Finally we have some real details about Delta’s fourth tier, which will be called Diamond status. According to The Salt Lake Tribune article, Diamond status will require 125,000 elite qualifying miles or 140 segments.

What are the benefits? Well, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold members have ticketing fees waived for bookings made by phone, online, or in person (big whoop), and Diamond members get a free SkyClub membership, which, up until a few years ago, was included for Platinum members. Is that really it? There has to be something else, given that we’re talking about 125,000 elite qualifying miles a year here. No improved international upgrades? No other priority services? I hope there’s more to this.

Here’s a VERY cool change, though:

For the first time, miles accumulated beyond the threshold for membership in each medallion level will be rolled over to the following year instead of being voided.

For the sake of Delta/Northwest flyers, I’m hoping there are a few more benefits for being a Diamond member….

By the way, I’d love to know what math The Salt Lake Tribune is using:

Delta Air Lines is adding a fourth tier of benefits for ultra-frequent fliers who make the equivalent of 41 cross-country trips a year.

125,000/41=3,049 miles per roundtrip, which means around 1,525 miles each way. How is 1,500 miles a “cross country trip?” That’s hardly even a midcon….

  1. July 27th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Gene said,

    Can’t wait to hear what Hunter has to say…

  2. July 27th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    bmvaughn said,

    What rolls over here… MQMs?

  3. July 27th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Gary said,

    Indeed, there MUST be more to it. I would guess something like what DL or NW offered at the 125k extraperks level memorialized here would be included. Usually these newspaper articles miss the main point.

    Btw, I took 41 cross-country trips to mean one-ways. So 3049 miles each way. Which is certainly doable, eg SEA-ATL-BDL clocks in at 3041.

  4. July 27th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Chris said,

    Tickle me slightly impressed but, on the other hand, PISSED.

    As a (soon to be) Diamond (150K threshold is going to be crossed Wed on the way to PRG), I’ll have a nice cushion to start with for next year.

    However, I renewed my SkyClub membership in May… so I’ve effectively renewed it for what, 5 months? :-(

    There must be some other giveback.

  5. July 27th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Chris said,

    But, THE positive, if media outlets haven’t misconstrued it will be:

    “Diamond, platinum and gold Medallion members will have ticketing fees waived for all bookings, whether completed by phone, online or in person.”

    I have a feeling that the Gold/Plat part is false but for DIAMOND’s… hopefully true. It means that I’ll be making far more phone bookings for complex itin’s and not having to be transfered to the “web support” desk.

  6. July 27th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Gene said,

    @Chris — I’m pretty sure this is coming straight from a DL press release, so I doubt it is incorrect.

  7. July 27th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Chris said,


    From Sky Magazine here’s the chart. Above comments are valid.

  8. July 27th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    hobo13 said,

    As for the cross-country trip statement — keep in mind that NW/DL’s hubs are (aside from JFK) not on the coasts. So the majority of their elites never actually fly true trans-cons.

    As a case in point, one of my friends was a long-time NW Plat based in MSP. He would do several international work trips each year to get there though. He could never believe that I (based in BOS) could get status flying almost exclusively domestically. If you draw a radius from MSP, you’ll discover that you really don’t earn much domestically. And until NW/DL allow you to route via LAX/JFK, I don’t see that changing much.

  9. July 27th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Gene — “Damnit, I’m going to write a generic letter to a Delta Executive, and if I don’t get a personalized response, I’m going to bitch.” ;)

    @ bmvaughn — Yep, the MQM’s would roll over

    @ Gary — Fair enough, although I just found the number 41 to be odd. I wouldn’t have sad anything if they would have gone with 40, but 41 just seemed like such an exact number to come out of thin air.

    @ Chris — Ouch, 150K miles on Delta? You should come over to the dAArk side or the dUArk side. ;)

    @ hobo13 — Good point, although same comment as above to Gary. 41 is just odd. And yeah, I have it real good living in TPA, given how nicely I can stretch routings. I could never imagine living in DEN, or to a lesser extent ORD.

  10. July 27th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    chris said,

    150K isn’t that hard… when you earn 50K on the double EQM promo, 15K bonus & have 3 international J trips…

  11. July 27th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Gene said,

    @Lucky — Has Hunter possessed you? :-)

  12. July 28th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    chitownflyer said,

    I would be shocked to see United actually give its top elite flyers a complimentary RCC membership. United already has four elite levels, if one accounts for 3P(Premier Associate), so I do not see them matching this.

  13. August 2nd, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Bob Leiter said,

    Regarding the new Delta Diamond level and the roll over of miles. Has anyone considered that this will allow more fliers to make the upper levels reducing our chances of upgrades and that with the new level we will not get the advantage of any miles over the 125,000 making it harder to get to platnum the flowing year, for what appears to be a very limited gain at the diamond level.

    I have been a platinum level for many years and am just short of 2m with NW will I get the 2m miles befits from Delta once I reach the 2m level?

  14. August 2nd, 2009 at 10:06 am

    lucky said,

    @ Bob — While everyone praises rollover EQM’s, I see that as a major problem as well. The elite tiers are already devalued enough to the point that I’m not even sure I’d want other airlines to follow Delta’s move. As far as your question goes, I believe DL/NW will be combining the “lifetime miles” counter, so you should get those lifetime miles reflected in your new account.

  15. October 1st, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Bob Leiter said,

    Well I just hit 125,000 miles plus. And low and behold I was informed at the world club and by a flight attendant that it will not take effect until Mar 2010. Prior to this I was getting upgraded about 80% of the time this trip coach both way to SFO and back to DTW on a $800.00 plus fare. So I would not hurry to the Diamond level it will apparently make no difference. Welcome to Delta.

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