good first step and this system is fairly straightforward. There will likely be some tweaks in a year as what happened with AA after a year into LPs.

    1. Dt123 Gold

      I would be concerned also because if Sky clubs are now being limited for amex platinum cards what's to say that down the line amex doesn't start limiting access to its own platinum clubs

    2. Omar Guest

      They almost certainly will start doing that at some point.

  68. Matt Guest

    Disappointed to see that Delta Gold card earns nothing toward spending. AA offers all cards in its portfolio to earn status points.

  69. Chris Ratcliffe Guest

    I have almost 4,000,000 Delta miles. For the very time in eleven years I did not make Diamond. Now I am treated like a peasant on DL flights. I sit in the back and never even get an upgrade to Economy Comfort. Delta treats a person who made Diamond last year better than loyal customers. Being a Gold for life get me nothing except a middle seat in row 42.

    1. Bob Guest

      Delta is probably looking at your activities and saying well he's still doing business with us so who cares how we continue to mistreat him.

    2. Watson Diamond

      Yeah but with that many miles you could probably fly one-way to ATL up front.

  70. René Guest

    Ben I bet you are happy you are not One Mile at a Time Presented by Delta Amex Cards ;-)

  71. S Gold

    Mostly worried about what this means for UA's requirements for status going forward. Free agency looking more and more likely going forward.

    1. Brian Guest

      ua will most likely follow suit

  72. Karen Guest

    Well, there goes my loyalty to Delta and Amex. I'll get another CC that has rewards that can be used on any airline. And, I'll start buying my tickets based on best price and schedule, instead of using Delta even if schedule or price isn't the best. Based on these changes, Delta only wants business travelers.

    1. Extraordinary1 Member

      AA is far better than DL in every aspect, try one of their credit cards.

    2. jedipenguin Guest

      Delta would be a good merger target for American.

    3. High Flyer Guest

      Bravo - this comment wins the day. Breathtaking.

  73. Never In Doubt Guest

    The next shoe to drop will be AMEX changes.

    I’m sure they‘ll limit Delta card holders to 6 Centurion lounge visits/ year to mirror the Sky Club change.

  74. CSue Guest

    I think they're going about it a bit wrong.
    I am fully on board to limiting the number of visits. It's never made sense to me that some people can go to a lounge 500 times a year and others might only go 10 or 20. And the person who goes 500 times might not be spending more with Delta.
    But why should there be such a jump from 6 visits to unlimited?...

    I think they're going about it a bit wrong.
    I am fully on board to limiting the number of visits. It's never made sense to me that some people can go to a lounge 500 times a year and others might only go 10 or 20. And the person who goes 500 times might not be spending more with Delta.
    But why should there be such a jump from 6 visits to unlimited? I barely travel and 6 visits isn't enough. When I do travel I often need 3 lounge visits in a single day because I don't have direct flights to/from my destinations. I would probably be happy with 12, but 6 is ridiculous. One RT to Hawaii or Europe uses 6.
    I already stopped chasing status because I save to much and get better connections by choosing the best flight, regardless of carrier. But I do spend a fair amount of money on the AmEx cards and now probably switch to another lounge program as they build out more locations.
    The other thing is. I know people who are die-hard Delta people, flew millions of miles during their careers but now are retired or semi-retired and fly less, although still a fair amount. I don't think they'll even be able to reach these new levels for Platinum or Diamond.

  75. Joshua Guest

    I wonder if those visits are considered per club or per day.

    Example. PHX - SLC - MSP
    I’d visit sky club in Phoenix, and SLC during my layover… is that 1 visit or 2?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Joshua -- Unfortunately it's one per club, so your example would be two visits.

    2. nc-retiree Guest

      This is the most annoying thing to me about this whole suite of changes. It really affects non-hub flyers disproportionately.

      Make it your choice of 6 days a year for yourself or 3 days a year for yourself and a guest, pick at the beginning of your credit card year.

  76. George Romey Guest

    Bottom line is that airlines have come to realize that many of their elite members aren't all that profitable. This change has been slow and will continue. I'd say it's a safe bet that within 5 years complimentary domestic upgrades will be gone replaced by an upgrade fee. Already aggressively being implemented by AA (and I think DL as well).

    1. ZTravel Member

      We need more airlines, more competition!

