Delta Status Match Expanded, Full Details

A lot of airlines offer a status match or even challenges to earn top tier elite membership in their program, so you don’t have to start from zero and work your way up. It’s a smart way for airlines to try and grab loyalty from other airlines and get some of that money over to them. A lot of airlines are restricting them now to once-in-a-lifetime so you can’t just keep churning out status year over year.

Alaska Airlines offers a status match to their top tier programs, but Delta is a little bit different. They offer their status in the form of a challenge. In the past, it only used to be tied to domestic airlines (Alaska, United, American) but now, Delta has just opened up the flood gates to a bunch of international airlines as well.

Delta Status Match

Whoa – that’s a huge list! They’ve added Air Canada Altitude, ANA All Nippon Club, Asiana Asiana Club, British Airways Executive Club, Copa Airlines ConnectMiles, JAL Mileage Bank, and Lufthansa Miles & More. There’s even a space on the bottom that says “hey, we might even match your other airline status if you just put it down below.” I imagine if the information is good enough, they’ll do it on a case by case basis.

Now, you can’t get Diamond Status on Delta, but you can get all the way up to Platinum. Here’s the details for that qualification:

Delta Status Match

18k MQM isn’t horrible in 90 days. In fact, I’d be willing to say that anyone who actually wanted status could probably knock that out fairly easily.

Partner Airlines OK!

A lot of airlines restrict the status match to flying on their planes only, but now Delta will allow you to fly on partner airlines and use those MQM to qualify for the status! That’s a huge benefit, as SkyTeam has a large membership, so you might even be able to do this just sticking to SkyTeam airlines.

Platinum gets Choice Benefits

One of the great parts of being Platinum is the discounts you can receive on future flights and other gifts as a thank you for qualifying platinum. You can get extra upgrades, Hotel or Airlines gift cards, and other perks. While you don’t get it while you’re challenging for the status, as soon as you hit the mark, you’re eligible for the benefit.

No Upgrading…

If you qualify for a Silver or Gold status, but you fly enough to get the Platinum level, Delta will not award you with the platinum level inside of those 90 days. You can only earn the level that you’re at or lower. So if you match Gold and end up Silver, you’ll soft land on the Silver level.

Delta One Business Class Seat

Once every three years

This is a shocker. Most airlines (American, Alaska, etc) allow a once in a lifetime match. Delta seems to be a lot more generous. If you haven’t asked for a match in the past three years, then you qualify. 

Maybe Lounge Access?

So, there’s a line that says the following. “During the 90-day period, you will not have access to all reciprocal Medallion benefits with Delta’s partner airlines, including access to SkyTeam® lounges.” Honestly, if you’re showing as Platinum in the system, I don’t know how they would enforce it. If it shows Platinum on the boarding pass, I’d imagine they’d let you in, no?

Timing is everything

If you do this status match now, it’s going to be good through the end of the year. However, if you wait until July 1st to do the status match, you’ll get it through January 2019. Now that is pretty amazing. If you have some Q3/Q4 travel plans, this might be a fantastic way to get status all the way through the rest of this year and al of next year.

Delta One Westin Heavenly Bedding

If you think you can fly now and get the status, go for it. Otherwise, set a calendar reminder for July 1st to request your free Delta Status Match Challenge!

Have you done a status match in the past? Thinking about doing one in the future? Let us know below.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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6 Comments

  1. My guess on the reciprocity thing is that they won’t send you a membership card during the challenge, so if a partner lounge requires seeing the actual card, you’ll be SOL. I believe that’s how United describes their challenge.

    Post a Reply
    • They say that they won’t send you a physical card, but you CAN pull it up in the app. I’ve done that in Paris before. Also, if it says Platinum on the boarding pass, that’s been good enough for me before, but then again YMMV.

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  2. Wow, you really should have an understanding of the Delta Skymiles program before writing an article like this. So many factual errors and misrepresentations…

    Post a Reply
    • I’ve been a platinum member for over 10 years, so I’d like to think I have a very good understanding of the SkyMiles program. I’d love to know what I’m factually misrepresenting

      Post a Reply
    • I am a DL Diamond and Million Miler….I am curious as to what you think is a misrepresentation or error? Nothing stood out to me as either..?

      Post a Reply
      • No idea here either. I’d love to see his response. Thanks for reading Glenn!

        Post a Reply

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