Report: Delta Improving 2018 Diamond Elite Status – By Taking Away Automatic Lounge Access

Delta Platinum members get one ‘choice benefit’ and Diamonds get two.

For instance, a Platinum member might choose 4 confirmed regional upgrades or 20,000 bonus miles or to gift someone Silver status.

A Diamond member might choose 4 confirmed international upgrades valid on any fare, a benefit the airline introduced three years ago. Indeed, now that American Airlines has reduced the number of confirmed international upgrades given upon reaching top tier to 4 and tightened up availability Delta is even with American offering international upgrades to top elites.

But Delta Diamonds also get a second choice. They can gift Gold status to someone or take 20,000 bonus miles or a $200 Delta credit for instance.

Delta Diamond elites receive a complimentary SkyClub membership upon reaching tier status. That’s something neither American nor United offer (but lounge access is common for mid-tier elites all over the world, regardless of itinerary).

Delta SkyClub Seattle, credit: Delta Air Lines

Rene’s Points is reporting that Delta will be changing Choice benefits for Diamond members who qualify for 2018 status.

  1. They will no longer automatically receive SkyClub membership
  2. However it will be a ‘Choice’ benefit
  3. And they will receive 3 choices instead of 2

If Delta’s change is as-described this is a win for top elites, who no longer duplicate a benefit they receive as a co-brand cardholder. If they have a card that gets them lounge access anyway, they effectively get another free Choice. And that’s worth at least 20,000 points or $200.

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. I’d rather have the option of additional regional or global upgrade certificates for reaching 150,000, 175,000, and 200,000 miles. Other than rolling over miles, there’s really no advantage to fly with Delta after re-qualifying as a platinum (75,000 miles) or diamond (125,000).

    I also wouldn’t be opposed to changing the elite statuses to new 50,000 (silver), 75,000 (gold), 100,000 (platinum) and 150,000 (diamond) thresholds.

  2. Its 25,000 miles that a DL Diamond can choose as the chart states. Also AA EXPs can earn up to 8 SWUs in a year while DL Diamonds are limited to 4 no matter how many miles they fly.

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