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Three tiers of Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles Medallion elite status are becoming more difficult to qualify for.
The airline said Thursday it was raising Medallion Qualification Dollars (MDQ) requirements for SkyMiles loyalty program members to qualify for the diamond, platinum and gold tiers of its Medallion elite status. It's the first time since 2015 that Delta has upped the thresholds for multiple tiers, according to the airline.
Delta Air Lines passenger jets rest on the tarmac, July 21, 2021, at Logan International Airport, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File / AP Newsroom)
MDQs are "earned based on your annual spend on Delta Flights and on many partner flights," according to Delta's website.
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Starting in 2023, the MQD threshold to achieve 2024 Gold Medallion status will increase by $2,000 to $8,000. The MQD requirements for Platinum and Diamond Medallion will also see 33% increases, changing to $12,000 and $20,000, respectively, according to Delta Air Lines.
Delta planes are shown at their gates, June 13, 2022, at Salt Lake City International Airport. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer / AP Newsroom)
The other requirements to earn status – Medallion Qualifying Miles and Segments – aren't changing.
"These limited SkyMiles program changes are a necessary step toward both preserving and improving the customer experience for our most loyal and engaged Members," Dwight James, senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty, said in a statement. "The travel and loyalty landscape has changed considerably since we last made changes to the earn qualifications of multiple membership tiers."
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The requirements for Silver Medallion status will remain the same in 2023, the year in which travelers can qualify for an elite status for the following year, Delta said.
The airline also announced new Choice Benefits for 2024 Diamond and Platinum Medallion members, including statement credits for certain Delta American Express credit cards, a sustainable aviation fuel contribution and a larger Delta Travel Credit Voucher.
Flight attendants hand out refreshments to a packed Delta flight traveling from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on May 21, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Diamond Medallion members will also be offered a $500 Delta Vacations experience benefit and a $1,000 MQD "head start" for qualifying for the next Medallion year, according to the airline. Platinum Medallion members' versions of those benefits will be $400 and $500, respectively.
Both of those tiers will also have expanded abilities to gift friends or family a status, with Diamond members getting two Gold Medallion gift statuses and Platinum members getting two Silver Medallion gift statuses.
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