Skymiles

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

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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.


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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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.

24 Comments

  1. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. That should be the title of today’s post. Sadly enough, most were expecting more. Shows our expectations for a company we are so loyal to.

  2. Don in ATL Reply

    GREAT! Let’s also pat you (Rene) on the back. Who knows, it is possible they were planning more enhancements, but because you and other bloggers were banging the BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE drum, there was too much attention being paid to the SkyMiles program and they felt they just couldn’t do it at the time without major media attention and customer pushback. So good work, Rene! And if today’s changes were what they planned from the beginning, then THANK YOU DELTA for keeping the SkyMiles Program fair. Finally, I just checked some trips to and from the EU in BE on DL metal on the Award Calculator and found that the low level 62,500 point awards are still there. That was my #1 biggest concern because I had so many miles I could not burn them all before March 1.

  3. Deltaflyer Reply

    Hi Rene, What is the deadline for selecting 2014 choice benefits?

  4. Hi Rene- When do we find out about the actual qualifications for 2016? Also, have you heard anything about whether or not the secret JFK-LAX/SFO upgrades will continue in the new Delta One era? Thanks!

  5. Clark Black Reply

    Rene, perhaps this is the lull before the ongoing storm? You may wish to beware of what just happened in the soviet union to the guy who pointed out the many falsehoods coming from the leadership … in many ways this is similar in that Anderson (just like Putin) will personally take charge of the investigation! The rhetoric will be the same, “Blogger really taken down in order to achieve Martyrdom” or “Blogger taken out by islameic dudes because his blog has Delta in title” Which now points to the real reason that Anderdelton attacked the Arabian airlines … so that it would come back on Deltapoints!

    At least the retaliation will result in the cart running out of Woodfords just BEFORE you are able to order … on every flight you take OR you will notice the FAs removing all of the Salty Carmel Chocs just BEFORE the basket is presented to you.

  6. Silver medallion status here: if i preselected the old Economy Comfort seats before 24 hours before a flight, each EC seat assignment had a fee. So just like the current policy, per segment.

  7. The C+ descriptions refer to extra legroom. As I recall EC always mentioned 3-4 more inches of legroom. Should we read anything into the new language?

    • @John – No, nothing new on seat size etc.
      @Mike – Txs for confirmation.
      @Deltaflyer – No.
      @Clark Black – You are just not nice 😉

  8. Hi Rene,

    Thanks for this post!

    One question: I am only being offered Diamond Selection. I do not see the Platinum Selection which I was always able to get in the past. Am I being penalized for going straight to Diamond? Did this happen to others?

    Champagne problems, I know, but still, it’s annoying.

    • @Marc – You should see both. I just TODAY picked my Platinum choice. Contact Delta.

  9. They were already selling C+ seats in flight on my flight SEA -CDG three weeks ago

  10. UFN I’m done with Delta and Skyrubles. Planned and booked a points trip 120+ days before departure day in late May to spend most of accrued miles. Just finished AA Platinum (Challenge) and flew more 1st class in 7 weeks with AA/US then all of 2014 with Delta. Best of luck to those of you who are willing and continue to put up with the way Delta treats you as a customer.

  11. They were selling C+ upgrades in-flight on my trip from SEA-CDG three weeks ago

  12. Here’s a great new change – Instead of getting Delta Dollars for bumping, they are now giving out gift cards. You can pick from Amazon, American Express, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Hyatt, Macy’s, Marriott, Nordstrom, Royal Caribbean, and Target. American Express is essentially cash. NICE Upgrade!

    • @Jacob – Yes, this is a test in many markets. AMEX card so much better than Delta Dollar. TAKE IT AN RUN!

  13. I was kindna hoping they’d offer me MORE to get a delta voucher, because those are as good as cash to me anyway. But, no luck, so I just went with the Amex card and ran with it. Bumping just got a whole lot more fun….

  14. So…
    1) Delta had already lower the boom and had no major program devaluation surprises for the next 12 months.
    2) Collective, angry voices gave Richard cold feet for a new wave of devaluation of Skymiles
    3) We are all Chicken Little.
    Take your pick.

  15. Do mind to do a post next year titled “Choose Choice Benefits before 01MarchXXX”. Add me to the list that didn’t chose them and now it is too late. Thanks for your blog!!!

  16. Pingback: Delta Points March Newsletter 2015 - Delta PointsDelta Points

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