Once upon a time airline status was quite valuable and easy to obtain. Upgrades were easy to come by, fee waivers were plentiful, and you didn’t have to spend a minimum amount of cash to earn status. But just as airlines have devalued redeemable miles, they also devalued elite status. Upgrades are now few and far between, while status often requires high level of spending in addition to flying. Gone are the days when you could earn status and tons of miles from a profitable mileage run. And forget about earning lifetime Gold or Platinum elite status from opening credit cards as my wife and I did with American back in the day. Not that mid-tier AA status is worth much anymore anyway…
Unless you’re flying and spending enough to earn top-tier elite status, being loyal to an airline is a fool’s errand as they certainly won’t be loyal back. You’ll be better off flying whichever airline is the cheapest or most convenient and treating yourself to an upgrade offer when it’s worthwhile.
At any rate, one of the major complaints about elite status is that status can be hard to maintain when a major life event gets in the way. When you fall off the bandwagon you have to start again with no status.
Delta realized that such free agency is bad for their bottom line and is demoralizing for passengers in that rat race as well. They have now launched “Reclaim My Status” after a members goes through a major life event.
“While each situation will be evaluated on a one-on-one basis, major life events that impact travel may include:
- Becoming a parent, including maternity, paternity, adoption or foster leave
- Recovering from serious illness
- Sustaining serious injury
- Changing jobs or careers
- Caregiving for a family member
- Getting a degree
- And more
- When Medallion Members are ready to start traveling again after a big change, important life moment or event that affected travel and caused a loss of or change in Status, they should submit a request to get Medallion Status back at delta.com/reclaimmystatus.
- Most Members will receive a decision from Delta within five business days (but it can take up to two weeks) and if approved, they will automatically and immediately enjoy three months of complimentary Medallion Status.
- Then, Members who meet the minimum travel and spend thresholds for that Status Tier over that three-month period retain their Status. The following are a couple of illustrative examples:
- If a Member enrolls in Reclaim My Status on or before Dec. 31, 2019, and meets the thresholds, Medallion Status will be extended through Jan. 31, 2021.
- If a Member enrolls in Reclaim My Status between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, and meets the thresholds, Medallion Status will be extended through Jan. 31, 2022.
- You can participate in Reclaim My Status once every three years, but if your situation needs an exception please let us know. For example, if you’ve gone on maternity leave multiple times within the last three years.”
During the 3 month period you’ll need to earn 25% of the normally required miles and spending for a full year as outlined here.
This is similar to the elite status challenge that they offer elite members from other airlines, though this doesn’t require status on another airline and it has the option to earn back top-tier Diamond status. Additionally with the Reclaim My Status offer you can still obtain a lower level if you miss your challenge, but meet the challenge of a lower level.
Will you apply for Delta Reclaim My Status?