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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Delta’s trying to ensure that its premium services truly go to its most loyal customers, and this move will lead to the dropping of other hangers-on.
Compiling miles and segments won’t be good enough to qualify for Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion status in 2015 — there will be minimum spending levels, as well.
For the first time, SkyMiles members will have to spend a minimum number of Medallion Qualification Dollars in 2014, on top of having a base number of miles and segments, to qualify for Medallion status in 2015.
“These changes are a result of considerable research that we’ve conducted including conversations with hundreds of customers, many of whom expressed a desire to see the Medallion program truly target our best customers,” says Jeff Robertson, vice president – SkyMiles. “Adding a revenue component to the SkyMiles Medallion program ensures that our most valued customers receive the best program benefits and a more exclusive experience.”
SkyMiles members at the top SkyMiles Medallion Diamond tier would have to log 125,000 miles, wrack up 140 qualifying segments, and then spend $12,500 in 2014 to get into the program the following year.
For their efforts — or their flying and spending, that is — Diamond members get unlimited domestic upgrades for “free,” and they have no mileage expiration.
Here is Delta Air Lines’ chart detailing the necessary spending (MQDs), miles (MQMs), and segments (MQSs) for its Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tiers.
Passengers who have Delta SkyMiles credit card, issued by American Express, don’t have to meet the MQDs spending requirements annually if they use their cards to make $25,000 in eligible purchases, the airline states.
Delta indicates that its new SkyMiles Medallion status mandates only apply to members who live in the U.S.