Delta Skymiles Bringing Back Elite Status Match

In January I outlined how you can take elite status with one airline and get another airline to give you status, too.

Some just straight up give you the status, others require you to fly a certain amount to earn it on an expedited basis. But it’s entirely common for airlines to want to do what they can to poach the best customers of their competitors.

Delta even lists the opportunity on its website, but the website indicated the offer runs through June 30, 2013.

They’ll give you status (up to Platinum, based on your current status with a competitor airline) for 90 days. If you sign up in the first half of the year and complete the challenge, you get the status for the rest of the membership year. If you sign up in the second half of the year and complete the challenge you get the status for the remainder of the year and the next membership year.

There was some speculation that the June 30th end date was linked to the introduction of new revenue requirements for achieving elite status with Delta.

But that speculation turns out to be wrong, and indeed status match opportunities remain in place at Delta.

As reported on Milepoint, Delta is explaining

We are in the process of updating the Elite Match Challenge, but yes –
the program is still available.

If you enroll now – and complete the 90 day offer – your status will be
valid through February 2015.

For additional information – please visit –


Of course, it seems to me that only a limited set of people ought to want Delta status.

If you’re based in Atlanta or the Upper Midwest, Delta makes sense based on frequency of service and non-stop flights.

They are running a good airline. They have wireless internet not just across their whole mainline domestic fleet, but also extensively across their regional jets. They have impressive inflight entertainment systems (something that matters to me not at all, I bring my own).

But they have the least rewarding frequent flyer program of the major US airlines. Their international upgrade policies are the stingiest.

And both American and now US Airways have extensive internet as well, and even United is getting in that game.

Nonetheless, if you want to be a Delta elite, the window has not shut to do a status challenge with them.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. oh sweet
    I love being elite at an airline with Americas worst airline website and horrible award availability
    I may just fed ex over my 1k credentials ASAP 🙂
    I don’t usually say this but they real suck!
    Feels good to say it.
    They need to fix both problems big time

  2. They only list AA and UA on the status match site. Would this work to match any other airline?

    Would like to see if they can go ahead and match Virgin Atlantic status?

  3. Would they status match Alaska MVP? Is there even any need to status match Alaska > Delta considering the benefits that already apply to my Delta flights? Does Delta Silver have equal or better upgrade priority than MVP flying Delta? Thanks

  4. I recently gave Delta a shot in spite of Gary’s consistent bashing. They have good frequency of flights to RDU, a place I need to visit more frequently now. Much better in fact than AA where I have status. The RJ I flew was a crappy CJ200, and of course, I had to sit next to a large person! AA at least has EJs so the single seat side is a godsend. The mainline DL flight wasn’t bad, I sprung for E+ or whatever DL calls it.

    But the deal breaker was ATL. God, what a pit! Crowded beyond belief, lousy food choices compared to DFW and ORD, and the dingiest SkyLounges (free with Amex Plat, but still!). I tried 3 different ones. UGH! The Admirals Clubs at DFW are much, much better. So, the miles from those flights went to Air France, and I decided to stick with the better AA experience. YMMV

    So, no thanks, DL. Gary, keep on bashing. 🙂

  5. I like this blog a lot and have learned A LOT from it… though I often don’t appreciate the author’s attitude (sorry, Gary!). However, in all fairness, Gary here is complaining about the Delta FF program and NOT the airline. I fly Delta on occasion (domestic coach – horrors!) and they have a good product. Better than most.

  6. Re: Delta Bashing, Gary tells it like it is. Does anyone dispute that Delta Skypesos is worthless ( or more pc : the least rewarding frequent flyer program) or that their international upgrade policies are the stingiest among US airlines? Its true.

  7. So, if Delta Skymiles is bad, what SkyTeam program would you recommend for someone in Asia NOT living in a SkyTeam-airline hub, who only travels that alliance occasionally?

  8. Anyone have any luck with Delta replacing a laptop damaged while in their checked bag?

  9. @ Christopher Weber

    Almost definitely no.

    “Delta is not responsible or liable for cash, camera equipment, commercial effects, computer software and equipment, electronic equipment, fragile articles, jewelry, lifesaving medication, negotiable papers, irreplaceable business documents, works of art or other similar valuable items contained in checked or unchecked baggage. These types of items should be carried on — and kept in sight.”

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