Medallion Qualification Update

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by rwoman, Jan 17, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    From DwayneSkyMiles on FT:

    Within the next hour, you’ll see our official announcement of the changes we’re making to how you qualify for status in the Medallion program for 2015. We know you got a head start yesterday which is no surprise - you are some of our most passionate and engaged customers. We felt it was important to publish the details well in advance so you can plan your travel.

    First, it’s true that we’re introducing a new requirement for earning status on Delta for US-based SkyMiles members. Starting January 1, 2014, Medallion status will be earned with MQMs or MQSs and a new threshold – Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). MQDs will be paired with our existing MQM/MQS requirements at each tier level and will include base fare and applicable surcharges (excluding taxes and fees) to qualify for each level.

    Silver Medallion – you will need 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs and $2,500 MQDs
    Gold Medallion – you will need 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs and $5,000 MQDs
    Platinum Medallion – you will need 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs and $7,500 MQDs
    Diamond Medallion – you will need 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs and $12,500 MQDs

    If you have a U.S. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express you will have the new MQDs requirement waived each year you make $25,000 in eligible purchases using your card.

    Second, starting March 1, 2013 we are changing a few of the MQM bonus levels on certain fares. F and J class fares will increase to a 100% MQM bonus and M class fares will no longer receive an MQM bonus. Y and B fares will remain at the current level, receiving a 50% MQM bonus. This change will go into effect for Delta-marketed flights for any purchases on or after March 1 and for OA with travel flown on or after March 1, 2013.

    These changes will not change the way your redeemable SkyMiles (for Award Travel, etc.) are counted or redeemed.

    Today is just the first time you’ll be hearing from us about these changes as we’ll continue updating you with information through email and on delta.com until the new requirements are in place. We’ll also be keeping an eye on the conversations here on FT.

    I’ll be back to respond to the common questions from the community in the coming days.

    LINK

    EDIT: Post on address changes - LINK
    Previous rumor discussion: Skymiles Massive Upcoming Change?
     
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  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    delta.com: Medallion® Qualification Dollars FAQs
    What are the changes?

    Beginning January 1, 2014, you will earn Medallion status through a combination of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) flown and your annual spending on Delta flights, which will be measured by Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs).


    Why is Delta making these changes?
    These Medallion program changes will better recognize and reward our elite customers. These changes will create an even more exclusive Medallion experience and make it easier for Medallion members to enjoy their benefits, including Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, Economy Comfort™ access, Preferred Seats and Priority Boarding.

    When will the Medallion Qualification changes take effect?
    The new Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) requirement will go into effect January 1, 2014. Please note this will not affect status earned in 2012 for the 2013 Medallion year or status earned in 2013 for the 2014 Medallion year.

    How will I earn Medallion status effective January 1, 2014?
    Beginning January 1, 2014, members will earn Medallion status based on the existing criteria of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) AND the new threshold of annual spend on Delta flights, which will be measured by Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). Please note that if a customer does not meet the MQDs threshold, he or she can still qualify for Medallion status if he or she has earned the required MQMs or MQSs and makes at least $25,000 in Eligible Purchases within the calendar year on his or her Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.

    What spend counts towards Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
    MQDs are the total of the SkyMiles member’s spend on Delta-marketed flights (flight numbers that include the “DL” airline code), inclusive of the base fare and applicable surcharges, but exclusive of government- imposed taxes and fees.

    Flight spend for travel on other airlines ticketed through a Delta channel (featuring a ticket number beginning with “006”) will also be included in MQDs.

    Certain specialty tickets, including but not limited to unpublished, consolidator, group/tour and opaque fare products will not count toward MQDs.

    Do bag fees, seat purchases, etc. count toward earning Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
    No. Ancillary purchases or fees including but not limited to checked baggage fees, Economy Comfort™ seat purchases, Priority Boarding, Delta Sky Club® memberships, Wi-Fi passes, in-flight food and beverage purchases, in-flight entertainment, unaccompanied minor fees, pet travel fees, Mileage Booster™, ticket change fees, Direct Ticketing Charge (DTC), Same Day Confirmed Fee, Administrative Service Charge (ASC), External Reissue Charge (ERC), and Standby Upgrades purchased at the gate, do not count toward earning MQDs.

    What Eligible Purchases count towards the MQDs waiver on the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card?
    Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases are the total of purchases for goods and services less returns and other credits. Fees, interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, the purchase or reloading of prepaid cards and purchases of other cash equivalents will not count towards Eligible Purchases. This applies only to Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards issued in the United States.

