Delta’s Million Miler Program Takes A Hit As Well

by Anthony Losanno
Delta Plane

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Delta Air Lines dropped some bombs earlier today when details were revealed about both its SkyMiles loyalty program and changes to access for the Sky Clubs®. It was hard to find any good news in the announcements and the more I dug in, the worse it seemed. In addition to the changes for qualification for Medallion status, Delta is also changing how its members reach Million Miler™ status.

Unlike American Airlines or United Airlines, where Million Miler™ status is based on actual, butt-in-seat miles flown, Delta used Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) as its metric. This meant that bonuses awarded for premium cabin tickets, bonus MQMs earned from credit cards, and any other bonus opportunities that popped up through the years all added together when pushing towards Million Miler™ status.

United Million Miler

United Airlines‘ program is the most generous. It awards Premier Gold for one million miles flown. This includes Star Alliance Gold status (which is great for lounges) as well as the ability to invite a spouse or significant other to share your current Premier status. For many years my husband held Global Services® status as a result of my being a Million Miler and electing him as my companion. At two million miles (I’m almost there), United awards Premier Platinum status. Three million earns lifetime Premier 1K® and once you cross four million, you receive Global Services® status.

American Million Miler

American Airlines is far less generous and offers AAdvantage Gold® status (plus 35,000 AAdvantage miles) for reaching one million. At two million miles, you get AAdvantage Platinum® status and four one-way systemwide upgrades. Each million after that only awards four additional one-way systemwide upgrades. There is no way to reach Platinum Pro®, Executive Platinum®, or ConciergeKey.

Delta Million Miler

Delta’s Million Miler™ status was easier to attain because of the bonuses included (as noted above). With all of the other punches that Delta threw, they also went after the Million Miler™ program. Starting on January 1st, Million Miler™ earnings will be based on miles flown with Delta and its partners. There will be no more bonuses for premium cabins or higher fare classes. All existing Million Miler™ balances will convert 1:1 into the new miles-flown metric. I’m well on my way to earning Million Miler™ with Delta, but it’s now going to take me longer as I can no longer count the bonus miles credited for all of the First and Delta One® tickets I buy.

Anthony’s Take: This is a minor setback compared to many of the other changes revealed today. It will take me longer to reach Million Miler™ status with Delta, but there is still a path (albeit a slower one without the bonuses).

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Greg September 14, 2023 - 7:45 am

The MM program itself is improving not taking a hit…

Starting Jan 1 MM becomes tie breaker 3 for upgrades vs 6 before

And with unlimited Skyclub membership requiring elite status to purchase the MM status becomes more valuable in that regard

Who knows if there will be fewer Plat/Gold flyers if so that also improves MM integrity

David S September 14, 2023 - 8:46 am

I am 1mm on DL and currently at 1.5mm lifetime. Honestly, the only thing it gets you is a (sometimes) thank from the flight attendants for being a Delta Million Miler. That’s really about it.

Robert Cowen September 14, 2023 - 10:54 am

David S: same here, 1.6mm butts in seat miles; lifetime Silver. But looking at the new chart above, are we both lifetime Gold now?


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