Guide to Delta Status Challenge, Application, Outcome, Status Retention
Yesterday, I received an email from Delta Air Lines regarding a request I made roughly a week ago. I submitted an application for a SkyMiles Medallion elite status challenge. At the time, I thought I was applying for a status match. However, it turns out that Delta only offers status challenges. Regardless, the application was free and I was recently approved. Here’s how I applied and what I plan on doing to keep my new elite status.
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Applying for a Delta Status Challenge
The first step you will want to take to apply for a Delta status challenge is to see if you’re eligible. Delta Air Lines provides a chart of airlines and their elite status tiers. You can then compare your elite status to Delta SkyMiles Medallion status. In my case, I used my Alaska Airlines MVP status to match to Delta Air Lines Medallion status. The good news about Delta is that almost every major airline and their frequent flyer program is accepted. If you can’t find your elite status on the chart, I’d still urge you to apply.
Once you’ve located your elite status, it’s time to begin your application.
The first thing you’ll want to do is gather the require documentation that you’ll need to verify your elite status. Delta’s application only allows you to upload a single file so it’s best to make sure you choose something that will thoroughly cover all required information. The following is a list of documents that Delta will (most likely) accept as verification of elite status.
|Online Dashboard||Better||Your online dashboard accessible via desktop or mobile application. Take a screenshot and upload as image.|
|Paper Statement/Summary from Airline||Best||Sent in the mail directly to your home or business. Scan and upload as PDF.|
|Physical Frequent Flyer Card||Better||Physical card issued directly by airline and sent in the mail.|
|Electronic Frequent Flyer Card||Okay||Accessible online or on your phone. Upload as image format.|
I chose to use my electronic frequent flyer card that I accessed via the Alaska Airlines application. From the chart above, you can see that electronic frequent flyer cards are the least effective. However, in my case, an electronic frequent flyer card did the trick. Once you’ve gathered your document you plan on submitting to Delta, it’s time to fill out the status match application.
Below is Delta’s status match application. It’s pretty straight forward. The first part is personal details and the second pertains to your frequent flyer info. That’s the extent of the application. Once you finished filling out the required information, click submit. That’s all there is to it.
Once you’ve submitted your status match application, you should get a message that lets you know that you’ve successfully submitted your application. Keep in mind that Delta might want more information to verify the legitimacy if your elite status or your identity so keep a look out for an email from Delta’s SkyMiles team. Delta says that it should take 7 to 14 business days for you to get a response. That response will come first, via email and second, show up on your Delta SkyMiles dashboard.
I submitted my application on a Tuesday and in the wee hours of the morning on the following Wednesday, I received an email from Delta’s SkyMiles team confirming that I had been approved for a status challenge. I have no idea if eight days is the norm or if I lucked out with such a quick response. I will note that for three of those eight days I was waiting for a response, Delta was battling a four-day weather event. What I’m getting at is, if it only took eight days to hear back from Delta even though they were in crisis, I doubt it will take longer than 8 to 10 business days.
Delta Elite Status Challenge Approval
Here’s where the fun begins. You should receive an email from Delta’s SkyMiles team 7 to 14 days after you submit your application. That email will tell you whether or not your application was approved and what comes next. Note that Delta’s SkyMiles team can choose the date on which your status and therefore your status challenge goes into effect. For me, the SkyMiles team started my challenge 36-ish hours after I received my approval email. Below is what that email will look like.
Once your status challenges goes into effect, your status will be reflected on the SkyMiles dashboard and any ticket you book will go towards the adjusted required miles or segments to retain status.
Keeping Delta Medallion Status
Delta’s status challenge lasts 90-days. Within 90-days, you’ll be required to earn a certain amount of medallion qualifying miles or medallion qualifying segments. These amounts are greatly reduced. Additionally, it would appear that the required medallion qualifying dollars amount is waived. Below is what you’ll need to earn in order to keep your elite status.
Standard members who aren’t enrolled in Delta’s status challenge are required to earn nearly four times the amount of medallion qualifying miles, segments, and are required to spend $3,000.
The easiest way to retain your new status is to fly. Since there isn’t a required spend amount, Delta’s American Express Card won’t help you meet that spending requirement. You can fly on any Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, and select partner airline flights.
Once you meet those medallion requirements, it will take approximately five days for any updates to your status to be updated on Delta’s end.
I’m booking almost every flight for the next few months on Delta. This will guarantee that I have the best shot at retaining elite status.
Taking Advantage of Medallion Benefits
During your 90-days as a SkyMiles elite, you’ll be able to use most of the benefits that come with Medallion status. Delta does restrict access to some of those benefits.
You’ll be able to upgrade to First Class or Comfort+, select preferred seats, and have access to priority check-in and security. You won’t be able to use lounges, receive a physical card, or use choice benefits. Here’s a link to the full list of Delta Medallion benefits.
I plan on taking a few flights with Delta this weekend to see if it’s remotely possible to get an upgrade as a Silver Medallion. Additionally, I’ve already selected preferred seats for no additional cost.
Delta Air Lines status challenge is fairly straightforward. Delta’s SkyTeam department does a fantastic job of reaching out to applicants. The whole process of applying for a status challenge took under ten minutes. I’m willing to sacrifice ten minutes of my time for 90-days of Medallion status. I also plan on sharing my experience with Delta’s status challenge these next 90-days. Make sure to keep an eye out for any updates!
If you have any questions, concerns, or tips, let me know!