  77. Ole Guest

    I still see use for Delta Plat - the companion pass. So spouse and I will still keep our Delta Platinum cards.

    Amex Plat is a different story. The primary use was for Sky Club access and Clear membership as almost all of our travel is to/thru the airports that do not have Centurion Lounge. I am not sure the $890 is justified for Sky Club access, and Clear membership. Might have to go back to CSR. Good thing is, we have a year to crunch the numbers.

  78. Tm Guest

    What about earning mqd through the shopping portal?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tm -- Based on what we know so far, that's not a method through which you can earn MQDs. I imagine the program may evolve in the future.

  79. Jay Guest

    Hey Ben,
    Long time follower. Why does your website state presented by Capital one now?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jay -- Thanks for reading! It's a temporary sponsorship this week to celebrate the launch of the Venture X Business. Content will be as usual, though. :-)

  80. Happy Flyer Member

    What this tells me is I will stay with Delta to fly as they are still the best US carrier IMO. I will keep my Amex Plat card as I can still use Centurion lounges, Priority Pass, and Premium lounges as well, no matter who I fly.

  81. esquimau New Member

    Will be interesting for us. I can see keeping our Delta Platinum card since the companion ticket usually covers the annual fee anyhow.

    But for me... I've been Diamond the last two years but I'm not sure I can expect to make that spent on my travel (mostly international work travel where I don't get to pick the class and don't get to pick my airlines). So I probably am in my last year of...

    Will be interesting for us. I can see keeping our Delta Platinum card since the companion ticket usually covers the annual fee anyhow.

    But for me... I've been Diamond the last two years but I'm not sure I can expect to make that spent on my travel (mostly international work travel where I don't get to pick the class and don't get to pick my airlines). So I probably am in my last year of Diamond.. (I think, I'm confused since I already qualified for Diamond for next year so is that even still the case?)

    I only really kept the amex (non-branded) platinum for the lounge benefit since we already have the Amex Gold and CSR. Capping me at 5 lounge visits a year won't even cover my work travel not to mention the personal travel. I can't justify the $695 base + $195 AU for my partner if we only have 5 visits a year. Not when we already have the CSR.

  82. Liz Guest

    Well, now I should change cards before the annual fee hits. I had the Delta platinum due to SLC being my main hub. I could pay for the lounge, not a frequent flier. I always reached silver at the $3000 mqd's, but $6000 will be hard. Might just go to gold so I can have the free checked bag when needed. Will stick to my CSR card, more value.

    1. Ole Guest

      The companion pass on Delta Plat still pays for the card.

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      I have a fairly hard time using the companion pass each year... it always ends up being a "forced" trip just so that I don't lose it. I've been considering downgrading it for a few years now and this will probably do it, so I only never barely made silver with the old spend threshold on the card.

    3. nc-retiree Guest

      I thought that doubling the SM threshold when all the other thresholds were only raised by 50-75% was a bit harsh. $4500-$5000 would have been more appropriate.

  83. Anthony Joseph Guest

    For American and Delta, the airline industry is so cyclical, so watch out on the next downturn which is coming soon (Fed monetary policy....).

    There are a lot of startups and offering premium at lower costs (eg. JetBlue to Europe). WHAT AMERICAN AND DELTA HAVE FORGOTTEN IS HOW THEY GREW BECAUSE OF "LOYALTY" PROGRAMS. The new bean counters are focussing on the wrong strategy.

    Who spends $350K on a single credit card in a year?...

    For American and Delta, the airline industry is so cyclical, so watch out on the next downturn which is coming soon (Fed monetary policy....).

    There are a lot of startups and offering premium at lower costs (eg. JetBlue to Europe). WHAT AMERICAN AND DELTA HAVE FORGOTTEN IS HOW THEY GREW BECAUSE OF "LOYALTY" PROGRAMS. The new bean counters are focussing on the wrong strategy.

    Who spends $350K on a single credit card in a year? Who spends $35K a year on air travel (other than executives at companies)?

    So no loyalty means tremendous opportunities for new carriers. I personally quit flying US carriers overseas for the past 10 years. And I flown a cumulative 4+ Million actual miles over the past 40 years.

    1. jedipenguin Guest

      We need foreign airlines flying domestically-I prefer non Western carriers. Non Western carriers provide better service.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      We need foreign airlines flying domestically-I prefer non Western carriers. Non Western carriers provide better service.

