Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is reshaping its SkyMiles Medallion? program to better align loyalty benefits and rewards with customer revenue. Under new Medallion qualification guidelines, the program now will award elite status based on a combination of miles flown and fares purchased, instead of on miles, segments or transoceanic segments flown.
The modifications do not affect customers’ status earned in 2002 for the 2003 membership year; rather, they affect the way in which customers may earn elite status starting Jan. 1, 2003.
“In today’s competitive marketplace, no prize is greater than customer loyalty,” said Vicki Escarra, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Delta. “To earn this honor, we are committed to creating a stronger partnership with SkyMiles members and enhancing their overall travel experience. These changes are designed to reward those members contributing the largest share of revenue to Delta with a faster path to Medallion status. The new Medallion qualification guidelines will allow Delta to not only show its appreciation for how often our members fly, but also for the fares these customers choose to purchase.”
Customers now will earn elite status based on “Medallion® Qualification Miles” - a multiple of the distance traveled and fare class purchased on Delta, Delta Connection carriers, Delta Shuttle, Delta Express and its SkyTeam partners. The number of Medallion Qualification Miles earned in a calendar year will be the sole criterion to determine Medallion status, replacing qualification by segments, transoceanic segments or base miles. Silver Medallion?, Gold Medallion? and Platinum Medallion? qualification levels will remain unchanged at 25,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, respectively.
Please visit delta.com/skymileschanges for specific information about earning Medallion Qualification Miles with SkyTeam partner activity.
While the qualification revisions will impact Medallion members in different ways, Delta expects the total number of Medallion members to remain about the same, with slightly more members moving up in status. The airline plans to transition into the new qualification system by giving special consideration to current Medallion members. For example, members who would have earned a higher status under the new Medallion Qualification Miles guidelines, based on their 2002 travel activity, will be awarded that higher status in early January 2003. Also, members who have earned Platinum Medallion status over the past three consecutive years and continue to qualify under the previous guidelines will maintain their Platinum Medallion status through 2004. In addition, members who earned 2003 Platinum and Gold Medallion status will not decrease status by more than one level in 2004.
“These special considerations for our long-term, loyal customers are designed to show our commitment and gratitude for their business,” said Escarra.
The ability to earn and accumulate SkyMiles for Award Travel through eligible flights or partnership activity has not changed. On all eligible fares, members will continue to earn a minimum of 500 miles per flight that may be applied toward Award Travel and upgrade awards. Class-of-Service, elite-level and other bonus miles earned through travel, promotional offers and partner activity will still apply toward Award Travel and upgrade awards.