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Finally! While airlines around the world have been taking steps to help their frequent flyers retain their hard-earned statuses at a time when the world is grounded, the big US airlines have been noticeably quiet on the matter…until now.
Delta has broken ranked with the other major US airlines and announced that it is extending Medallion status, Club memberships, and various other benefits for periods of between 6 months and a year.
Delta Medallion Status Extensions
- All Medallion Status for 2020 will be automatically extended for the 2021 Medallion Year.
- All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) from 2020 are being rolled over to 2021 to qualify for 2022 Medallion Status.
Delta Sky Club Memberships Extended
- All Delta Sky Club memberships which have an expiration date of 1 March 2020 or later will be extended for a period of 6 months – this applies to individual and executive memberships.
Delta SkyMiles Amex Card Benefits Extended
All the following Delta Amex card benefits that are currently valid or that have expired since 1 March 2020 will have their expiration dates extended:
- Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Members with a $100 Delta flight credit will get a six-month extension beyond their current expiration date.
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card Members with Companion Certificates with an original expiration date between 1 March and 30 June 2020, can use them when they book and fly by 31 December 2020, and those that expire between 1 July 2020 and 1 April 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card Members with Companion Certificates with an original expiration date between 1 March and 30 June 2020, can use them when they book and fly by 31 December 2020, and those that expire between 1 July 2020 and 1 April 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card Members will also get a six-month extension to use their Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes beyond their current expiration date.
Delta SkyMiles Benefits Extended
The following Delta SkyMiles benefits that are currently valid or that have expired since 1 March 2020 will have their expiration dates extended:
- Upgrade Certificates or $200 Travel Vouchers with an original expiration date between 1 March 1 and 30 June 2020 can now be used through 31 December 2020.
- SkyMiles Members with Upgrade Certificates or $200 Travel Vouchers that expire after 30 June 2020, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
- SkyMiles Select members will receive a six-month extension to the Priority Boarding benefit and any unused drink vouchers.
It’s very nice to see Delta announcing positive measures for its elite members and the status extension into 2022 is admirable and generous. I expected the airline to offer bonus MQM/MQD later in the year to give flyers a chance at retaining/earning status so the fact that it has decided to take decisive, one-time action is a little surprising….but pleasing.
What is also surprising is that Delta is rolling over all MQM that have been earned this year into 2021 so any flights credited to Delts this year will not have been in vain – that’s the most generous move that we’ve seen out of any airline or hotel loyalty program so far.
The extensions offered on all the other SkyMiles benefits (and Amex card benefits) are very welcome too, but we’ll only really know how useful the extensions to the end of this year are once we see how quickly we can all get back to the skies – Delta may need to revisit these extension dates if “normality” (or a semblance of normality) doesn’t return much before the end of the summer.
Well done Delta…now it’s up to American Airlines and United Airlines to step up and do at least as much for their elite members.
Overall these are generous measures that Delta has announced but they’re also measures that are warranted and in the airline’s best interests (they’ll help to keep flyers happy and loyal).
The fact that Delta has chosen to act on the elite status situation with one fell swoop rather than to play pointless games with incremental extensions (like British Airways has done) shows that there’s at least a modicum of forward-thinking at the airline, and for that Delta should be applauded.