Delta – Oops Did It Again! Program Changes Posted on Delta.com & Then Removed

by John Ollila on January 16, 2013

In March 2012, I wrote about coming changes to Delta’s SkyMile program. I was going to update the article at some point, but the deployment of the changes has been delayed by Delta many times.

delta-changes

UPDATE: We should learn more about these Delta changes at 9AM EST on Thursday unless there is last minute change in plans.

Now, Delta mistakenly or on purpose put up some program change information on Delta.com and shortly removed it. FlyerTalk member DLroads was able to copy/paste the information that Delta had changed and that now has been removed. There is a lively discussion on FlyerTalk about this forthcoming change and, if you are delta flier, you should certainly check it out.

Earning Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)

Beginning March 1, 2013, the MQMs SkyMiles members earn on select fare classes will change:
For Delta-marketed flights, the MQM bonus for First/Business F and J fare classes will double from 50% to 100%, and Economy M fare class will no longer earn a 50% MQM bonus. This change will apply to tickets purchased on or after March 1, 2013.

The above changes also will apply to F-, J- and M-equivalent fare-class tickets on Aeromexico-, Air France-KLM-, Alaska-, Alitalia-, and Virgin Australia-marketed flights. This change will apply to travel flown on or after March 1, 2013.

The MQMs you earn on certain other partner-marketed flights will adjust for travel flown on or after March 1, 2013. Visit delta.com/partnerairlines for details by carrier.

Please note that the way you currently earn redeemable miles is not changing.

Learn more about earning MQMs on Delta- and partner-marketed flights.

Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) – Coming Next Year

Beginning January 1, 2014, SkyMiles members residing in the United States (excluding Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) will qualify for Medallion status based on an additional threshold – the member’s annual spending with Delta, which will be measured by Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). Members must also meet the existing Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) qualification criteria.

The threshold ranges from $2,500-$12,500 MQDs depending on Medallion level.

Alternatively, Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers can be waived from the new Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) requirement if they make at least $25,000 in Eligible Purchases within the calendar year.

Note that these changes might still change as they were not officially published or published before official announcement was released. These changes only apply to earning SkyMiles, but changes are most definitely coming to how you are able to use them as well. It may be that Delta is going to drop all the info at once.

Note that the medallion qualification dollar requirement is not going to be in effect before 2014 and thus applies for qualification for 2015. The dollar qualification requirement doesn’t apply to those that spend $25K annually on Delta branded credit card.

It is somewhat surprising that Delta isn’t lowering the medallion qualifying miles (MQM) earned on so called (s)LUT fares to 50% of the distance flown. These are the lowest fare buckets on Delta and mainly used by price sensitive travelers.

If Delta’s intention is to match United’s Global Services or American Concierge Key invitation only elite status levels with their Diamond, the spend requirement of $12500 is really low. The spend requirement for United’s Global Services invitation is dependent of the market but is around 3 to 4 times higher than Delta’s dollar requirement for Diamond.

Conclusion

It is interesting to see what exactly is going to come out of this change once it has officially been announced.

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to burn my stash of 840K Delta SkyMiles. Once Delta moves to dynamic award pricing based on the fares, the “value” of these miles is a lot less.

Remember to sign up for our free blog updates by email, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. This way you don’t miss out on any valuable information about hotel and airline bonus opportunities, promotions, status matches and program updates.

If you enjoyed this article, get blog email updates... for free!

Email Address:

Previous post:

Next post: