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 – www.delta.com/statusmatch
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.