Delta Air Lines is extending medallion status through January 31, 2023. The return to travel hasn’t been typical. Busy airports and full planes provide the perception of normality. Yet, business travel is still approximately 60% lower than 2019. Instead, the skies are full of leisure travelers trying to get out after nearly a year of being cooped up at home. To help business travelers and frequent flyers, Delta Air Lines has decided to extend elite status again. In addition to extending elite status, they will create a two-tier system to reward those who earn status, but not punish their elite travelers who have not been able to return to full blown road warriors in 2021 due to Covid.
Medallion Members 2022 Extension
Elite status levels for the 2022 program year will not be lower than whatever Medallion status the member held in 2021. 2021 status was already rolled over and easier to earn. Now, 2022 will be another year of rollover status.
“After an unprecedented year, we are thrilled to see so many of our loyal Members back in the skies and reuniting with loved ones,” said Dwight James, S.V.P. of Customer Engagement & Loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations. “However, we know traveling looks different than it did before the pandemic. No matter what your situation has been throughout the past year, we want to do all we can to make your return to travel seamless and rewarding, with the assurance that Delta is listening and responding to take care of you every step of the way.”
The following updates will happen automatically, with no action needed from customers.
- Elite Medallion Status for 2021 will be automatically extended for the 2022 Medallion Year.
- All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) will roll over to 2022 to qualify for 2023 Medallion Status – for the second year in a row.
- Members will continue to earn toward Elite Status on Award Travel through Dec. 31, 2022 – extended an extra year.
- All Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates will be extended for travel through Jan. 31, 2023.
- Members who earn Status in 2021 will receive additional benefits, as a special thank-you for their continued flight activity: Starting Feb. 1, 2022, those who earned 2022 Status will clear for Complimentary Upgrades ahead of those at the same tier level whose Status was automatically extended, and Platinum and Diamond Medallion Members who have earned Status will be able to select Choice Benefits.
- All current Delta 360 Members will be able to enjoy their exclusive Membership in our annual, invite-only program for an additional year through Jan. 31, 2023. All Delta 360 Members will be able to select Diamond Choice Benefits.
Easier Status Is A Win For Now
Delta Air Lines is the first US airline to announce a full elite status extension for 2022. In addition, they are making status in 2022 easier with several promotions. Typically award travel does not count towards status. Delta is the only airline I know that is counting free travel towards elite status. Furthermore, allowing elite miles to rollover will make it easier to earn status in 2022 towards the 2023 program year. I know Alaska offered a similar promotion in 2021. I rolled over nearly 50,000 miles. This was a huge boost towards re-securing elite status in 2021.
Covid cases are rising again due to the Delta variant. The 2021 Fall and Winter travel season are likely to see a reduction of travel if this continues. Business travel is likely to continue to be substantially lower in 2021 than it was in the fall of 2019. It’s better for the airline to extend elite status to their customers who typical bring in the most revenue. Otherwise, Delta is risking them becoming free agents and flying a different airline. A gesture of goodwill now is likely to buy more business and loyalty for the future.