They say “good things come to those who wait”. Clearly “they” weren’t the ones who were not able to enjoy the published perk from this year’s Diamond Medallion program – that is, the almost perfect fix of getting guests into the Sky Clubs with the new “Guest Pass” benefit for those who have and HOLD the Delta AMEX Reserve cards (or even the non-Delta AMEX Platinum personal or business cards).
You see, waiting only makes the value of my 2018 choice worth less day by day and Delta seems to have no care or desire to fix the problem (nor has provided any updates when/if it will be fixed) that is the option to downgrade the free Diamond individual Sky Club membership down to nothing so those who want to can take advantage of the new choice benefit of the guest pass for all of this year 2017 as well as next year 2018.
So I made the call after being sick of waiting for a solution and chose to gift another good friend Gold Medallion status rather than keep waiting and waiting and waiting for a fix that may not ever come. Eventually this problem for many will fix itself as 2017 should be the last year that free individual club membership is automatically attached to Diamond Medallions i.e. after 1FEB18. The only folks who may still have problems are those who had purchased some kind of membership that has an even later expiration date than 2018.
So why this choice over the rest? Well the reasons are simple. My friend will have all the perks of Gold Medallion status without having to earn it for almost 2 years (since it was my 2018 Choice Benefit I used). That means all the perks of this mid-level status including Skyteam Elite+ and getting into Sky Clubs when flying internationally on Delta in any class of service. It will mean some upgrades if very carefully worked and even his +1 on a revenue i.e. paid ticket will enjoy GM-lite status when traveling together. That also matters a bunch. Bottom line is this is a real perk for those who fly Delta often.
As a data point this is status ONLY with this Choice Benefit NOT any kind of MQMs or MQDs. If my friend wants to be Platinum for example then 75,000 MQMs must be earned as well as earning MQD exemption via their own Delta AMEX card spend or $9,000 in MQDs. And for those who want to know, as you can see from the above shot, Delta says it will take about 48 hours to be active but in our case it took only a day. I expect the 2 days is suggested to make sure the status applies correctly to existing reservations for upgrades and such but the latter part is just a guess on my part (but an educated guess).
Now I know what some are thinking already – why not 25k SkyMiles or a $200 travel voucher. Sure from a selfish standpoint that would have been a better choice. Heck, I gave away 2 GM status to 2 friends this round costing me potentially 50k or $400! But good friends are worth nice gifts and having them enjoy these perks when they fly is worth more to me than a few more SkyMiles (I have lots) or a few vouchers (I tend to get lots of these too from bumpertunites).
I do really praise Delta for the 2018 program that they now let us choose gifts one at a time and getting 3 choices and being able to choose most of the same ones more than once but they really need to fix the final bits of the new program and should have done this before it went live. Maybe one day they will or it will, as I have mentioned, mostly fix itself with time!
What do you think of my 2018 Diamond Choice Benefit choices – that is, Regional Upgrade certs for my Platinum choice then Global Upgrade certs and 2x GM gifts. Would you have picked the same ones? – René