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Things Delta Air Lines Should Extend Expiration Dates for Again Due to COVID19 in 2021!

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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.


The other day, Delta Corporation had the earnings call for the year. It was ugly.

Really ugly.

“How ugly?” you ask?

How about a loss of $15.6 billion for 2020!

Yikes.

Much of that massive loss was due to Delta being so closely tied to business travel that has all but evaporated. Most business managers are saying travel will resume, at the soonest, in Q4 this year but it could be even longer.

And that brings me to today’s post. Last year, Delta made the only sensible move to extend Delta Medallion status for everyone for another year. That “free” year begins on February 1st. Delta also extended a bunch of other things for a period of time past the official expiration date. I think some things should be extended yet again and right away! But what things?

HOOUs or “Have One On Us” certs. Delta auto extended them through July of this year (from the end of 2020 expiation date). This is not enough. I doubt I will be flying enough to use them before the end of July if I am flying at all by then. Change this to the end of 2021.

Upgrade Certs. As I talked about in regards to what Delta Diamond Medallion Choice Benefit I am strongly considering just picking all Skymiles as my reward because Delta has “only” extended expiring Global and Regional Upgrade certs to June or July of this year (for most of us it seems).

That is not enough.

For the same reasons as the HOOUs, there is little chance it will be safe to fly, i.e. that I will have had the two COVID vaccine shots before these expire. Delta needs to at least extend these again to the end of the year.

Delta Amex Platinum and Reserve card companion certs. These also have been extended for a bunch of flyers but not for everyone depending on your anniversary month (fyi both my cert from NOV2019 and NOV2020 are extended to the end of 2021). Delta in the earnings call again bragged up how amazing the relationship is with Amex. If they want to keep cardholders happy, they need to simply blanket extend ALL who have one no matter what your anniversary bill date is till the end of 2021 – or even consider the end of 2022!

Bump vouchers. This one is a little bit harder to fully justify like the points above. With a bump, you have one year to spend them — but then another year to fly it. So there is, basically, a two-year expiration date from the outset. However, a one year “push” I think is in order until we can again start to fly without fear. But this also emphasizes how wise it is to take an AMEX gift card if you are able to when you get a bump from Delta.

Is that it? Yes but there are clearly a few other things that I do think Delta should wait on until this summer to make a call. Take a look:

MQM and MQD bonus offers/incentives. I feel it is too soon to start to promote bonus offers to get business folks to travel more. I do think we will reach a point that Delta should offer bonus points and that time would be sometime this summer if it looks like the vaccine is in the arms of at least half of America. That ties into the next point.

Another year of rollover elite status and MQMs. Unlike my call last year for Delta to right away rollover status, I think Delta should wait for a while much like bonus offers just touched on. Now if things by September 1 are still a total mess and it does not look like business travel is going to resume until after early 2022, then at that point – YES – it is time to again push status for another year. If not I could see a lot of really upset loyal business travelers.

As talked about the other day, I really hope my plans to fly a TON in Q4 of this year works out. I hope we are climbing towards a cruise level of normalcy and the utter mess of 2020 is well behind us. Even so, until then, Delta really should implement the above and be ready for more.

What do you think? Do you agree with my suggestions? Do you think Delta will implement these or make other changes? Let us all know! – René

 

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.

11 Comments

  1. Delta Airlines should initially ZERO out status for everyone and start fresh in 2022. The “status” which you QUALIFIED in 2021, would be your status in 2022, however, initially, RETURN to the “old” method of “ Skymiles”. Remove “MQD”’s for 2022 to get people in planes chasing “Diamond”, “Gold”, etc.
    This would get people back in the air and rebase line Delta Airlines in 2023 and reinstate “MQD’s and “MQM’s”.

  2. The big question I am waiting on is the DM MQD requirement of $15,000 or $250,000 AMEX spend. The difference between easy PM now (with MQM rollover and $25,000 AMEX spend) and DM is huge and simply too far a reach. I am hoping that the DM MQD requirement drops to $10,000 or less to chase DM. International travel on ST partners as a way around the MQD requirememt is too hard with covid rules changing so often in other countries.

    • Totally agree Frankie — maybe they should rollover spend from the AMEX cards or at least some. Mine was wiped out after travel was suspended and I was shy by 2k or so on spend and poof, gone.

    • Barry Graham Reply

      The irony is that I came close to that MQD level in 2020, despite COVID (for not such great reasons) and am unlikely to in 2021.

  3. The HOOU certs are useless now. I’ve tried to redeem them a few times in regular economy and they refuse to serve any alcohol to the cabin. They say they have no means to collect payment or the certs.

    • @Mitch – Even more reason to extend them at least to year end (if not more).

  4. I literally just chose my Perks yesterday and you know what I chose?….

    All Points.

    I have 8 Regional certs, 2 Global certs, and 4 Companion certs already sitting in my account right now that I’m fairly certain won’t get used this year so I saw no reason whatsoever to add more on.

  5. I also took all points. I’m a 2MM Diamond Member. I have not seen much value in the UCs. I do fly internationally but always score a Delta One seat for under $2500 or it’s on the business.

    I do plan on flying to Europe in the middle of September. Fingers crossed things are more back normal and the US allows us to freely cross boarders.

    Still waiting for full in-flight service to return like it has on almost all other airlines.

  6. HuntingtonGuy Reply

    Maybe small potatoes in the grand scheme of things but I believe they should look within their strong relationship w AmEx and consider some relief or offset to DL branded cards. Like many here I carry 4 DL branded Amex including the Reserve and Platinum Card. The fee’s are justifiable when we can use the cards and benefit from the benefits built into our DL usage. With (speaking for myself) travel virtually stopped, those fees are harder to justify.

  7. Barry Graham Reply

    I have more than 200K MQMs. I would like to see the 2020 MQDs reinstated if they are going to make us earn status for 2022. Better still, take away MQD.

    I have two international flights planned for this year, one with miles and one with Pay with Miles. So these are not going to help with MQD. It would be nice if they would give a “virtual” MQD credit for award mileage. After all you can get MQM for Pay with Miles.

    Also extend the life of GUCs. Because I had already taken advantage of amazing bargains for my flights this year, I have no use for GUCs at the moment even though I think they are the best value of the choices. I still have to choose my last one by Jan 31st and really don’t want to pick 25K miles over 4 GUCs, so I may just take my chances and hope that I can somehow use them this year and/or at that they will be extended.

  8. There is only crappy small bottles of wine and beer in FC and C- on longer flights..None on short flights even in FC …so no reason to use the vouchers… should be extended

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