      And you're naive enough to think that would continue, on any routes other than NYC/Florida to California, which are essentially the only contiguous routes the US3 give a crap about even now?

  84. polarbear Gold

    As already asked, how does one earn million miler status now?

    1. NK3 Gold

      Anything that earns MQMs currently contributes to million miler status. So flying on paid tickets with Delta (like most other airlines), but also award tickets on Delta, flights with partner airlines, and MQM bonuses from credit card spend. Additionally, if you fly in a premium cabin, currently you get a bump in the number of MQMs.

      Historically, it has been easier to achieve million miler status with Delta compared to the other US carriers. For...

      Anything that earns MQMs currently contributes to million miler status. So flying on paid tickets with Delta (like most other airlines), but also award tickets on Delta, flights with partner airlines, and MQM bonuses from credit card spend. Additionally, if you fly in a premium cabin, currently you get a bump in the number of MQMs.

      Historically, it has been easier to achieve million miler status with Delta compared to the other US carriers. For example, when I flew to Cape Town with KLM is business class, I flew around 20k miles, but Delta gave me around 30k MQMs, and therefore 30k miles towards million miler status. If I were to have flown Lufthansa, and credited the flight to United, it would give me 0 miles towards United million miler status, because they do not count partner metal flights. United, however, gives way better benefits to their million milers.

  85. David Guest

    I hold the Delta Reserve Personal, Business and AMEX Personal Platinum. Is that 26 visits? Also, what about additional Reserve card members, do they also get 10 visits a year?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ David -- Yes, the visits are additive, so you would get 26 visits that way. Not 100% sure about the Delta Reserve authorized user question, but let me try to get clarity.

    2. Shannon Guest

      I'm also curious about Platinum AUs. Got 4 of them (kids and spouse) due to Centurion lounge restrictions, right before they announced the increased AU fees. Hoping we have 6 visits x 5 ppl!

    3. Nola Guest

      AU's get 10 visits. Once spend on the primary Reserve card hits 75k, both primary cardholder and all AU's get unlimited club access. From Delta's email: "To earn an unlimited number of Visits (“Unlimited Delta Sky Club Access”) starting on February 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the Eligible Card Account must equal or exceed $75,000 (the “Purchase Requirement”) between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 and in each calendar year thereafter. Unlimited...

      AU's get 10 visits. Once spend on the primary Reserve card hits 75k, both primary cardholder and all AU's get unlimited club access. From Delta's email: "To earn an unlimited number of Visits (“Unlimited Delta Sky Club Access”) starting on February 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the Eligible Card Account must equal or exceed $75,000 (the “Purchase Requirement”) between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 and in each calendar year thereafter. Unlimited Delta Sky Club Access will be provided to both the Basic and Additional Reserve Card Members on the Eligible Card Account once the Account has reached the Purchase Requirement. All entry requirements set forth in “General” above will continue to apply with respect to Unlimited Delta Sky Club Access."

  86. Deric Guest

    these changes are absurd. I am a loyal Delta Diamond and have the Delta Reserve card. This is basically a giant middle finger. Time to start shopping my loyalty around to other airlines, Delta is usually the most expensive carrier and what do you get with that?

  87. Dn10 Guest

    Anything changing with the ability to earn delta miles through Lyft and Starbucks?

    1. Paul Guest

      No, just 45,000 cups of coffee and you'll be Silver.

    2. It’s me Guest

      Unfortunately partnerships don’t count. Just cars hotels and vacations.

      Instacart, Lyft and Starbucks are big misses imo.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Dn10 -- Yeah, nothing changing there, but unfortunately those partner activities don't yet qualify toward MQDs.

  88. FlyerMike Guest

    Thank you Delta! I'm a casual flyer (Delta One) and I'm all for these changes. The lounge access in particular should be for passengers flying premium cabin on longer routes. The credit card granted access has enabled everyone under the sun access, along with their families. At the last couple of visits to the Delta SkyClub it looked like the departure gate at a Southwest or Spirit flight. For those of you who are threatening...

