Today I received one of those emails that I knew I would get one day… and I knew I was going to hate it, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Today, Jan 17, Delta announced some very “unfriendly” changes to their Medallion Loyalty program for 2014. Specifically, they’ve changed the program so that in addition to getting MQMs or qualifying segments, you also need to spend a certain amount of money with Delta to earn status.
I’ve flown Delta exclusively for 6 years, and I’ve been taking “mileage runs” for the last few years to keep my Gold status. But as of 2014, mileage runs will be a thing of the past because of these changes.
If you’re unfamiliar with a mileage run, here’s the short version: I take very quick trips to destinations around the world when the cost per mile is extraordinarily low. For example, a few months ago I flew from SEA to Puerto Rico for about $290 RT. I earned about 11,000 miles on this trip due to the fact that I had 2 layovers, one in ATL and one in NYC. 11,000 miles is almost half the miles required to become Silver Medallion status with Delta. In other words, I used to be able to get Silver status for under $1000 bucks. They fixed this “loophole” for 2014.
My goal this year is to get Platinum and live it up while the living’s good! If you’re interested in earning status this year (which will be good through Feb 2015), the FlyerTalk MR forum is a good place to start. Lots of mileage run deals posted there.
It is also worth noting that if you spend 25k annually with a Delta Amex card, you can be waived of this MQD (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) requirement. Good luck with that!