A few weeks ago I broke the news about the changes on the way for the Delta Medallion Choice Benefits for 2018 and followed that up with a post about what to choose (and when to choose them). But the Delta Medallion and frequent flyer programs are a maze of rules and layers of ifs, ands & buts if you will. Depending on any one of a thousand factors something may be simple or complex. With that many rules, and partnerships, changes can have unintended consequences. The new Delta Guest Pass Choice Benefit is just one of those. Let me explain one issue I am having that Delta is working to fix.
You see, I am an over achiever but that also gets me on the front line of any changes Delta makes. Due to the fact that I rolled over a bunch of elite MQMs and have already for 2017 met the MQD exempt spend on my Delta Reserve AMEX card as soon as 1FEB hit I qualified for the 2018 Medallion year – that is, I had over 125,000+ MQMs in my account and am exempt from the MQD spend requirement. Time to choose my Choice Benefit (I would not have to but wanted to).
I chose right away two of my now 3 choices. One was Global Upgrade. These are without a doubt the most valuable choice you can ever make if you use them and I do. I have already in fact spent them and have cleared to Sweden in Delta One this summer for my wife and I. Nice. The next one was gifting Gold Medallion status to a buddy since he will get two years of Gold status by gifting the 2018 choice right away. But that left me with 1 choice left that I wanted to use for the Sky Club Guest Pass.
But I had to wait for a few days – that is, until the 11th when my current Individual Sky Club membership from being a Diamond ended – but you see it did not end, it renewed for another year. This sounds great but it is not. Here is why.
With an active membership again I cannot use the Guest Pass choice. My only choice would be to upgrade my current membership to Executive for 1 year. Now in a funny quirk it costs only 23k SkyMiles and I could, for my 3rd Choice pick the following:
So, if I did this, I could upgrade free for a year and pocket 2k SkyMiles vs. selecting the Choice to upgrade. But the problem with Choice Benefit to upgrade is that it requires 2 choices and that is just way too much cost IMO. So I am stuck it seems.
I reached out to Delta about this issue and is there a possible way to “refuse” or downgrade or delete my gifted individual Sky Club membership as that is currently blocking me from choosing the Guest Pass choice? I was told by a Delta CORP rep:
“We are exploring ways to provide self-service options to allow customers to still choose the Guest Pass option.” – Delta CORP representative
So, for now, they are aware of this issue that is impacting us and they don’t yet know how to fix it (but are working on it). Here is why this matters so much to me and should to many flyers. Just like gifting Gold Medallion status from the 2018 Choice that gives 2 years of status to someone, choosing the Guest Pass right now means:
Delta Sky Club Guest Pass – Members who qualify for 2018 Diamond Medallion Status who have complimentary Delta Sky Club access via an eligible credit card – such as the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express – may select a Delta Sky Club Guest Pass to receive unlimited Delta Sky Club access for up to two guests per visit when traveling with the Card Member. The Member will receive a Delta Sky Club Guest Pass from the amount of time between Choice Benefits selection and the end of the 2018 Medallion year (January 31, 2019). Members who do not have an eligible credit card that grants complimentary access to Delta Sky Club are not eligible for a Delta Sky Club Guest Pass and should instead choose an Executive Membership. Eligible credit card must be used to physically access Delta Sky Club during any visit in which the Guest Pass is being used. If the Member’s Delta Sky Club access is terminated, the Member will no longer be able to use the Delta Sky Club Guest Pass. – Bold Mine
I would very much like to be able, since I hold the Delta AMEX Reserve card, to select the Guest Pass option and be able to bring 2 guests in free. But, for now, Delta is blocking me from using this published choice and getting maximum value out of my 2018 choice.
Hopefully we will see a fix for this sooner than later as they are now clearly aware of this issue they had not anticipated. Even chatting with @Delta folks they mentioned they had never had anyone want to remove Sky Club membership but with the new option clearly this can be a great choice for some like me. – René