Delta has offered up to lifetime Platinum status (’75k tier’), along with an annual gift, for million milers. Now they’ve introduced lifetime Diamond status at the 6 million mile level, including qualifying miles from all sources (including spend on premium credit cards).
- Silver: one million lifetime qualifying miles
- Gold:Platinum: four million lifetime qualifying miles
- Diamond six million lifetime qualifying miles
Six million is a TON. Diamond status takes 125,000 qualifying miles, so that’s 48 years of Diamond at minimum qualifying levels.
In contrast United Airlines offers the richest lifetime elite status. Despite reneging on lifetime club memberships (restricting access to travel on United even for lifetimeUnited offers up to lifetime members living in Cleveland that’s no longer a hub) and reneging on annual confirmed upgrades for lifetime elites, United lets members earn lifetime Global Services at 4 million miles. Delta’s comparable 360 status isn’t a lifetime option, and their equivalent of 1K is earned with 50% more qualifying miles (though again, credit card qualifying miles count).
This leaves an even starker difference in lifetime options between Delta and American, however. American’s lifetime elite status is the weakest.
American’s status tops out at the second level out of four (and really, five), and even lifetime Platinums are generally below current Platinums for ugprades because of prioritization based on rolling 12 month spend (what have you done for me lately?). US Airways before it only ever begrudgingly offered lifetime Silver status at 1 million flown miles. And even the passengers from US Airways flight 1549 only got elite status for the rest of that same membership year.
(HT: Eye Of The Flyer)