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[UPDATED WITH DELTA COMMENT] Frustrating: Problems With Correct MQM, MQD, and MQS Totals on Delta Award Tickets

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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.


We wrote last week about problems getting correct MQM, MQD, and MQS credit on Delta Air Lines reservations involving Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUC) or Global Upgrade Certificates (GUC).

René had this issue — and had to call the Diamond Medallion line to fix his tickets (a number of times for the last one).

Then reader Devin commented:

It’s not just certificates. I was upgraded to first class on every segment of a five-segment itinerary I flew over the weekend (booked with SkyMiles) and got the same message.

René recently returned from another trip — and experienced the same problem as Devin.

So what’s going on?

Quick Background

Delta announced on March 31 that passengers receive 50-75% MQM, MQD, and MQS bonuses depending on the class of service purchased. The changes — dubbed “Medallion Status Accelerators” — are effective for flights flown through December 31, 2021.

And in an unprecedented move, Delta made award tickets eligible for elite status earnings. The promotion was generous on Delta’s part — and a great incentive to get people to fly.

Some Delta Reps Don’t Know About the Medallion Status Accelerators

A common complaint we hear is that some Delta service reps aren’t even aware that award tickets earn MQM, MQD, and MQS this year. That includes Diamond Medallion reps — who are supposed to be some of the best in Delta-land. (Though some of us wonder if reps — no matter how much or little experience they possess — are randomly assigned to callers.)

René called the Diamond Medallion line — and heard the same gist from several reps: The reason you didn’t get any Medallion earnings is that this was an award ticket. Award Tickets don’t earn any miles. I confirmed this with the help desk.

At that point, he directed them to Delta’s website.

(In case you need to do the same thing, give the phone rep this address: “www.delta.com/us/en/skymiles/medallion-program/medallion-accelerator“)

So elite status phone reps weren’t aware of this rather important change to Medallion rules — one announced more than two months ago, at that.

A supervisor told René it currently takes about 30 days after completing an award trip for Medallion earnings to post. (You can also call Delta and ask them to manually re-queue your ticket for processing. That seems to do the trick – – sometimes – – but not always, sad to say .)

So it seems to be a Delta IT issue.

Shouldn’t This Have Been Ironed Out?

Delta made its big announcement on March 31. And on the Medallion Accelerator page Delta says, “For travel on April 1, 2021 – May 15, 2021, the bonus MQMs, MQSs and MQDs will be retroactively credited to your account by May 31, 2021.”

So everything should work by now. Alas, it doesn’t.

Delta presumably made the customer-friendly change to encourage people to fly again — and use their SkyMiles. But for those who care about elite status, this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. 

A Delta PR spokesperson told us:

  • A small number of customers may have seen a delay in the posting of MQMs, MQSs and MQDs for select Award Tickets. These cases have been identified and the proper balances will be credited automatically to the account by the end of the week, with no action needed from the Member. Moving forward, bonuses for MQMs and MQDs will be credited to your account after you have flown.

  • MQSs are functioning as expected. As a reminder, partial MQSs won’t post until the next whole segment is flown.

 

PS – As a side note, René has not reached out to the Medallion line about his wife’s tickets and as of today they all show ZERO MQM, MQD, and MQS even though Renés has now, at last, updated correctly. Bottom line is you must call, often many times and endure long hold times, if you want the points Delta has promsed you. 

Featured image: ©iStock.com/Jozsef Soos

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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.


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18 Comments

  1. Brian P Fisher Reply

    As an anecdotal additional data point:

    I flew on April 24 and 25 on 6 segments. Every single one was either upgraded to Comfort+ or First, and got the 75% accelerator. Not only that, but it seemed to show up in my Skymiles almost as quickly as it did pre-pandemic.

    I don’t see any examples of how the accelerator works with purchased first class tickets on the Delta website. I was wondering if we have any examples of anyone doing that and how the math works yet?

    • I recently flew a same day, SEA-LAX-SEA booked on award main cabin. I am gold so I got F upgrade cleared 72 hour mark on both legs… only difference was outbound was automatic upgrade with email congratulating me but inbound, I had to select the first class seats at 72 hour mark.

      Outbound earned 75% booster and even earned 129 gold medallion bonus miles. as if the ticket was a rev F.
      but inbound earned 50% booster and no such bonus miles as expected of an award main.

      on a same day trip, early morning departure and late evening return. and MQM posted within hours of landing.

  2. Same happened to me, but with Delta Vacations itineraries to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. A simple chat message with them corrected the issue and netted me a significant amount of MQM, MQD, and MQS. Same for my wife.

    • @Brian – As shown in post, sometimes a chat works but sometimes it does not and flips again to non-earning. I hope Delta fixes this before the year end when the promo ends.
      @Brian P – The numbers should be the same. It is sweet that upgrades are earning the bump (as long as Delta does not claw it back days before year end and then many will be in real trouble)!

      • You are right, it would really suck if they clawed them back later! I would still be Platinum, but it would throw off my planning for next year for sure.

        I see now what I was missing on the chart. I see that the bump is on top of any paid first class purchase or paid upgrade. Makes some mileage runs in paid first class potentially worth lucrative. 🙂

        • I’m a little confused by this. So, if I purchase a Comfort+ or First class ticket, I get a 75% bonus on my MQD/MQM/MQS. But, if I purchase Main Cabin and am upgraded because of status to C+ or First, I also get the 75% bonus? I thought this bonus was for purchased class only?

          • @Joe – The credit for flights system is so busted that folks who are getting free upgrade or RU cent upgrades are also getting the bonus points. However, Delta could (unlikely but could happen) claw those points back that should not have been awarded.

      • Yeah. I tried chat first….it let me move about the rest of the day. I know the customer service is spotty right now.

        Now I just gotta find the extra 10,000 MQD to make DM.

        • @Brian – Chris is posting some sweet partner runs that are good till year end and beyond (with more on the way so stand by…)!

          • It’s all about the time. We have Iceland in September and a Florida trip in November, but it’s all about the ability to take the time to do a mileage run. I always love seeing what you guys whip up!!

  3. According to a Diamond Line rep a few weeks ago, DL had too many phone reps take the buyout. To rectify this situation quickly, without violating the buyout agreements, DL is trying to re-hire some of the early retirees and others via a third-party vendor. Anyone who has had experience with such third parties knows that they rarely are up-to-date on current policies, and I suspect that this is at least partly responsible for the apparent lack of information about this promotion.

    • @Ed – Interesting and very plausible. Thanks!

      Maybe the same thing happened to their “crack” IT folks? 😉

  4. Another reason to stay home in 2021 and crush it in January 2022.

  5. It seems Delta.com has had a rough week–hard too try to book and purchase!!Then log long holds to get a rep-wo was not in a good mood!!! they need some work.

  6. Delta has the worst IT dept!! I swear i cringe any time the update or enhance the site, never fails they screwup more than they fix!
    Thanks Ed on the explanation for the terrible phone rep delays, i have as yet to get a call thru to the diamond desk without an hour plus call back time! Sure no help in an emergency!

  7. I had to message with them 4 times to finally get the MQMs for an award ticket with RUCs from ten days ago. My companion still hasn’t gotten the 50% bonus.
    They momentarily gave me an additional 75% while I was messaging with them but that disappeared after a few minutes. Unfortunately someone caught the error ☹️

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