    Thank you Delta! I'm a casual flyer (Delta One) and I'm all for these changes. The lounge access in particular should be for passengers flying premium cabin on longer routes. The credit card granted access has enabled everyone under the sun access, along with their families. At the last couple of visits to the Delta SkyClub it looked like the departure gate at a Southwest or Spirit flight. For those of you who are threatening to cancel your Delta Amex, I can assure you that Delta simply does not care.

  89. PHinPS Guest

    I though Delta banned Basic Economy from the clubs the same time they banned non revenue flyers. Did they bring it back?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ PHinPS -- Delta had banned Sky Club members from visiting lounges when traveling on a basic economy fare, but not those accessing with a credit card. Going forward, those accessing with a credit card will be banned as well when on a basic economy ticket.

  90. Million miler Guest

    After 10 years as a reserve card holder it will be nice no longer paying for the privilege of it given its devaluation for anyone that isn't wealthy or making massive business purchases.

  91. JDink Guest

    Will you still get club access if you book a business class award from/to Mexico from the USA?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JDink -- A Delta One ticket offers Sky Club access, but short haul international flights don't generally qualify (unless I'm missing something).

    2. alex Guest

      Canada /Mexico offer access to sky club for Business Class

  92. Jim Guest

    So with the DL Reserve card annual fee you are simply prepaying the $50 per visit for the 10 visits allocated with the remaining $50 in fees to be allocated to the companion fare. So not sure what the value is to hold on to this card or any other DL card.

    1. Matt Guest

      if you are a little short on reaching the status, you can put spending on the card instead of flying.

  93. RGibs Guest

    Well I will now not be renewing either my Delta Platinum or Amex Platinum cards. I'll be moving to Alaska as my carrier now. I really enjoy Delta's product and chose them over Alaska (I'm based in SEA) even if they were more expensive. I've done 28 personal segments with Delta to date (with more planned thru EOY). I guess I'm not the consumer they want. ‍♂️

  94. TOM Guest

    Does 2 plat cards = 12 visits ?

    1. Jetiquette Guest

      This is what I want to know, except I was curious about 1 personal and 1 business.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ TOM -- Yep, the visits are additive, so if you have multiple cards, you can take advantage of the visits on each.

  95. Brandon Guest

    So what happens if you have a additional delta reserve (companion card)? Does it add to the number of total lounge visits? Does each card holder get 6?

  96. George Guest

    Well just like that Delta might have lost me as a customer. They compete against united on the route I fly, and united is constantly cheaper but fly with delta because of the lounge access due to amex. No more!

  97. Alonzo Diamond

    There is always hoopla and outrage when companies make major changes to their cards/access to benefits. Chase has dealt with it, as has Amex and Citibank and many others. The truth is that Delta doesn't care about 99% of you, simply because you don't spend enough money. For those threatening to cancel their cards, stop flying with Delta and boycotting the company, just know that you doing that makes very little impact on Delta overall....

    There is always hoopla and outrage when companies make major changes to their cards/access to benefits. Chase has dealt with it, as has Amex and Citibank and many others. The truth is that Delta doesn't care about 99% of you, simply because you don't spend enough money. For those threatening to cancel their cards, stop flying with Delta and boycotting the company, just know that you doing that makes very little impact on Delta overall. Again, small numbers don't matter. For those of you with a million miles and tons of MQD's blah blah blah, Delta don't care about you. They care about massive corporate accounts. Think Apple and Starbucks corporate for example.

    1. Jerry Wheen Gold

      Large numbers of small numbers do matter.

      And those big corporate accounts work differently anyways, for example providing status for a certain number of employees.

  98. Tim Dunn Diamond

    To no one's surprise, the comments are full of people that are swearing off their Delta Amex cards - so they clearly do not and never could meet the spending targets in order to gain access.

    The Delta and Amex Sky Club access was a huge deal and it gave both DL and AXP huge amounts of revenue during the pandemic. Neither of these companies is making these changes without knowing fully what they will...

    To no one's surprise, the comments are full of people that are swearing off their Delta Amex cards - so they clearly do not and never could meet the spending targets in order to gain access.

    The Delta and Amex Sky Club access was a huge deal and it gave both DL and AXP huge amounts of revenue during the pandemic. Neither of these companies is making these changes without knowing fully what they will lose and what they will gain.

    Both will lose a lot of volume - not really the strategy of either company - while retaining and growing high revenue, loyal customers.