    Will I earn Medallion status if I spend the minimum amount of MQDs that are required, but do not fly the required amount of MQMs? For example, if I earned $5,000 MQDs but only flew 20,000 MQMs would I earn Gold Medallion status?
    Members must complete the MQM or MQS requirements AND earn the minimum amount of MQDs for that tier to qualify for that level of Medallion status. Spend alone will not earn Medallion status.

    How do I track my progress on Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) or Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases?
    You will be able to track and monitor your MQDs and Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases on delta.com prior to January 1, 2014. Remember, the MQDs requirement does not go into effect until January 1, 2014, but we wanted to give customers plenty of advance notice of this modification.

    As a reminder, MQDs are calculated as Delta-marketed or Delta-ticketed base fare and applicable surcharges, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases are the sum total of purchases for goods and services less returns and other credits. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases also exclude fees, interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, the purchase or reloading of prepaid cards and purchases of other cash equivalents.

    Why is Delta adding a new spend component to Medallion qualification?
    The new spend-based component will better recognize and reward our best customers and help ensure your Medallion benefits remain valuable.

    What happens if I meet the requirements for Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) but not the spend requirement for Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
    If you achieve one Medallion qualification criteria and not the other, your status will be determined based on the lower of the two qualifying thresholds that you achieved. For example, if you earned 76,000 MQMs (enough to qualify for Platinum Medallion status), but had $6,000 MQDs (enough to qualify for Gold Medallion status, but not Platinum Medallion status), then you will earn Gold Medallion status. Rollover MQMs would be calculated as anything in excess of the MQM threshold for the status earned based on the new criteria.

    What about those of us who qualify on segments? How will this change impact us?
    The number of segments required for Medallion qualification will not change. However, you also will have to spend a minimum amount with Delta, measured by Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). Please note that if a customer does not meet the MQDs threshold, he or she can still qualify for Medallion status if he or she has earned the required Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and makes at least $25,000 in Eligible Purchases within the calendar year on his or her Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.

    Will my year-to-date Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) still roll over with the new program and will Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) roll over after spending a certain amount?
    Rollover MQMs will not change with the new program. As long as you earn Medallion status based on the new requirements, any MQMs in excess of the threshold needed for status earned will roll over. There will be no rollover of MQDs, Eligible Purchases on Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs).

    What if I already have enough Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to qualify for 2015 Medallion status? Do I still have to earn Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)?
    If a member has enough Rollover MQMs to qualify for 2015 Medallion status, he or she must still meet the MQDs threshold by spending on Delta flights in 2014 to qualify for status in the 2015 Medallion year.

    How will this affect the annual complimentary status earned by Million Milers?
    Million Miler™ annual complimentary status is not impacted by the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) or Delta SkyMiles Credit Card MQDs waiver. However, to maintain Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Million Milers will have to meet the spend requirements to achieve at least Silver Medallion status.

    How will this affect Gold or Silver Medallion status gifted through Choice Benefits?
    Choice Benefits gifted status is not impacted by the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) or Delta SkyMiles Credit Card MQDs waiver.

    Why do the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) required vary by Medallion tier, but Delta SkyMiles Credit Card spend is a flat amount across all tiers?
    The waiver for the MQDs requirement for Medallion status is an exclusive benefit of the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, and therefore does not vary by tier level.

    I have multiple Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards. How will my Eligible Purchases be calculated?
    Your total spend across all U.S.-issued Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards will be combined and count towards your annual total Eligible Purchases.

    I have additional cards linked to my Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (spouse, children, colleagues, etc.). Does their spend count towards my total?
    Yes. Eligible Purchases by Additional Cardmembers linked to the Basic Cardmember's account will count towards the Basic Cardmember's spend total.

    Delta issues credit cards in multiple countries. What spend counts towards the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card spend?

    Only Eligible Purchases on Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards issued in the United States will count towards the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card spend.
     
  3. jomolungma

    jomolungma Silver Member

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    Ugh. I'm personally ok, I think, but this kind of sucks.
     
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  4. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I'm screwed. My biggest money is spent going to crazy places that Delta doesn't fly or Ticket to. Last year spent 10k to go to KGL and JRO, both places that DL doesn't market any flights to, even the KL operated flights. Stupid for DL though since I'm one of those peons that used to give them tons of money on simple fares, like 1250 LAX-ATL-PWM in coach for one trip last year, but not reaching $7,500 on Delta, but definitely reaching it on Delta + Partners.
    Now to decide if getting the AMEX card is worth it...but aiming toward switching towards AA, now if AA could just add service to PWM it'd be a very easy switch.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For hub captives forced to buy expensive fares, those who buy A fares, or people who purchase M fares from more expensive locations (not exEurope), ten cents per MQM does not seem high. For instance, the most recent M fare to Europe I looked at was $3800 and would have earned about 18,000 MQMs at 150% but now sadly only roughly 12,000 MQMs RT. If only it could be bought for only $1200...........
     
