In 2024, Delta Air Lines is initiating a major transformation of its SkyMiles program with substantial changes that address overcrowding in their lounges and simplify the elite status qualification process. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of Delta’s SkyMiles overhaul and explore how it will affect frequent flyers in 2024. To qualify for elite status starting January 1, 2024, travelers must earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). MQDs can be acquired through various activities such as Delta and partner flights offered by Delta, Delta co-branded credit cards, hotel stays booked via Delta’s channels, car rentals booked via Delta’s channels, and vacation packages booked through Delta. In order to grant members easier access to Medallion status, new benchmarks have been set for 2025 elite qualifications in 2024: Silver – 6,000 MQDs; Gold – 12,000 MQDs; Platinum – 18,000 MQDs; Diamond – 35,000 MQDs. Rollover MQMs from 2023 can also be converted into redeemable miles or MQDs. As far as Million Miler status is concerned, members with rollover MQMs will keep their balance and all flights.
Delta Air Lines is undergoing a significant transformation of its SkyMiles program in 2024, bringing substantial changes that will affect how travelers earn elite status and access Sky Club lounges. These changes are aimed at simplifying the program and addressing overcrowding issues in their lounges. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of Delta’s SkyMiles program overhaul and how it will impact frequent flyers.
How to Earn Elite Status with Delta in 2024
In a major shift, Delta will now base elite status qualification solely on Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) starting from January 1, 2024. This change eliminates the need for Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs), streamlining the qualification process.
Earning Medallion Qualifying Dollars
To earn MQDs, Delta SkyMiles members can engage in various activities:
- Delta and Partner Flights: Earn 1 MQD for every dollar spent on the ticket price of Delta and partner flights sold by Delta.
- Delta Co-Branded Credit Cards: Members can earn 1 MQD for every $10 spent on the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card. Similarly, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card offer 1 MQD for every $20 spent.
- Hotel Stays: Delta members can accumulate 1 MQD for every dollar spent on completed stays booked through Delta’s hotel channels.
- Car Rentals: Car rentals booked through Delta’s channels also provide 1 MQD for every dollar spent.
- Vacation Packages: Booking entire vacation experiences through Delta will earn 1 MQD for every dollar spent, in addition to what you earn from your flight.
2024 Delta Elite Status Requirements
Since MQDs are the sole criteria for elite status, Delta has introduced new benchmarks for 2025 elite status qualification in 2024:
- Silver Medallion: 6,000 MQDs.
- Gold Medallion: 12,000 MQDs.
- Platinum Medallion: 18,000 MQDs.
- Diamond Medallion: 35,000 MQDs.
This new structure aims to make it easier for travelers to understand and achieve elite status.
What Happens to MQMs?
With MQMs phased out, SkyMiles members with rollover MQMs from 2023 will have a one-time choice to convert their MQMs into redeemable miles, MQDs, or a combination of both.
Million Miler Status Changes
Delta is also adjusting its Million Miler Status, granting members the third priority position for complimentary upgrades, placing them ahead of Delta SkyMiles Reserve credit cardholders and Delta corporate travelers. Any MQMs earned toward this status will remain, and all flight miles earned will contribute to customers’ Million Miler balance.
2024 Delta Sky Club Access Changes
Delta’s Sky Club lounges have grappled with overcrowding in recent years. To address this issue, Delta is implementing changes to Sky Club access starting in 2024.
Sky Club Access by Credit Card or Group
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card Members: Cardholders will receive 10 visits per program year. After spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year, they can earn unlimited visits lasting through January 31 of the following year.
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card Members: These cardholders will no longer receive access to Sky Club lounges.
- The Platinum Card from American Express and The Business Platinum Card from American Express Members: Starting February 1, 2025, members will receive six visits per program year, with the opportunity to earn unlimited access after spending $75,000 in a program year. This unlimited access will remain active through January 31 of the following year, with tracking beginning on January 1, 2024.
- Travelers with Basic Economy Tickets: Unfortunately, those with basic economy tickets will not have Sky Club access.
These changes reflect Delta’s collaboration with American Express and aim to maintain a premium experience for its most loyal customers.
What These Changes Mean for Delta Flyers
Delta’s revamp of the SkyMiles program in 2024 marks a significant departure from traditional elite status qualification based on miles flown. By shifting the focus to spending, Delta allows travelers to achieve Medallion status while flying less frequently. This change appeals to a broader range of members while continuing to reward premium customers and those engaged in other travel activities with Delta.
The biggest impact will be on Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card members, who will lose Sky Club access. However, Delta’s goal is to enhance the overall travel experience for its customers.
Additionally, Delta promises to unveil more elite status benefits in the future, which could reshape the landscape of loyalty programs further.
In conclusion, Delta’s overhaul of the SkyMiles program and Sky Club access policies in 2024 aims to make elite status qualification simpler and address the challenges of overcrowded lounges. These changes reflect Delta’s commitment to catering to a wider range of travelers while preserving the premium experience for its most loyal customers. As the travel landscape evolves, Delta continues to adapt, offering a unique loyalty program for all levels of membership.
1. How does Delta’s new SkyMiles program work in 2024?
Answer: Delta’s revamped SkyMiles program in 2024 focuses primarily on spending, specifically on Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). Instead of relying on miles flown, travelers can earn elite status by accumulating MQDs through various activities such as flight bookings, credit card spending, hotel stays, car rentals, and vacation packages. The higher your MQD total, the higher your elite status.
2. What are Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs)?
Answer: MQDs represent the dollars you spend on Delta and partner flights, as well as other eligible expenses related to Delta, including co-branded Delta credit card spending, hotel bookings through Delta, car rentals through Delta, and vacation packages. These dollars directly contribute to your eligibility for Delta’s Medallion elite status.
3. What happens to Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) in 2024?
Answer: MQMs will no longer be used for elite status qualification in 2024. However, SkyMiles members with MQMs earned in 2023 have the option to convert them into redeemable miles, MQDs, or a combination of both.
4. How do Delta’s Million Miler Status changes impact frequent flyers?
Answer: Starting next year, Million Miler members will enjoy the third priority position for complimentary upgrades, placing them ahead of Delta SkyMiles Reserve credit cardholders and Delta corporate travelers. All flight miles earned will contribute to customers’ Million Miler balance, allowing them to maintain their status.
5. What are the key changes in Delta’s Sky Club access policies for 2024?
Answer: Delta is implementing changes to Sky Club access to address overcrowding issues. The number of visits and eligibility for unlimited access varies based on your credit card or membership group. Delta SkyMiles Reserve cardholders will receive 10 visits per program year and can earn unlimited visits with spending. Delta SkyMiles Platinum cardholders will no longer have Sky Club access. American Express Platinum cardholders can get six visits per program year with the option to earn unlimited access.
- Delta SkyMiles program
- SkyMiles changes 2024
- Medallion Qualifying Dollars
- Delta elite status
- Delta Sky Club access
- Million Miler Status
- Sky Club overcrowding
- Delta credit cards
- Elite status qualification
- Loyalty program updates