Delta Air Lines bankruptcy emergence Salt Lake City
Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

My Favorite Part of the Revised SkyMiles Changes 2023 From Delta Air Lines

Some surprises were announced earlier today.

Written in this article pertaining to the official announcement on Thursday, September 14, 2023 of what many people considered to be draconian measures in gutting the SkyMiles membership program is this quote: “…do not be surprised if Delta Air Lines implements one of its now-infamous ‘givebacks’ — you know, where only just enough of a partial correction will result in ‘happy’ customers once again.” What was not expected as one of those “givebacks” is what I consider to be my favorite part of the revised SkyMiles changes 2023 from Delta Air Lines, which I will reveal.

My Favorite Part of the Revised SkyMiles Changes From Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines Sky Club B Concourse opening
Edward Bastian. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

“Over the past few weeks, many of you have shared feedback about the changes we announced to Delta’s SkyMiles® Program”, according to a note that was attributed to Edward Bastian — who is the current chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines — which was sent via e-mail message earlier today, Wednesday, October 18, 2023 to members of the SkyMiles Program. “I have read hundreds of your emails, and what’s been most clear to me is how much you love Delta and the disappointment many of you felt by the significance of the changes. I appreciate your opinions and understand your disappointment. Your voice matters, and we are listening.”

The note continued that the revisions in the SkyMiles membership program were based on the feedback of members: “Your concerns largely centered around the accessibility of Medallion® Status, the limitations on Delta Sky Club® access and the need for greater recognition of our long-term loyal customers. As I have said in the past, it’s been a challenge to balance the growth of our membership with our need to deliver premium service experiences. Since the pandemic, our SkyMiles Medallion population has grown meaningfully. In fact, many of you have acknowledged this, and the need for change, in your emails. We made some difficult program decisions to address this issue and ensure we are delivering elevated service to our Members. But your response made clear that the changes did not fully reflect the loyalty you have demonstrated to Delta.”

The revisions to the initial changes to the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles membership program are as follows:

Medallion Elite Status Becomes More Accessible

The proposed number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars needed to earn 2025 Medallion elite status will be reduced — but still increased from current levels — as follows:

  • Silver Medallion elite status:
    • Reduced from 6,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars to 5,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
    • Still up from 3,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
  • Gold Medallion elite status
    • Reduced from 12,000 to 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
    • Still up from 8,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
  • Platinum Medallion elite status
    • Reduced from 18,000 to 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
    • Still up from 12,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
  • Diamond Medallion elite status
    • Reduced from 35,000 to 28,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
    • Still up from 20,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars

Increased Flexibility for Delta Sky Club Access

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Ribbon Cutting
Glen Hauenstein, who is the current president of Delta Air Lines; Kasim Reed, who is the former mayor of Atlanta; and Ed Bastian, who is the current chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines cut the ribbon to open what was then the new Delta Sky Club at Concourse B in Atlanta. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The following changes will become effective as of Saturday, February 1, 2025 for members with a Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card:

  • Card Members will now receive 15 days per year — which is an increase from ten visits — of Delta Sky Club access; and all visits during a period of 24 hours will count as one day
  • Card Members will also be able to purchase Delta Sky Club access for $50.00 per day after using all allotted days
  • Card Members can earn unlimited Delta Sky Club access after spending $75,000.00 on an eligible card in a calendar year
  • Members with Medallion elite status will also have the option of purchasing an annual individual Delta Sky Club membership for $695.00

More Options for Rollover Balances of Medallion Qualification Miles

Customers with high balances of Medallion Qualifying Miles will receive special multi-year options to extend their elite status — including the ability to choose complimentary Medallion elite status at your current tier for one year per every 100,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles.

More Ways to Earn Medallion Qualifier Dollars as One Qualifier — But…

Earn one Medallion Qualifying Dollar per one dollar spent on the ticket price for a flight that is marketed by Delta Air Lines and operated by Delta Air Lines or by one of its partner airlines. That dollar spent excludes taxes, fees — including fees that are imposed by governments — Basic Economy and similar fares, gratuities, room service, other reservation booking charges, and insurance, as applicable. Other terms, exceptions, and exclusions apply.

Given the latest changes — including the newly reduced Medallion Qualifying Dollar thresholds — Medallion Qualifying Dollars will not be offered for car rental reservations booked through Delta Car Rentals or lodging reservations booked through Delta Stays.

