Delta Takes The Axe To Diamond Medallion Status

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Delta has long been a leader in stripping away value from its mileage program, giving their miles the Skypesos moniker. However they have been a leader in elite status benefits. Until today.

The major perks of top-tier elite status are upgrades on domestic tickets and a number of certificates for confirmed upgrades on international business class.

When US airlines launched premium economy, many feared that it would be used as an excuse to avoid giving upgrades from economy to business class on long-haul flights.

Sure enough, those fears have now been realized.

Effective 2/1/22, all Delta upgrade certificates will be subject to new rules.

On the plus side, Global Upgrade Certificates will be confirmed into first class or “Premium Select” premium economy immediately, rather than be waitlisted.

Certificates will be valid through the end of the elite year in January, rather than for 12 months from when you claimed your upgrades. If you qualify for Diamond status on 10/1/22, your upgrades will be valid through 1/31/24. That can be better or worse depending on when you claimed your upgrades.

But the massive devaluation is that Global Upgrade Certificates will no longer be able to be confirmed in advance from economy to “Delta One” long-haul business class. Instead you’ll only be added onto a waitlist for Delta One within 24 hours of your flight.

The thing I love about Hyatt Globalist status for example is being able to confirm upgrades in advance. I don’t enjoy playing the upgrade roulette game at checkin. But with this change Delta is forcing their top-tier elites into upgrade roulette rather than being able to select flights that can be confirmed into Delta One in advance.

It’s worth noting that this only applies to flights that have a premium economy cabin, but that includes the A330neo, A350, and 767-400ER. If you’re on a plane without a premium economy cabin, you can still upgrade to Delta One in advance based on upgrade availability.

If you’re on a plane with a premium economy cabin, you’ll have to purchase a pricier Premium Select fare in order to upgrade to Delta One in advance based on upgrade availability.

The same rules will apply for using upgrades on Delta partners.

Delta flies the A330neo from JFK to Tel Aviv. A flight from July 5-15 is $819 in economy, $1,617 in Premium Select or $3,513 in Delta One. While currently the $819 economy ticket can be confirmed in advance to Delta One, as of 2/1/22 you would need to spend $1,617 to be confirmed in advance to Delta One.

As the new rules will apply to existing certificates as of 2/1/22, Delta is offering a measly 8,000 miles for each Global Upgrade Certificate or 4,000 miles for each Regional Upgrade Certificate that you want to convert into Skypesos. Those certificates had to have been issued by 11/15/21 and you must convert them by 7/31/22.

You can still upgrade future flights with the current rules, as long as you do so by 1/31/22.

For now, American and United elites both have the ability confirm upgrades from economy to business in advance.

Will these changes make you rethink your loyalty to Delta?


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30 Comments On "Delta Takes The Axe To Diamond Medallion Status"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Is it just me or they copied the one-class-only upgrade certificate from Elal?

howard Tkatch

Another ridiculous change. It is not worthwhile to peruse status anymore on Delta. It is cheaper to just buy business class when I fly and put my 250K spend on amex instead


Which is exactly Delta goal


Yes it will!

Delta DM for over 5 years
Pm for a decade before that

I’ve never looked to see what others offer but I sure will now.


Expiration Date change is not a good thing — it is worse. Using your example, if you qualified for 2023 Diamond Status on 10/1/22, in the old days, while your certificates were good for 12 months, you could make your selection up until 1/31/24…meaning you could have your certificates valid until 1/31/25.

New way, your certificates are good until 1/31/24 regardless…so are losing a year

Phil g

Wow. That’s a real stinker.
Problem is, where to look to compare? I fly mainly USA-tlv route, often, and only other player would be united I guess…and suggestions? Thoughts?


It seems like elal is planning on upping their game a lot.

about Globalist

when you say you can confirm upgrades in advance with Globalist, I assume that’s only with suite upgrade passes, correct?


Is it still worth being Diamond for domestic travel?


Unless you’re based in ATL, I don’t think it is necessary. I was Diamond for a few years and then dropped to Platinum. Not a real noticeable difference in upgrades


Really bad!
The expiration thing is also really bad as I always chose these certs very late to effectively e able to use it over two years.

I do have a few questions,
1 how does it work with partner airlines? I don’t think AF/KL/VS have such a system in place and in the past it was not possible to waitlist for partners. Does that mean it cannot be used for business class partners altogether?

2. Can you use the cert to only waitlist to bus but not for premium economy as this would be a waste in my opinion?


Answering my own question (#2) after reading the new terms and conditions:

There will be no waitlist on partner airlines, so going forward
AF, VS : only upgrades one cabin so from Y to P or P to Z only.
KL, AM : will upgrade to Z (as they don’t have P class)
Korean is not clear but I never heard of anyone who actually got upgraded with Korean as they never have upgrade availability

So if you want to try VS or AF Z using these cert, hurry up!


Another thing is that all delta one suite fitted planes have premium economy so this kills the option to use the newer seats



I fly mainly domestic, and i am usually upgraded to business or first when purchasing regular fare tickets.
Any change to this?
I mainly fly from NYC and generally prefer delta to other airlines.

shmulies neighbor

+1 but out of CLE, the flight times work best with my schedule. Currently a Platinum and DM by EOY.

I have the same question


When applying a global upgrade certificate on a ticket booked in economy will you have a choice to reject the premium economy upgrade if the upgrade to delta one doesn’t clear?