Delta Air Lines’ planned changes to its SkyMiles status and Sky Club Access rules caused some significant pushback from both advisors and consumers. The changes, which made it more difficult to gain status with Delta and get access to its Sky Clubs, were revealed in September.
Not long after, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told the Atlanta Rotary Club that the carrier was rethinking those changes after an outsized reaction from the Delta frequent flyer base. On Wednesday, Bastian officially confirmed those rollbacks in a letter to SkyMiles members.
“I have read hundreds of your emails, and what’s been most clear to me is how much you love Delta and the disappointment many of you felt by the significance of the changes,” Bastian wrote. “I appreciate your opinions and understand your disappointment. Your voice matters, and we are listening.”
“Your loyalty matters. When I read your emails, you clearly expressed how much Delta is part of your lifestyle. I greatly appreciate that, and we don’t take it lightly. Our investment in your experience will always be at the heart of everything we do. I know the modifications we have made won’t solve for every disappointment. Our goal is to do our best to ensure we deliver the service and benefits your loyalty deserves,” he added.
While the rules and thresholds aren’t returning to what they were this year, Delta is making some significant changes to what was previously announced. Here’s what’s changing starting in 2024 for earnings toward 2025 status:
Moving back MQDs
The first major change Delta is making is reducing the proposed number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) needed to earn 2025 Medallion Status. The changes have been rolled back for all of Delta’s top four levels:
- Silver Medallion Status will now require 5,000 MQDs, instead of the 6,000 that was previously announced.
- Gold will require 10,000, down from the 12,000 that was previously announced.
- Platinum will require 15,000, down from the 18,000 that was previously announced.
- Diamond will require 28,000, down from the previously announced 35,000.
All those new numbers are still significantly up from what Delta had been requiring before the change—3,000, 8,000, 12,000, and 20,000 for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond respectively—but they are a significant step back from the thresholds that Delta had previously announced.
At the same time, Delta is changing the rules for its Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM) rollover. According to the announcement, those “with high balances will receive special multi-year options to extend their Status, including the ability to choose complimentary Medallion Status at your current tier for one year per every 100,000 MQMs.”
Sky Club access changes
One of the other big changes that Delta made, and one in particular that caused backlash from Delta SkyMiles members, was a cut in access for the Delta SkyClub. Specifically, Delta had cut access for some of its American Express and Delta-branded card holders.
Delta has eased those cuts this week. Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card members will now be able to access clubs 15 days per year (up from 10). After that, card members will be able to purchase club access for $50 per day. Alternatively, card members will gain unlimited access after spending $75,000 on an eligible card.
Medallion Members can also purchase annual memberships individually to the Delta Sky Club for $695.
Long-term loyalty additions
Starting in February 2024, Delta is also upgrading some of its annual complimentary achievement levels for its Million Milers, boosting them to higher levels:
- 6M+ from Diamond Medallion to Delta 360°™
- 5M from Platinum Medallion to Delta 360°™
- 4M from Platinum Medallion to Diamond Medallion
- 3M from Gold Medallion to Diamond Medallion
- 2M from Gold Medallion to Platinum Medallion
- 1M from Silver Medallion to Gold Medallion