Increased Recognition and Rewards for Long-Term Loyalty

Earning Million Miler Status will require flying as a passenger aboard airplanes — so the number of miles flown while aboard an airplane are the only metric that will count towards Million Miler Status — but at least Million Miler status will be the number three tie breaker in 2024 after Medallion Status and fare class for consideration of being upgraded.

Annual Complimentary Status achievement levels for all members who have achieved Million Miler status will be significantly upgraded effective as of Thursday, February 1, 2024 as follows:

  • 6M+ from Diamond Medallion to Delta 360°
  • 5M from Platinum Medallion to Delta 360°
  • 4M from Platinum Medallion to Diamond Medallion
  • 3M from Gold Medallion to Diamond Medallion
  • 2M from Gold Medallion to Platinum Medallion
  • 1M from Silver Medallion to Gold Medallion

“More information about these and other changes — including new and enhanced Choice Benefits for Platinum and Diamond Medallion Members and MQD head starts for eligible Delta SkyMiles® Card Members — will be shared with you shortly in an email from Dwight James, our S.V.P. of Customer Engagement & Loyalty”, according to the aforementioned note from Ed Bastian. “Your loyalty matters. When I read your emails, you clearly expressed how much Delta is part of your lifestyle. I greatly appreciate that, and we don’t take it lightly. Our investment in your experience will always be at the heart of everything we do. I know the modifications we have made won’t solve for every disappointment. Our goal is to do our best to ensure we deliver the service and benefits your loyalty deserves.”

Final Boarding Call

As a Million Miler with Delta Air Lines, my favorite part of the revised SkyMiles changes 2023 from Delta Air Lines is something no one saw coming: the upgraded levels of Million Miler status, which is significantly more difficult to earn under the most recent changes than ever.

The other revisions to the changes themselves do somewhat soften the blow from the initial changes to the SkyMiles membership program — but for how long? Will these revisions be enough to retain a significant number of members from searching for greener pastures at the membership programs of other airlines?

What is your favorite part of the revised SkyMiles changes 2023 from Delta Air Lines — as well as your lest favorite part?

All photographs ©2007 and ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Hello, thanks for the article.
    Question. I have 680k Mqms and I’m a Diamond.

    If I extent for 5 years with the 100k/year – – will delta give the choice benefits?

    Ditto with 2.4M lifetime… will lifetime Diamond get the choice benefits?

  2. Million Miler change was great. As a fiercely loyal Delta Air Lines customer, but one who has another million miles between AA/UA I could never understand the diluted value Delta awarded 1MM – Silver? AA/UA offered complimentary Gold and those additional perks. For now, this MM upgrade will keep me flying the widget. I Love to Fly and it Shows …

    1. The upgraded Million Miler status will have me consider Delta Air Lines more often in the future as well, Robert otillar.

  3. There are some very carefully chosen words that Delta used in the release. First, status for the Million Milers is now an “Annual Complimentary Medallion Status” and not a Lifetime Medallion Status. This gives Delta the flexibility to change in the future. Second, It does not state that one who has the “Annual Complimentary Medallion Status” will recieve the Choice Benefits. When they grandfathered during Covid, Choice Benefits were not extended unless you actually hit the requirements.

    1. To be fair, Carl P Meyer, Delta Air Lines has called its “lifetime” Million Miler status as “Annual Complimentary Medallion Status” for years; so I was always wary of any changes they may implement to this status…

      …but I do not believe anyone ever expected their upgrading their Million Miler members to a higher Medallion status tier.

  4. My *favorite* part is that I currently earn one mile for every dollar I charge on my Delta Platinum Amex (which costs me more than $500/year), but starting in just over two months, I would earn one mile for every TWENTY dollars on my card, a 95% reduction. I wrote “I would earn” because I’m cancelling my Delta Amex and I’m switching to United and American for my flights.

  5. Since this ‘fleecing’, was announced, I have taken 8 round trip flights (2 International). I have booked NONE of them on DELTA…even though they would have been more convenient.
    My DELTA/AMEX card goes next.

  6. I agree. I am diamond and pay 500+ for reserve card. My 15 days will be used up in 4 months. I will be getting rid of my reserve card. I purchased it to have delta lounge access.American Express should do something about theirrelationship with delta

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!