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Should Delta revert back to Medallion status earnings by BIS miles or segments?

Should Delta revert back to Medallion status earnings by BIS miles or segments?

Old Oct 6, 20, 8:24 am
  #1  
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Should Delta revert back to Medallion status earnings by BIS miles or segments?

COVID-19 is changing so much, including the way businesses operate. Should Delta revert to its former model, with passengers earning status by miles flown instead of a combination of miles and dollars? Companies will no longer pay for consultants/attorneys to visit their sites when work can actually be done on zoom. Leisure flyers may not have the expendable income to fly at will. The economy will be in recovery phase for quite sometime. Will the airlines need to go back to the former model?
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Old Oct 6, 20, 8:28 am
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What's the business justification for going back to the old model? I'm pretty sure Delta wants higher paying leisure travelers just as much as they want higher paying business customers. $15,000 in MQD spend is pretty trivial to get. The hard part is still flying 125,000 miles (unless you primarily get MQM from credit cards).
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Old Oct 6, 20, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
What's the business justification for going back to the old model? I'm pretty sure Delta wants higher paying leisure travelers just as much as they want higher paying business customers. $15,000 in MQD spend is pretty trivial to get. The hard part is still flying 125,000 miles (unless you primarily get MQM from credit cards).
I'm not one to get upset at DL's MQD requirements. To me it's reasonable to have a spend threshold. But please do not assume that $15,000 in spend (actually more for most since you don't get credit for taxes and non-carrier imposed fees) is "trivial" to most people in the country, and probably isn't trivial to many small to mid size businesses either. One could easily fly JFK-LAX about twice a month for an entire year and get pretty close to 125K MQMs but if you're spending even $500 per ticket to do so, you'll still fall short of the 15K MQD requirement.

ETA: To clarify, I'm not suggesting DL do away with spend thresholds and I get the concept that if "everyone's elite, no one's elite". I am merely pointing out that $15,000 in spend on air travel is not "trivial" for most people.

Last edited by ATOBTTR; Oct 6, 20 at 9:45 am
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I'm not one to get upset at DL's MQD requirements. To me it's reasonable to have a spend threshold. But please do not assume that $15,000 in spend (actually more for most since you don't get credit for taxes and non-carrier imposed fees) is "trivial" to most people in the country, and probably isn't trivial to many small to mid size businesses either. One could easily fly JFK-LAX about twice a month for an entire year and get pretty close to 125K MQMs but if you're spending even $500 per ticket to do so, you'll still fall short of the 15K MQD requirement.
The point of top tier isn't that most or even a majority of people can reach it. It's to reward the major customers, the ones that pick DL/ST even when there's a better option cost/time wise.

If they did anything (I doubt they will do anything) I'd assume it would be lowering the MQD to previous levels.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
The point of top tier isn't that most or even a majority of people can reach it. It's to reward the major customers, the ones that pick DL/ST even when there's a better option cost/time wise.
I didn't say otherwise. One could even infer that indirectly I agree with what you're stating (that the point of top tier status isn't so that most people can reach it) it through the fact that I stated my agreement with and understanding of the MQD requirements. I was merely stating that $15,000 in spend for air travel is not "trivial" to many/most people in a country where the median household income is around $68,000. One could also argue that your point about how it's set-up so not even a majority of people can reach it infers how the spend threshold is not "trivial".

Last edited by ATOBTTR; Oct 6, 20 at 9:21 am
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:12 am
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Wrong thread, delete.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I didn't say otherwise. One could even infer that indirectly agree with it through the fact that I stated my agreement with and understanding of the MQD requirements. I was merely stating that $15,000 in spend for air travel is not "trivial" to many/most people in a country where the median household income is around $68,000.
Sorry for misunderstanding. I've thought you were meaning that DL needed to adjust because top tier should be reachable by masses, and $15k isn't going to be trivial amount of travel for foreseeable future for most.

FWIW, I don't see a big issue, as long as no changes to partner marketed flight earnings.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Sorry for misunderstanding. I've thought you were meaning that DL needed to adjust because top tier should be reachable by masses, and $15k isn't going to be trivial amount of travel for foreseeable future for most.
Fair enough and I've added an edit to my original post to clarify it.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I'm not one to get upset at DL's MQD requirements. To me it's reasonable to have a spend threshold. But please do not assume that $15,000 in spend (actually more for most since you don't get credit for taxes and non-carrier imposed fees) is "trivial" to most people in the country, and probably isn't trivial to many small to mid size businesses either. One could easily fly JFK-LAX about twice a month for an entire year and get pretty close to 125K MQMs but if you're spending even $500 per ticket to do so, you'll still fall short of the 15K MQD requirement.
You're completely right that it's not trivial to most people in the US. It is trivial to the people that Delta wants to have as their top (published) status.

You LAX-JFK example - pretty much the longest standard transcon you can fly - gets you close to $15000 ($12,600) at $500 before tax per ticket - and $500 is pretty cheap for a long haul like that (yes, it may be reasonable on LAX-JFK, but that is because it is a hyper-competitive route.. that is the exception and not the rule for Delta's routes). Paying 10 cents per mile doesn't exactly make you a super desirable customer to Delta. 15-20 cents per mile when paying for Y is what makes Delta happy, 25-30 cents if it's short haul.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 10:36 am
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No they won't, nor should they. The point is retain and attract the most profitable customers. Back in college, before MQD, I would reach FO spending about $750 annually and always using the routing with the longest distance. Not good from the business perspective and not good from the customer experience perspective if there are too many customers in the programs, because then people don't get the benefits of upgrades.

I foresee them lowering the threshold substantially though. The slowdown in business travel won't last forever, but it will take a while to recover. In the meantime, lowering the threshold would help retain the highest margin customers until things recover.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
If they did anything (I doubt they will do anything) I'd assume it would be lowering the MQD to previous levels.
I think they are going to have to do something in regards to next year. With businesses trying to cut cost and most INTL travel still restricted, I canít see them keeping the current MQD thresholds for next year. They are either going to need to rollover everyone MQDs to next year (which it seems like they arenít going to do at this point) or lower the MQD thresholds.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by MCO Flyer View Post
I think they are going to have to do something in regards to next year. With businesses trying to cut cost and most INTL travel still restricted, I canít see them keeping the current MQD thresholds for next year. They are either going to need to rollover everyone MQDs to next year (which it seems like they arenít going to do at this point) or lower the MQD thresholds.
Why? With rollover MQM (which is typically the hard thing to achieve), plenty of folks will hit MQD next year even if business travel only resumes late Spring/early Summer.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:21 am
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Knowing DL as opposed to a blanket cap reduction, they'll do a targeted promotion based on how close you were and your pre COVID flying habits. That way they can get some extra good will from likely soon to be again UHVC as opposed to just lowering it wholesale and upsetting those who really did go out of their way to make the $15k
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
Knowing DL as opposed to a blanket cap reduction, they'll do a targeted promotion based on how close you were and your pre COVID flying habits. That way they can get some extra good will from likely soon to be again UHVC as opposed to just lowering it wholesale and upsetting those who really did go out of their way to make the $15k
If they do anything, it will probably be hub-specific. LAX, SEA, JFK - their competitive hubs - would likely be where relief is granted given the lower fares there. ATL, MSP, DTW..? No way.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:55 am
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The way things are going right now, I'm thinking they will probably extend 2020 status based on 2019 flying/spend out another year for not just 2021 but for 2022.
The travel situation for most isn't getting any better for most until probably spring/summer 2021 best case at this point.
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