    Delta presents at a Morgan Stanley investor event tomorrow and they will certainly provide revenue updates. it is highly doubtful they are announcing a hit to their loyalty and card program revenue.

    1. Dan H Guest

      It doesnt matter what they report at the upcoming conference. The hit to their revenue will come AFTER this announcement, not before. This new strategy will cut loyalty membership, and slow their future growth. Delta's market share both domestically and globally likely peaked yesterday.

    2. digital_notmad Diamond

      That's a very strange conclusion to draw. I spend many multiples of that annually and I'm surely not alone - I'm just mathematically literate and therefore able to determine that the ROI for Delta is plainly not worth the opportunity cost when competitors have objectively stronger offerings available for significantly less spend, and that's before even considering how Delta's service elements have declined from industry-leading to lagging

      It's nothing personal for those of us with...

      That's a very strange conclusion to draw. I spend many multiples of that annually and I'm surely not alone - I'm just mathematically literate and therefore able to determine that the ROI for Delta is plainly not worth the opportunity cost when competitors have objectively stronger offerings available for significantly less spend, and that's before even considering how Delta's service elements have declined from industry-leading to lagging

      It's nothing personal for those of us with this kind of spend, it's just business.

  99. CSR 2.0 Guest

    Very impressive to announce massive changes and still not even have all the details out hahaha.

    I've seen no answer to: do Award tickets still earn MQD's?
    TPG story says that rollover MQM's are ending, but Delta will offer a one time conversion this year, either into MQD's or Redeemable Miles, what will the conversion rate be?

    My husband and I have been platinum for many years and we've requalified for 2024 already. Looks like that may be our final year.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ CSR 2.0 -- My understanding is that award flights will still earn rollover MQDs. Post now has details about conversion rate for MQMs. :-) But yeah, Delta didn't exactly do a great job with the communication here and breaking this story...

  100. Steve erchul Guest

    One of the benefits of the reserve card was the lounge access. Now 10 times per year is five flights, seems silly for a business traveler to only fly 5 round trips in a year. As one commenter said, bye bye reserve. Time to load up points in a different brand

    1. farnorthtrader Guest

      With connections, likely not even 5 trips per year

  101. Gray Guest

    Cynically, I think I know the answer, but I still have to ask the question: When you go to your "What is my take on these changes?" question, why don't you just start off by saying "They $u¢k?" Delta didn't publicly give you a leak, so you owe them nothing.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Gray -- Lol, totally fair. I think I've just had really low expectations from SkyMiles for so long that nothing surprises me?

    2. Gray Guest

      *laughs and tips his hat*
      That is NOT what I expected to hear in response!

      Fair enough, sir! Fair enough!

  102. Johnny Quinlan Guest

    So as a Delta Platinum Medallion member and platinum Delta Amex card holder I can no longer access the Skylounge starting 1/1/24 even if I pay $50??? So no more sky club access at all??? Or did I not read this correctly?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Johnny Quinlan -- You'll no longer be able to pay $50 to access a Sky Club. However, you will still get lounge access as as SkyMiles Platinum member when traveling on eligible international itineraries (on account of your SkyTeam Elite Plus status).

    2. David Miller Guest

      But only if flying in Premium Select or Delta One international, so less the itinerary than the class of service right (at least according to the 2023 changes unless this reverts that). We primarily fly out of atlanta for work with global portfolios but since work just pays for MC, most of my coworkers haven't been able to go (unless they selected it in their Medalion Choice benefits or had the right credit card this year).

  103. Stars Fan Guest

    I never go to sky club anywaus. My layovers are never that long. The only thing that would affect me is getting silver status. If i can not get that based on card spenidng then i will deep six the delta amex platinum and find a better card with lower annual fee.

    1. Michael Guest

      Well, I guess that means we don't need the Delta AMEX Platinum Card anymore. I really enjoyed the access to the lounges even with the additional fee. Now I'll dump this card and look for another one. It's a shame.

  104. ZTravel Guest

    Airlines that don’t care about Miles are like Hospitals that don’t care about medications/drugs. Makes zero sense and I’ll be spending zero dollar on Delta flights or cards.

  105. Lee David Auerbach Esq. Guest

    Any word on access restrictions to the Delta clubs based upon a business class or above ticket, accompanied with a personal centurion card?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Lee David Auerbach Esq. -- There's no change to lounge access for premium cabin tickets that offer Sky Club access.

