Reclaim Your Medallion Elite Status Through January 2022 With Delta Air Lines When Life Gets In the Way

If you are a member of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program of Delta Air Lines who has experienced a major life event which caused you to lose your Medallion elite level status, you are in luck, as you can reclaim that status through Monday, January 31, 2022.

Reclaim Your Medallion Elite Status Through January 2022 With Delta Air Lines When Life Gets In the Way

Although each situation will be individually evaluated, major life events that impact travel may include — but are not limited to:

  • Becoming a parent — which includes maternity, paternity, adoption or foster leave
  • Recovering from a serious illness
  • Sustaining serious injury
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Becoming a caregiving for a family member
  • Earning a degree

How Reclaim My Status Works

The steps to how Reclaim My Status works includes:

  • When Medallion elite level members are ready to start traveling again after a big change, important life moment, or event which affected travel and caused a loss of or change in Status, they should submit a request to get Medallion elite level status back.
  • Most members will receive a decision from Delta Air Lines within five business days — but the decision could take as long as two weeks — and if approved, they will automatically and immediately enjoy three months of complimentary Medallion elite level status.
  • Members who meet the minimum travel and spend thresholds for that Medallion status level over that three-month period retain their status. The following are a couple of examples:
    • If a member enrolled in Reclaim My Status on or before Tuesday, December 31, 2019, and met the thresholds, Medallion elite level status was to be extended through Sunday, January 31, 2021.
    • If a member enrolls in Reclaim My Status between Wednesday, January 1, 2020, and Thursday, December 31, 2020, and meets the thresholds, Medallion Status will be extended through Monday, January 31, 2022.

What Are the Thresholds?

The thresholds you must meet through Retain My Status are as follows — depending on the Medallion elite level status you are trying to retain:

  • Diamond Medallion
    • 31,250 Medallion Qualification Miles or 35 Medallion Qualification Segments; and
    • $3,750.00 Medallion Qualification Dollars or Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver
  • Platinum Medallion
    • 18,750 Medallion Qualification Miles or 25 Medallion Qualification Segments; and
    • $2,250.00 Medallion Qualification Dollars or Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver
  • Gold Medallion
    • 12,500 Medallion Qualification Miles or 15 Medallion Qualification Segments; and
    • $1,500.00 Medallion Qualification Dollars or Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver
  • Silver Medallion
    • 6,250 Medallion Qualification Miles or eight Medallion Qualification Segments; and
    • $750.00 Medallion Qualification Dollars or Medallion Qualification Dollar Waiver

Why Reclaiming Medallion Status With Delta Is Not For Everyone

While reclaiming Medallion elite level status in the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program sounds like a great idea, some people — such as FlyerTalk member krellboy — are understandably not so sure:

I applied due to my previous health condition not allowing me to fly as much as I used to, but was unsure if how they’d handle my PHI or even how much I should send them. So I asked them, “I’m not sure what kind of support documentation I should supply, they are medical records and I’d like them treated confidentially, is that something you are able to guarantee?”, the reply was “We do treat all documentation provided by our customers in secure and confidential manner. We place high value on our customers privacy concerns. The medical records would be reviewed, then deleted under the guidelines for our Delta Privacy Policy. You can resubmit a new request for consideration with the required documentation as outlined the program requirements.

That seems reasonable but also is too nebulous for me to feel comfortable about. It is kinda icky to start with, sharing medical records with my airline, but I’m still in the dark about what quantity or exactly what they require, so I’d likely start with the most minimum possible. If I send them that are they going to come back with “that is insufficient, can you send us the x-rays and your lab tests”?. If I send them the maximum possible, well, that is just an invitation for trouble.

If someone braver than me goes through this process please let me know.

Summary

Now is the best time to take advantage of Reclaim My Status, as it is good for two full years — because if you take advantage of it in December of 2020 instead, you will only retain that Medallion elite level status for slightly greater than one full year, which hardly seems representative of a “two-way street” pertaining to loyalty if life gets in the way then instead of now…

…which means that in that case, Reclaim My Status is probably more like a “status match” of sorts than anything else — but it is better than nothing, as no such initiative existed for SkyMiles members who had no choice but to lose Medallion elite level status due to not traveling because of a major life event.

As for members of the SkyMiles program who lost their Medallion elite level status due to personal health issues about which they do not want to disclose in detail — for fear of a data breach of some nefarious individual who could acquire their protected health information — the concern is real, as data breaches seem to be more of the norm in recent years than anomalies.

In fact, Delta Air Lines discourages applicants of Reclaim My Status to be too detailed about the reasons for their requests pertaining to health issues: “The supporting documentation should be proof that your life event occurred” and “Please avoid including your protected health information in your documentation.”

However, that is still not stopping some SkyMiles members from being squeamish and hesitant about sharing their reasons why they want to enroll to reclaim their Medallion elite level status — causing some people to think that they must choose between revealing what they believe is too much information and reclaiming Medallion elite level status for three months.

In what is actually a positive development for customers among what some may consider the persistent decimation of a once-great frequent flier loyalty program, Delta Air Lines follows the lead of Hilton, Alaska Airlines, Air Canada and several other companies around the world — all of which instituted policies and programs that allow members of their respective frequent travel loyalty programs to regain elite level status…

…but unlike the Hilton Honors initiative — which is only available to members who have already earned Diamond elite level VIP status — the Reclaim My Status program is valid for all levels of Medallion elite level status.

Then again, the extension of Diamond elite level VIP status in the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program is good for any reason simply for the asking — although it is limited to only once per lifetime; and the Elite Leave program for members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan frequent flier loyalty program seems to be valid for every time a member is expecting an addition to his or her family — but only a small percentage of members of the Mileage Plan frequent travel loyalty program are eligible to take advantage of extending their elite level status by one year.

All of the aforementioned initiatives are steps in the right direction — but each also have their limitations.

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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