Delta Air Lines recently announced major changes to their SkyMiles frequent flyer program which could make it more difficult for travelers to gain elite status with the carrier. Delta is making adjustments to the amount of miles necessary for achieving status, as well as the number of qualifying segments and dollars spent on flights.
The changes are likely to have a major impact on travelers who are leaning on Sky Miles as their preferred loyalty program. While passengers flying economy class can still receive “Medallion” status based on miles flown, those flying in First Class and its variations will need to fly more miles. Elite status can qualify a traveler for complimentary access to greater comforts like airport lounges, priority boarding, and discounted fares in the future.
Also, rather than calculating a customer’s elite status on the traditional miles flown, Delta will factor in the number of segments. This means that even with the same number of miles flown, individual travelers will need to fly more segments to gain elite status. Passengers flying in Delta One, Legacy First Class, Business Class and Premium Select all must have several more segments to qualify for the same elite levels in comparison to those flying in economy seats.
The new program will also consider dollars spent rather than miles flown. Before, travelers were able to reach elite status solely based on miles, but now Delta’s SkyMiles program will factor in the amount of money passengers pay as well. This means that even if passengers have more flights to their name, those spending less money on flights won’t have the same opportunities to earn elite status.
For those travelers who enjoy the perks of elite status, the changes to Delta’s SkyMiles program could be a struggle. The new system is likely to make it more complicated and difficult to gain recognition from Delta. Nevertheless, with the adjustments made, travelers may find new and easier ways to reach Delta’s elite status.
Regardless, Delta’s SkyMiles program still remains one of the most widely used loyalty programs among frequent flyers.Rack up miles to unlock the many benefits of being a Delta SkyMiles member and enjoy all that comes with being an elite passenger.