  106. Derrick Guest

    I can't see how Delta is banking on customers spending more on their credit cards, if the customers will just shred their credit cards in response to these changes. So now you have to pay $550 and only get 10 visits??? I used to love being able to start at one lounge in ATL, and move to another one if the lounge was too crowded. I guess that's out! Same for multi-segment flights! We'll see...

    I can't see how Delta is banking on customers spending more on their credit cards, if the customers will just shred their credit cards in response to these changes. So now you have to pay $550 and only get 10 visits??? I used to love being able to start at one lounge in ATL, and move to another one if the lounge was too crowded. I guess that's out! Same for multi-segment flights! We'll see how things go, but if this ends up being too much of an inconvenience to me, or I feel more devalued as a long-time customer than I already do, I'll drop the card and the airline.

    This could be a perfect time for a lower cost airline to build a program that shows enormous value and benefit to loyal customers and welcomes disconcerted Delta customers (I'm looking at you, Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier or Spirit!!)

  107. digital_notmad Diamond

    Lol amex is about to lose 4 premium card fees from my household alone.

    1. digital_notmad Diamond

      haha people rioted when they couldn't access SkyClub on arrival. I don't think DL has any idea what's about to come at them now that they've nuked access entirely.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      They couldn't possibly not-realize it... they just don't give a crap. They're after corporate spend on contracts, the individual flyer they (upon their high horse) believe they'll just leave for Spirit/Southwest/Jetblue/etc.

    3. digital_notmad Diamond

      But what intrigues me is that they were forced into admitting they were wrong and backtracking on a SkyClub devaluation that was orders of magnitude less punitive than this one. Talk about slow learners!

  108. West Guest

    Well…No more flying Delta flights for me and my AMEX Platinum card. That is too bad as I really enjoy flying them this year.

    1. Happy Flyer Member

      I keep hearing people say, no more Delta flying for me! What is the alternative, AA or UL with rude and no help FAs or an enjoyable flight?

    2. Patti Guest

      It's a matter that some will still fly DL so they'll get those dollars but not a dime more as they use other CC instead of DL.

      We put everything on CC and that will go to someone else now.

      I don't use their cheesy clubs so no loss there. And don't fly their inadequate product internationally but often put the flight on my DL card. No more.

    3. Dempseyzdad Diamond

      "What is the alternative, AA or UL?"

      Well, yes...I have Plat status with AA, but switched to DL because of the Amex Reserve and lounge access. I do believe DL is better, but I will return to AA because they don't limit my lounge access. Yet. If DL doesn't value me as a paying customer, eff 'em.

  109. Aga Guest

    Terrible business move. I'm a loyal delta customer and Amex Reserve holder. I've been to the sky club 15 times this year. And I don't spend 75k on the stupid card bc ROO in miles is crap and I have a better card to spend that much money. Ugh.

  110. Adam Guest

    Sounds like the tipping point to go to SWA and goodbye Amex Reserve. The club made the inevitable ATL connections tolerable.

  111. Amol Guest

    Can you bring guests and have that count as an entry? If you spend $75k can you get SC guests?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Amol -- Nope, visitor entries can still only be used for the card member, and not for guests.

    2. Jonathan Guest

      Can you still bring guests for a $50 fee with either Amex platinum or delta reserve? What do you with kids that are too young to be authorized users?

  112. DH Guest

    I have 2.3 million MQM’s currently and a 5 Million Miler - besides being a 360. I also wonder how I get more Million Miles accrual. Hopefully the MQM’s I have don’t just become useless.

    The spend is no issue. But hopefully it will make sense.

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      And you have a pet unicorn, and a rocket car, and can bench 600lbs, and . . .

  113. Jacob Guest

    Welp…at least I will be saving $550 a year now. Bye bye Delta Reserve credit card.

    1. Former Delta 2MM Diamond Guest

      Me too! Card will be canceled at the end of the year! Thanks Delta for helping me break my addiction and irrational behavior flying you when you are more expensive or longer route!

  114. Chuck v. Guest

    I can see my 1.2 million miles on Delta are meaningless. All changes are marketing spin; the only winner is Delta. Post covid travel demand is very different and status levels keep raising the bar. Just follow the money.

