Skift Take

Delta is the first major U.S. carrier to adopt a broader policy for extending elite status, including not just those who take parental leave but also flyers who experience other major life events. It's a good way to engender long-term loyalty among the airline's most valuable customers.

Series: Business of Loyalty

Travel Loyalty News

The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.

It was a good week for loyalty members at Delta Air Lines. Early in the week, the Atlanta-based carrier kicked off a program called Reclaim My Status, which allows frequent flyers who took a break from travel due to a major life-changing event to fast-track their way back to their former status level.

Through the program, when a SkyMiles member takes a major break from travel after the birth of a child or a major medical issue, it’s now easier to step back into the flow of elite travel.

No tier of elite status is exempt from the program, but it’s handled on a case-by-case basis depending on the life event. Once a traveler signs up, Delta immediately grants status and then extends a sort of challenge to the flyer to ensure that he or she can keep up with the level of flying that’s typical of that tier. After a three-month trial, the status locks into a longer extension that includes the remainder of the year in which the trial was successfully completed and the year after that.

In launching Reclaim My Status, Delta becomes the first U.S. legacy carrier to creatively extend an olive branch to frequent flyers who have to take a break at some point — whether it’s due to family issues or other milestones in life. The effort will do wonders for engendering long-term loyalty within the SkyMiles program, which was once written off by many frequent flyers as too stingy.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

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Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.


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Tags: delta air lines, delta skymiles, loyalty, skymiles

Photo credit: This week Delta Air Lines launched Reclaim My Status, a sweeping policy that extends elite status to those frequent flyers taking a break due to a major life event. Delta Air Lines

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