Yesterday, Rick gave you his perspective on the change we saw with Delta’s elite status qualifications adding in a revenue based component … and for most of us in this game, I couldn’t agree more with it.
For me, a business traveler / road warrior … I LOVE THIS IDEA … ok well sorta.
As someone that spends 100+ nights on the road and 100+ flights a year, I earn my status the hard way and the easy way. I earn it on someone else’s dime (easy), but it means I rarely if ever get to pick the destination and have to fly when business calls (hard). Mileage runs are few and far between … and in the end that is really what a revenue based points program does… It makes a mileage run and a double EQM promo significantly less worthwhile towards elite status.
I have to give Delta a bit of credit for the technique they’ve taken with introducing Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) as from my perspective they actually appear to be trying to protect me as a top tier elite making sure that I get my upgrades and can get my award seats. Now business is business, but from that point of view I have to love it; and I do.
They also give those that can’t make a spend requirement an out through excessive use on an American Express SkyMiles credit card. Frankly the only people that should even consider this are those with the Delta Reserve that can’t otherwise meet spend requirements, and/or need/want an MQM boost. 1 SkyMile per dollar … no thanks. never. Heck, if I put that spend on an SPG card I’d at least get 1.25 miles/dollar with that 20% bonus transfer from Starwood … but who would ever transfer SPG points to Delta miles (gosh I hope no one)
Is this a sign of more to come? You bet. Does this mean elite status is really going to go back to where it “belongs”? Among the ranks of those that actually fly? Or, does this mean that we’re going to see relationships with credit partners continue to expand such that if you spend $100k on a card annually you’ll get instant middle tier status? Who knows, but changes are a coming and Delta has taken the first shot.
Personally, I’m giving thAAnks to my status match I did last year and we’ll see how long my loyalty to Atlanta’s hometown airline sticks with a possible AA/US consolidation given US Air has pretty good service and price-wise is generally at or just below Delta prices to my destinations (and redeeming SkyMiles this past year has been a complete abomination for me … with the best value being 25k miles from SAV-LGA and back non-stop several times). Sure US Air doesn’t have all mainline aircraft from SAV but they are two-cabin and coach on a CRJ 700 / 900 isn’t bad at all.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by TODAY at 11:59pm ET to be eligible to win. That gives you two days to win!