Reference post: Earning Delta Medallion status DOES NOT CHANGE under #Skymiles2015!

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road sign wrong way go back

You know what really makes me upset? OK sure CRJ200’s always make me upset but that is not it. No, ending up #1 on the upgrade list with zero seats open is not it either (well that makes me a bit crazy too to be honest). What makes me see RED is when the “media” says the new Skymiles2015 will mean a bunch less elite flyers!

Let me make this as clear as I can – NOTHING CHANGES regarding elite qualification under Skymiles2015. The info from Delta says, the MQMs, the elite qualification bonus points for fare class, the AMEX spending waiver and on and on are EXACTLY the same as they are right now under the current Skymiles system (in fact some things will get even better for elites but that is for a later post).

The only thing that is getting totally trashed under Skymiles2015 is the REDEEMABLE Skymiles you earn, that is those you earn and spend to get an award ticket. Elite points, that you earn alongside Skymiles, are never spent for flights and only are good for reaching whatever medallion level (plus the MQD or exempt number as well).

still 20000 mqm-s to syd from rdu in 2015

Still 20,000+ MQMs to SYD under Skymiles2015

This is also one of the reasons mileage runs will NOT go away in 2015 since we will earn the same amount of elite miles as we do now. Those who need or want to make some level will still have to top off their accounts some way. They can do that by either a mileage run, or from Delta AMEX “Airline Travel Cards” or by buying MQMs from Delta if and when they offer them later this year. Yes, a mileage run will be worth a bit less as the “rebate” in the form of Skymiles earning will be MUCH lower, but the elite miles (really all that matter) will be just the same next year, that is 2015.

So next time you read a journalist saying the changes for 2015 will greatly “thin the elite ranks” or that revenue based means less elite points you can giggle to yourself and know they don’t have a clue what they are talking about! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.


  1. While the reason they think there will be less elites is wrong, they are sort of right.

    There are 6 of us that fly DL and UA and all of us top tier that just said (forget) it; we are going to fly whomever is cheapest and not care about it anymore. The savings overseas on some carriers were $400-600 a ticket+ but we flew our loyal airline, not anymore.

  2. One of the big reasons people want to be elite in the first place is more RDM. Reduce the prize – reduce the will and effort to get it.

  3. I agree with both Scott and al613. But there maybe the same amount of elites for 2 reasons. 1 you maybe still elite but at a lower level. 2 DL is giving it away in NY, Washington state and Alaska. Targeted promotions from DL will determine how many and of course the all mighty CC. This loyalty is bought until you quit giving it away. When Amex cracks down on MS it should get really interesting. It’s just a matter of time with Amex.

  4. What makes me crazy is to see an upgrade lists with 55 people on it and only 12 1st seats on the plane do not torture me.. as i’m #25

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