  6. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Right...it'd make SWUs a practical option...even if the fare did not earn 1.5x MQM.
     
  7. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Also, for PM/DM, perhaps upgrade percentages will go up?
     
  8. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    That's the only positive I see. But once people figure out all they need is the credit card then this may not be true. I find I get enough SkyMiles flying so I'm very hesitant to get the credit card.
     
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  9. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    So does this also include YQ as a "fee" or is this considered revenue.

    I skimmed the posts here and couldn't see "how the rev $ is based on" simply base fare?
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Not a ton of fares out of MSP under 10CPM. Interesting effect on rollover - if you're regularly a tweener who oscillates between statuses based on rollover buildup, the requirement for that year at the upper level becomes a bit higher. Say you do 90k a year, so get to DM every third year or so based on rollover. Now you're more into the ~14+cpm sort of range, which certainly ups the fare requirements.

    Or just get and use the amex.

    I guess M-fares are considered attractive enough to the target market on their own, that they don't need the extra carrot?
     
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  11. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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  12. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    If you qualify on segments, it really isn't that bad ---

    for $2,500 and 30 segments it works out to $83 per segment (before taxes)
    $5,000 and 60 segments it's the same

    and then there's a "price" break for those above Gold.

    I don't think this will change anything, just a make work project for the Delta IT department and we all know how good their work is !

    DTWBOB
     
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  13. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    How long till UA rolls out something like this? http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemi...etails-of-united’s-2012-mileage-plus-program/

    I'm surprised that they outed it so early, and still fear moving toward more revenue-based redemption in addition. Delta hasn't historically been particularly proactive about advance communications, after all.

    It's not like Delta has been particularly rewarding to MR on anyway. If you're not flying them to a variety of places where they are clearly the logical carrier (probably at >10cpm, depending on market) anyway, or getting MQMs via credit card spend, there's a good chance that their program was already a bad fit for you anyway.

    I don't like particularly like it, and if I was a leisure or more international traveller it could drive me away, but assuming status-quo on my end and no further changes I don't see it affecting me too greatly.
     
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  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Maybe I'm one of a very few but I think this sort fo thing is overdue. After all the airline makes money on revenue. Revenue-based status more closely aligns the Delta and the Elite member interests. How can that be bad?
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Bolding added.

    Can they actually track that?

    the FAQ says:

    I assume it means government-imposed taxes and government-imposed fees. I don't think YQ is government-imposed.
     
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  16. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    From a self-interested consumer perspective, it removes some opportunity to leverage the program to the benefit of that consumer. People with the flexibility to always buy cheap fares and choose destinations based on fares would prefer to not lose benefits they had previously enjoyed.

    It fits within the overall concept of the Skymiles program encouraging people who would generally fly Delta in any case to further concentrate their travel on DL, vs the programs at UA and AA for example, which provide a bit more incentive to fly specifically for some of the benefits, such as the SWUs.

    What will be interesting to see is how this will play out in more highly-competitive markets. Out of my base of MSP, fares for <10cpm are rather rare, particularly domestically. Absent being very particular about where and when I travel, I imagine I'd make the spend threashold. For people based in a competitive market on one of the coasts, or flying primarily longer competitive routes, it may be much more natural to end up under the threshold. Similarly, customers with a lot of travel overseas may have issues. If DL thinks that they can use this strategy to carry and reward more premium passengers it's not unreasonable, but there are certainly some sticking points, both in terms of risks to DL as well as loss of benefits by some passengers.
     
  17. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    If I actually flew DL in anything other than paid C any more :p then I'd benefit from this. Because if they preserve FO for MM, and the FO - and other - ranks thin out in bubba style, then the quality of my experience will rise slightly when I'm forced to use DL as an FO. Until next week when Jeff rolls out the NewSkyMiles SM and boots out all existing MM/2MM/4MM etc.

    Moving forwards, obviously to the readers on this board, I don't care a bean about the DL SM rescissions. This kind of thing has been in the offing for years:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/what-next-for-the-best-in-class-program.24640/

    DL competes with LCC as far as I'm concerned, and the systematic devaluation of SM is so profound that under no circumstances is DL worth flying simply to accumulate SM. UA OTOH, can be worth flying when nearing a key *A redemption threshold (<5k MP miles from a TPAC F ticket, for example). So without status for UG, or exemptions from bag fees, there's no reason at all to prefer DL over the LCC's that offer a decent experience and a usable network (B6, WN).

    Gutting the FFP may make sense in the isolated sense of reducing the cost base of the program, but I am interested in the assumption that the effects are contained to a reduction of cost base among the existing customer base and whether they think it will remain the same size regardless.