  115. Jeffery y Guest

    Let’s be honest Drew! Everyone and their mother is in on the points game, no hate of course, I’m happy so many people get to experience it but the market is flooded, everyone is hacking points and earning miles of course the value is gonna go down! I’m just happy we got to live that time where 60k points got you across the Atlantic in style :)

  116. Ryan Guest

    Do you know if the visits to the lounge are counted as 1 per round trip ? Or each time you visit a lounge counts as 1? Because 5 rounds trips this 10 will get filled up quickly.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ryan -- Each entry to a club would count as one visit, rather than it being tied to an overall trip.

    2. Aga Guest

      Previously on Reddit it was mentioned your Authorized user's visits will also count towards the 10. That's 2 round-trips for me with my husband and one additional trip. Terrible.

  117. NSS Guest

    How does it work if I have the Reserve card and the non-DL Platinum card? Club visits based on which I use to pay for the ticket?

    1. Joe Guest

      Payment method is never a consideration, card possession matters

    2. Prat Guest

      Method of payment was never a factor so you’d just end up getting individual quotas for each I presume.

  118. Drew Guest

    Whether it's with the airlines or hotels, the last 20 years have seen significant downgrades to the way they treat their customers. The PR for the companies always tries to make it sound like it is pro consumer, but it is never good for the customer.

    Hilton used to have 6 nights in any hotel in any category around the world for 100k points. Now it's more than that for a single night, and...

    Whether it's with the airlines or hotels, the last 20 years have seen significant downgrades to the way they treat their customers. The PR for the companies always tries to make it sound like it is pro consumer, but it is never good for the customer.

    Hilton used to have 6 nights in any hotel in any category around the world for 100k points. Now it's more than that for a single night, and frequently up to 500k ore more for ONE night.

    Airlines do the same...could have flown business class anywhere in the world on Delta or a partner for 120k miles round trip. Now it's typically at least 3x that and you don't even earn as many miles as you used to for flying the same routes.

    Used to be that elite status qualification didn't require a spend and you got mileage toward elite at least for what you actually flew. Then it was enhanced so you have to fly, get fewer miles credited to gaining elite status, AND spend a certain $ amount. Now it's enhanced further and they only care about how much you spend.

    None of these enhancements benefitted the consumer, but every time they changed, the PR made it sound consumer friendly. It's getting to the point where the airlines and hotels don't care how much time you spend with them or how many trips you make, as long as you give them a lot of money. Very unfortunate, but will end up costing a lot of brand loyalty.

    1. Ryan Guest

      Yep. This is the “consumer benefit” that was promised when the big 6 airlines became the big 3. Worse service, fewer perks, higher prices…

    2. Steven Guest

      If you think about it, this is exactly what government's do too. Print a ton of money so we can spend, spend, spend (manufacture inflation, i.e. increase the amount of points available). Then cause a recession to slow the inflation down (raise rates, i.e. charge more points for the same routes), and then spend your way out of it (stimulus, i.e. by giving more points via Credit Cards). This way you can inflate your debts...

      If you think about it, this is exactly what government's do too. Print a ton of money so we can spend, spend, spend (manufacture inflation, i.e. increase the amount of points available). Then cause a recession to slow the inflation down (raise rates, i.e. charge more points for the same routes), and then spend your way out of it (stimulus, i.e. by giving more points via Credit Cards). This way you can inflate your debts away (or in our case the value of the points we hold).

  119. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I wonder if non-contiguous US residents and international residents will be exempt like they are currently.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      That question immediately popped into my head as well: what about the people who have foreign addresses and have the spend-exemption now??

    2. Jerry Wheen Gold

      If United and MileagePlus are an example, then all such exemptions are a thing of the past.

    3. eric Guest

      Like in Japan the rate ll be 1:1, for live outside USA in country /currency

  120. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    So let’s get this straight. Hyatt is saying business travel won’t ever return to pre-pandemic levels and is instead focusing on resorts and all-inclusive properties whereas Delta is banking on business travel (aka other people’s money) returning. Only one strategy can be right.

    1. jetset Gold

      How do you figure that? Sounds like Delta is banking on people shifting more spend to Delta credit cards based on these changes - no need to depend on OPM.

