2016 SkyMiles year is here! Just what are the changes you need to know.

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delta 2016 medallion chart

Well it’s here. The good news is, at this point, Delta has not sprung any unannounced changes on us (I am truly shocked and rollover MQMs seems safe for another year). We had already found out that Diamonds will board with 1st / business class, that is “Premium” or PRE on your boarding pass, but that is now also a listed perk of that status level on Delta.com.

wrong date

my correct medallion status ends 1FEB17 rene delta points blog

Delta IT has made an error as to when the 2016 Medallion year expires on Delta.com but not in the APP that does show my status ending 1FEB17 correctly. I am sure they will fix this as my status is not for just one month next year 😉

delta 2016 choice benefits

Choice Benefits have loaded. The rules are the same as last year and the only new choice that we already knew was on the way was to upgrade to full Skyclub membership vs individual membership. Clearly the most valuable choice is the Global Upgrade certificates and it is good news they were not cut. It would have been amazing to see MORE of them added but such an enhancement is not likely in the current environment.

The other great choice, if you have, like me, already earned your 2016 status, is gifting status to someone for almost 2 years! Notice if you give Silver or Gold away:

“Gifting Gold or Silver Medallion Status to a recipient: Gifted Medallion status can only be gifted to a recipient who currently has no Medallion status or status below the gifted level. Gifted Medallion status will be effective within 48 hours of selection and digital Medallion credentials can be found in the Fly Delta app. For selections made for 2015 Choice Benefits, recipient status is valid through January 31, 2016; for selections made for 2016 Choice Benefits, recipient status is valid through January 31, 2017.”

Again, to be CLEAR, for max value you are using your 2016 Choice Benefits. Also note, once selected, you can not make any changes and it will impact what other things you pick. Need more help? See this Choice Benefit post.

confort plus seats now blue

What else should we be alert to? The big push for Delta this year is all about Comfort Plus seats or C+ (and a change from green to light blue in the seat maps). Since first class and first class upgrades are going to be harder and harder to get from this point forward, a coach seat with a little more leg room and recline plus new perks matters. Delta has really backpedaled on the wording for the overhead space and now even tells us:

“Dedicated overhead bin space is subject to availability.”

A politician would be proud of this kind of wording. The “dedicated” space is only dedicated if it is there and no one else on the jets has used it. At least we know from the flight attendant instructions they are to find us space somewhere on the jet.

The next bit that struck me as “new” was the addition of the following wording:

“Delta Comfort+ fees are charged per customer per segment.”

Now this may NOT be new and I just missed it, but like first class upgrade sales, we are talking PER SEGMENT not per trip or one way trip. Have 3 connections? You are then paying 3x C+ fee to be in C+ from start to finish.

Lastly, no matter what your status, know you can not just switch to C+ seats after the boarding door closes.

“Complimentary Delta Comfort+ seats are not available for selection by any passenger while onboard the aircraft regardless of status or fare class.”

I am confident we are going to see the already announced selling of C+ seats happening this year. The technology is in place with the hand units, it is just finding the time for FAs to do this in addition to all of their other responsibilities! They are, after all, primarily there for marketing our safety. I really wounder what impact all these new tasks will have on the coming FA union vote.

Lastly, as of today, Medallions REALLY want to watch out for Basic E fares now because:

“Basic Economy (E) fares are not eligible to make same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes, regardless of Medallion or other elite status.”

I don’t care how much the savings is per ticket. I am not about to forfeit all my Medallion perks to save a few bucks on a ticket. I just feel really sorry for Medallions who have their company pick these fare classes for them!

So what do you think about the new Medallion year? – René
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