    Modeling the long-term impacts is harder. If this means that an appreciable segment of the customer base becomes completely indifferent to DL and will use B6 or VX instead, then other problems can arise. Marginal traffic is not always as marginal as it sounds.

    In the airline business, size (# of frames, total pax capacity, # of destinations served, whatever other metrics) is all.
    What the high-fare elite like bubba and others overlook is the absolute requirement for volume traffic to sustain the economic base of the system that operates an extensive network with numerous BE-equipped widebody a/c. In extremis, when the herd thins too much, they might see involution towards the Midwest/Maxjet result.

    Maybe not - it's true that we don't know, but let's be realistic - DL doesn't know either, and these actions are not undertaken in a vacuum.
     
  18. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Been mulling this over...

    I hope they do something to resolve accounting for travel on partners, especially AF and KL. If they manage that, at least for me, $12.5k is not a big deal...
     
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  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    They did, so long as you fly on a 006 ticket. I usually do that anyway.

    Sent from my iPad using milepoint
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Do the MQD count in the year they are paid/spent or in the year the flight is flown?

    E.g., if on Dec 25, 2014 I am $500 short of status, would a flight purchase for a flight on Jan 10, 2015 made and paid that day count towards the 2014 MQD balance or 2015? If the current (which I assume it is not), what happens if I cancel the flight? ;)
     
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  21. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Marginal traffic is very important in an industry that has mostly fixed costs.

    It seems American companies always have to learn the hard way that you cannot shrink your business into prosperity indefinitely. You can do it for a few years, and Wall Street will love you. Just like Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap. Even Jack Welch is a bit of a fraud in my books, as much of GE's profitability was built on the financial services/leasing sham. And Jack had GE stuffing money into his pockets at every turn, paying for his apartments, and I forget what else.

    But hey - I love it over at TOBB. Many of the posters think it will work to their advantage. That's the sign of some masterful manipulation, when everybody thinks they will win.

    Mr. Shark, please pick the cup that has the pea under it. No, don't try to lift the other two, that is strictly forbidden by the contract of coercion and I will have you hauled off to our Virginia Avenue reeducation camp. We already put Bubba through it, see how great the camp works? :cool:

    David
     
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  22. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    That's a big deal, of course. Spend and tracking spend opens up new issues, and the JV needs to be addressed. Also, the question of how any vouchers etc would fit in comes to mind. Partner earning in general is the big issue that isn't being addressed as much, and that change happens sooner.
    While I don't share the same degree of pessimism as you regarding skymiles' value (DL miles are a heck of a lot more valuable to me than B6 or WN points as I can redeem e.g. PHL-FCO for well under 635k, and even be up front the whole way) I do agree that the program as it has been for several years has not been nearly as rewarding as some other programs. By my estimation, it's been more or less good enough to incentivize primarily domestic flyers for whom Delta is generally the best option in terms of product, route network, etc. to concentrate spending for existing travel plans onto Delta, and occasionally pay a premium to do so. (And let's be honest, regardless of what airline you're flying, if you're not well into or aiming for the elite tiers, MRs just don't make sense. If you need a few thousand miles there are usually cheaper and easier ways to acquire/transfer) If close to a threshold, maybe even do an odd MR here and there. Unlike UA and especially AA, there's no huge redeemable carrot (SWU) to draw one to MR to the top. The status is useful because it makes existing travel more enjoyable and convenient, not because it opens up discounted front cabin travel. Before this change, DL's program was aligned more to get people to focus on DL when it was their main choice anyway, while UA and especially AA's programs encourage additional marginal travel. With this change, that's still the case, just a bit more all-in.
     
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  23. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    New day, new game. Rules change all the time, learn to play by new rules, find the new loopholes. I kinda figure most people would look at this as a challenge, but maybe not.
     
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  24. BamaGirl
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    BamaGirl Silver Member

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    What I don't get is what DMs (and other elites) who are left after the dust settles expect to 'receive' from the newly thinned ranks. DL is not going to take profits away from the bottomline. FC won't be less full-people will be buying the FCM seats (that also will kill upgrades available). They won't be upgrading the food (or booze)--because they don't have too since they are pretty much on par with the other carriers. Maybe a better shot at a ride in the Porsche (whoopie)? I just don't see (yet) what we are going to gain in this deal. And, if we were going to gain 'something' (other than being told we are 'the Elites') you'd think DL would be crowing about the benefits...What am I missing here?
     
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  25. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Which is why EXP is seeming better, because the pipe dream of thinning ranks and improved benefits is a pipe dream. But I want to hold on to that pipe dream for now.
     
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