Delta Will Waive Its Revenue Requirement for Elite Status for Competitor Elites

Airlines have long been willing to give you status or at least an easier path towards status if you have already demonstrated value as a customer by earning status with a competitor.

Since they want your business, they don’t want there to be barriers to getting it — like that you are treated well with your existing status but would have to start from scratch if you switched.

What’s interesting though is that even in a changing world of what airlines view as being a valuable customer — both United and Delta have introduced revenue-based minimum spending requirements to earn elite status — there haven’t been similar changes in what it takes to be viewed as a valuable customer of someone else.

Now granted, at least United is not doing this well since it cannot seem to figure out how to properly track revenue.

But even Delta is interested in you if you’ve merely flown for status and not just spent for status.

Delta will match both United and American, and of course United now has a revenue requirement for earning status from scratch though American does not.

They’ve renewed their status match challenge and even made it easier to complete with fewer miles required. And if you take them up on it now that we’re in July, status will last through January 2016.

The requirements were dropped from flying 8000, 16,000 and 26,000 qualifying miles to 6250, 12,500, and 18,750 for Silver, Gold, and Platinum status respectively.

The segment qualification method was dropped from 10, 20 or 35 to 8, 15, or 25 for Silver, Gold, and Platinum as well.

You get the benefit of the status you are matched to for 90 days although they won’t send you a physical card unless you meet the challenge necessary to keep the status longer. That means you could be denied access to Skyteam partner lounges.

If you match to Platinum you do not get Platinum ‘choice benefits’ (such as confirmed domestic upgrades) until you meet the challenge requirement to keep the status.

The temporary match and challenge is offered one time per Skymiles account.

Although I don’t know why you would choose to switch your business to Delta, since you’d be earning Delta miles, unless of course you live in Atlanta or the Upper Midwest (but then you were probably already flying them rather than earning status with a competitor).


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. “Delta will match both United and Delta, and of course United now has a revenue requirement for earning status from scratch though American does not.”

    Why is Delta matching Delta? 🙂

  2. “Now granted, at least United is not doing this well since it cannot seem to figure out how to properly track revenue.”

    I think you meant:

    “Now granted, at least United is not doing this well since it cannot seem to figure out how to properly MAKE revenue.”

  3. “Although I don’t know why you would choose to switch your business to Delta, since you’d be earning Delta miles, ”

    …because Delta runs a nice airline, and the real miles-earning these days is in credit cards, not flying?

  4. You would switch your business to Delta if your focus was a consistently better flight experience, and you wanted to fly a more reliable carrier with more updated aircraft and friendlier employees.

  5. Agree with George. Do you want better experience now or later? If you want now, Delta is great in the air. If you want later (i.e., miles), you would never pick Delta.

  6. All I want from the airlines is to always get upgraded to F on deep discount coach, and to generate more value in points/miles than what I actually paid – whats so unreasonable with that? geez

  7. I just completed gold challenge and did it because I had 5 cheap trips planned with Delta and 3 of those with the family. We got economy comfort, free checked luggage, and priority boarding. I even got upgraded both ways on 1 of my trips. As an AA lifetime platinum, I don’t get free domestic upgrades, I need to use those silly 500 mile stickers. Since I now fly w/ whoever has the best deal, having Delta status helps out. For next year I already have LAX-BUD, PRG-AMS-NRT booked on Delta and their partners. Mileage earning will such next year but those are sky pesos anyway.

  8. A few years ago I reached Platinum status on US Airways and Silver status on Delta the same year. At the time, I decided that I wanted to make the commitment to Delta’s product. So, I called Delta’s 800# and the nice lady on the other end of the phone said that they would gladly match my US Airways status. All I had to do was fax them proof of my US Airways status and some other relevant information and they would send me a shiny new card and status upgrade. Two weeks later I received a letter from Delta stating that I already had Silver status and that they could not/would not upgrade my status level to match US Airways. Reached Chairman status on US Airways the next year and haven’t flow Delta since.

    I probably could have–as recommended on many blogs–just kept on trying to convince Delta, but I didn’t and no regrets so far. The point of the my comment is don’t simply assume that you can switch loyalties between companies. Sometimes they just don’t want your business. 😉

  9. I just flew 15,094 miles with DL anyway to match retroactively? Kinda feel dumb that I could have been gold
    🙁

  10. The reason I do status matches is to daisy chain my initial qualifying year. Every calendar year-end I transfer my status to a new airline either through a match or challenge. Obviously I’ll run out of airlines eventually but I’ll enjoy the ride for now.

  11. I still find it interesting that DL isn’t matching US or AS. The former because of the merger, and the latter because of, well, their recent relationship issues.

    Then again, as an AS MVP, I probably have the same upgrade odds on DL metal now as I would with DL Silver status – virtually none.

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