Reader Rick D. had elite status with another airline and got Delta to match his status as a result (airlines will often give the best customers of another airline complimentary status to try to woo their business).
Delta extended their program for doing this over the summer.
But Rick stopped earning bonus miles for his flying that are normally received by elite frequent flyers.
Delta offers its elites the following bonuses:
- Diamond, 125%
- Platinum and Gold, 100%
- Silver, 25%
- 500 mile minimum per flight segment, and bonuses based on this minimum no matter how short the flight.
Delta pointed out, however, that these bonuses are no longer offered to members who received their status via a match or challenge. Delta has the following exclusion:
(1) In order to receive the Medallion mileage bonus, a member must earn Medallion status through either the required Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs). Members who receive complimentary Medallion status are not eligible to receive the Medallion mileage bonus for the complimentary Medallion year (excludes members who receive complimentary annual Medallion status through the Million Miler™ program or Choice Benefits gifted Medallion status).
This seems strange to me. On the one hand they only want to give points (and make an investment) in those people who earn their status. But the whole point of a status match is to make the customer feel valued enough to bring over their business.
Perhaps Delta’s bet is that the better treatment afforded to elites is what they need to offer (and all they need to offer), and so only need to offer partial or pseudo-status to those they offer status to on the basis of their status elsewhere.
Nonetheless an interesting change worth noting. It’s not as if the miles earned from Delta are that valuable anyway, but at the same time that’s why the bonus matters so much — if you earn twice as many miles flying Delta, you can afford to spend twice as many miles as another program might require when redeeming those miles.
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