    2. Tony Guest

      It seems like Delta might be de-prioritizing business travel too. The whole Delta Vacations earning MQD concept solely caters to leisure travelers. Anyone who travels a lot for business can't book business travel through that, and when traveling for leisure, won't. I get a lot better hotel/car rates using my company's leisure codes than Delta Vacations or MQD value could ever provide.

  121. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The DL Amex Reserve card ended up being one of the most 0 to 60 to 0 credit card products. Ever.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Victim of its own success.

    2. Aviation_Fan Member

      Yup. Got mine this year. Gonna switch to the most basic Delta Amex now only for the free bag. You get more benefits on a non-branded Amex Plat vs the Delta Reserve Amex, and only 4 less Skyclub visits. So why in the world would I keep the Reserve card and be forced to stay loyal to Delta?

      I'm a SM and this literally killed the card for me. All I cared about was unlimited SC visits, and the MQM waiver. Now it's not worth the yearly fee.

  122. Jim Guest

    In my experience, "simplifying" invariably means "worsening" from the customer's perspective. So I have to imagine the new MQD thresholds will be steep.

    That said, DL uses MQM to calculate million mile status. I wonder what the plan is for that?

    1. lxf Guest

      I'm curious too. I'm so close to the first million. based on what AA did, they stuck to 'butt in seat' miles for the million miler qualification. maybe Delta will do the same?

    2. Issac Guest

      For million miler it'll be just the miles flown. No bonus miles etc.

  123. Creditcrunch Diamond

    VS made some similar changes to its flagship LHR Clubhouse a number of months ago effectively banning all passengers travelling in economy from entry;

    Passengers with the following loyalty status;
    “Delta SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallions + a guest traveling in premium on Virgin Atlantic or Delta premium”

  124. Santos Guest

    I have to give credit to DL for putting the cards on the table, as it were. It's all about the spend. This is obviously not great for the road warriors but the times are changing. Curious what others think about the Sky Club changes. Depending on what (if anything) they impose on Amex Plat holders, I don't see it moving the needle much except for punishing road warriors further.

    1. Shekhar Guest

      Uhh !

      Miles and points are hobby and addiction . People are renting about delta . People will get over it . They will be chasing the status again in a month. People who will give up and when they fly next time , they will see their name is not on upgrade list and other people getting upgrade and then they will be back in race.
      Lets dust settle and things will...

      Uhh !

      Miles and points are hobby and addiction . People are renting about delta . People will get over it . They will be chasing the status again in a month. People who will give up and when they fly next time , they will see their name is not on upgrade list and other people getting upgrade and then they will be back in race.
      Lets dust settle and things will be same. Only winner in this situation is DELTA
      When SkyMiles or pesos were deviated , people say we are not going to fly and check the statistic , delta market share grew more. We are human,Once we get taste of something we want more and that's about it

      Lets Ben do the another one in about 6 months with numbers and see how many people quit !!

      Happy flying and point chasing :)

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.

Drew Guest

Whether it's with the airlines or hotels, the last 20 years have seen significant downgrades to the way they treat their customers. The PR for the companies always tries to make it sound like it is pro consumer, but it is never good for the customer. Hilton used to have 6 nights in any hotel in any category around the world for 100k points. Now it's more than that for a single night, and frequently up to 500k ore more for ONE night. Airlines do the same...could have flown business class anywhere in the world on Delta or a partner for 120k miles round trip. Now it's typically at least 3x that and you don't even earn as many miles as you used to for flying the same routes. Used to be that elite status qualification didn't require a spend and you got mileage toward elite at least for what you actually flew. Then it was enhanced so you have to fly, get fewer miles credited to gaining elite status, AND spend a certain $ amount. Now it's enhanced further and they only care about how much you spend. None of these enhancements benefitted the consumer, but every time they changed, the PR made it sound consumer friendly. It's getting to the point where the airlines and hotels don't care how much time you spend with them or how many trips you make, as long as you give them a lot of money. Very unfortunate, but will end up costing a lot of brand loyalty.

8
Tim Dunn Diamond

The DL Amex Reserve card ended up being one of the most 0 to 60 to 0 credit card products. Ever.

8
ImmortalSynn Guest

And you have a pet unicorn, and a rocket car, and can bench 600lbs, and . . .

7
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,988,713 Miles Traveled

29,627,500 Words Written

32,815 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT