Airlines rarely ever like to part with elite qualifying miles. Delta is giving them out like candy.
The “Big 6” network carriers are sustained by their elite customers. These customers typically are willing to pay a significant premium to fly on their preferred carrier and have extreme brand loyalty. In return the airlines pamper them with goodies such as upgrades, tons of bonus miles when flying, enhanced mileage availability, premium seat availability, reduced fees, extra luggage allowances, priority customer service/security screening/boarding, etc, etc.
There has been no program devalued as quickly of late as Delta’s Skymiles. They have by far the worst mileage seat availability. They are the only network carrier that got rid of “last-seat” availability for “rule-buster” mileage tickets. They have added tons of new fees that have angered their elite travelers.
It won’t help matters that they are in the process of closing down quite a few of their airport lounges that premium customers demand. They are also closing down all of their BusinessElite lounges.
They are bleeding elite customers and can’t seem to find a carrier willing to merge with them.
In response they have unleashed unprecedented promos for elite miles in an effort to try and regrow a loyal customer base. It is a path fraught with peril. If current elite customers are angered by all of the new “elite-light” customers they may bolt to other carriers.
At any rate, whether you are gunning for bottom or top tier, with promotions such as double elite miles there’s never been a easier way to earn elite status than now. One RT flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv is all it would take become elite until 02/10. Delta elite status is honored across the board on all SkyTeam alliance carriers, such as Air France, Continental, KLM, and Northwest. It will even exempt you (and possibly your companions) from new restrictive checked luggage rules on all of those carriers. (More on that in a future post) With elite-status matching you can even get other carriers with a better elite product to match your Delta status to their own equivalent status!