Why Reclaiming Medallion Status With Delta Is Not For Everyone

Back on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, Delta Air Lines launched an initiative called Reclaim My Status, which allows you — as a member of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program — to enroll to reclaim your Medallion elite level status if you lost it due to experiencing a major life event…

Why Reclaiming Medallion Status With Delta Is Not For Everyone

…but while it 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.

That previous health condition of krellboy may likely fall under one of the major life events which impact travel and will be individually evaluated — including but 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 enrolls in Reclaim My Status on or before Tuesday, December 31, 2019, and meets the thresholds, Medallion elite level status will 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

Summary

Reclaim My Status should be good for one full year and not just for three months, in my opinion — and it is hardly representative of a “two-way street” pertaining to loyalty…

…probably more like a “status match” of sorts than anything else — but is it better than nothing, as no such initiative existed for SkyMiles members who had no choice but to 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…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Why Reclaiming Medallion Status With Delta Is Not For Everyone”

  1. Barry Graham says:

    If you want a benefit restored as a special favor then it’s reasonable to provide proof. People need to decide whether their comfort in giving the info is more important than their flying comfort. This would not be a difficult choice for me if G-d forbid I were in such a situation.

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