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Should Delta REFUND “buy MQMs” after Gold Medallion downgrade Monday?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

rollover mqms going away


If you have been flying all year long, or even worse, were foolish enough to fall for the totally stupid marketing pitch by Delta to buy MQMs at INSANELY over inflated prices this past week (when you can simply get a Delat AMEX Reserve card and get 10k MQMs), and then got the joy of the massive #KeepDescending news that GMs are now the new Silver Medallions this past Monday, should you be eligible for a refund for tossing your money into the streets?

Now I already know the answer so this post, like buying MQMs, is really an exercise in futility and pointless but still it is worth sharing.

You see so many day in and day out Delta flyers have been, for the past 11 months, dutifully working to retain or EARN their GOLD medallion status for the 2015 medallion flying year. Then, OOOPPSEEEE, Delta “enhanced” the program and you will only be able to pick the coveted C+ 72 hours before your flight (I am so happy Delta picked this name – it so sums up the travel experience of other main cabin flyers taking my space, poor C+ service and less than impressive snack basket).

So should those who have been duped by Delta get a refund if you purchased MQMs? My personal answer is they made the choice to do so and they have to live with that ridiculously bad choice. Beyond that, we all know, the FF “game” is legally totally at the mercy of the airline and they can do 100% anything they want. If you happen to have 2 million miles and they decide they are all now worth nothing, there is nothing you can do about it! Those are the FACTS.

But morally (hey, I get from a points enthusiast’s world that is a stretch) should not Delta, after completely #KeepDecending your status you purchased just days before offer to give you a refund for flushing your hard earned dollars down the Delta drain?

I am also as a blogger, and a Diamond, always in a hard place. For me personally, the lower elites getting treated badly is good for me. It means when Delta has SOLD all the 1st class upgrades and I am stuck in the C+ seat as a Diamond Medallion I can at least sorta expect 1st class service in a “choice” seat. But also, as a blogger who cares for the rest of my readers, I think it just stinks you have been downgraded with NO notice (or almost no notice from Delta).

So it is up to you all dear readers. Do we cry foul over this latest “enhancement” and Delta PR change and ask for our money back? You tell me! – 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.

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Don in ATL Reply

    The real immorality is DL springing these changes on people at the last minute. People have been earning to a particular goal of certain perks, and to change those perks with only 2 minutes left on the clock is a serious bad play on Delta’s part. They have no conscience or sense of what is fair play. If they really cared about their customers, they would give at least one year notice about these changes, so people know what they are “buying” when they fly Delta.

  2. Brian Cohen Reply

    Gold Medallion elite level status members can ask for a refund, René; but they likely will not get it — even if they can prepare a strong argument, which I doubt.

    As it states under Program Changes & Termination:

    “Delta and its program partners reserve the right to change program rules, benefits, regulations, Travel Awards, fees, mileage Award levels, Pay with Miles terms and conditions, and special offers at any time without notice.”

  3. Jeff Smisek Reply

    C’mon over to United. We are looking for a few more over-entitled elites here. We can discuss a status match!


    Look around and couldn’t find a clear answer. Will companions of DM/PM booked together get C+ at booking as well? And if so is there a limits on companions on same PNR

  5. Watch out Rene. I bet your AMEX exemption for MQD for Diamond medallions could very well be on the chopping block soon. United may have been the pioneer in this respect.

  6. Rene, I appreciate your defending us lowly GOLD holders. If we are not business flyers, it takes considerable effort to attain any status. We appreciate the ‘perk’ we get but DELTA is marginalizing the lower Medallions. I would not be surprised if they essentially eliminate either the top or bottom class in the next cycle. As a consequence of these changes, my family has decided to opt for the best prices we can find. IF a perk comes our way, we will take it but the Medallion Quest is over. We will begin to burn our accumulated miles (good deals available to Europe at 60K for the back this summer) and go about or business.

  7. They should absolutely be entitled to a refund “in good faith” by Delta. Sure the T&C state otherwise but come on Delta – A SM or a GM today could be a future PM or DM. Don’t crap on your future top tier elites when what they are looking for is the pot of HOOUs at the end of the rainbow. I thought something like this was going to eventually happen and that is one of the reasons I pushed hard to make DM now and to be able to roll over enough MQM for DM in 2016 after making my Delta Reserve spends early 2015.

  8. Corbett Kroehler Reply

    I’m no attorney but, from my legal layman’s perspective, it’s caveat emptor. Morally, people who, as you put it, threw their money into the streets, deserve a refund.

    I think that the reason there won’t be a wholesale defection to American or Alaska has to do with a balance between Delta’s reliability and route map. It also helps a great deal that their HQ is in ATL, especially during stormy season. I specifically have chosen ATL as my connecting city on recent trips MCO-CLE and MCO-MDW because doing so improved the odds of avoiding a missed connection due to weather. American’s hub of DFW offers that to me but is less reliable and, given that MCO is my home airport, Alaska’s hub is impractical for most of my travels.

  9. I’m currently PM. The upgrade perks are nice but they are just that, perks and based on available seating. Delta has an obligation first and foremost to the stockholders. They should be selling anything they can sell. Thats what they are in the business of doing. If you want to be assured a 1st or business seat, buy it. The tone of the article smacks of entitlement and we are not entitled to anything we did not pay for.

  10. Just file a dispute with the CC company. Let them deal with the ÷×$÷×$^€% at Delta.

  11. Rene, with the devaluation of Gold, do you think it would be worth it for someone on the cusp of Platinum to buy the miles to get over the hump? I only ask because I’m about 8,000 miles shy of Platinum and don’t have time for any more mileage runs before the end of the year. Thanks!

  12. As a less-frequently flyer, it took me all year to get to Gold status for 2015. I even took Rene’s advice and got the AmEx card to ensure that I would make it to Gold. Now there are no perks to being Gold. My efforts were for nothing.
    I will no longer be loyal to Delta.

  13. But, Rene, couldn’t the same be said for people who spent money and time (which is valuable also) mileage running or simply just taking a trip? Every single person who spent money with delta, whether buying miles or flying to “earn” miles, are is the same position. I think we’ve all just come to accept that the perks were nice while they lasted but those days are quickly disappearing. I just wish every single seat was a comfortable seat and then no one is either an “elite” or something lower than a snakes belly.

  14. So much for loyalty I’ve been loyal for the last 13 years to DL and I can count on 1 hand the # of non DL flights and they were because I could not get where I was going on DL. I bust my butt trying to keep Gold but not next year!! I suspect that they will soon find out that if there is no value in a FF program then you go for the best price.

  15. I’m totally not going to waste time trying to re-qualify for GM next year, The way FCM prices are and our travel budget for next year, I’ll Just buy up to FC rather than play gate lottery and C+ lottery.

  16. Pingback: 2014 December Delta Points newsletter - a month of #KeepDescending Delta - Delta PointsDelta Points

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