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Delta Air Lines now lets loyal travelers reclaim their elite status after certain life events

Delta Air Lines now lets loyal travelers reclaim their elite status after certain life events
[Photo: Samantha Gades/Unsplash]

A friend recently posted one of those above-the-clouds plane photos on Instagram saying that he was on a “status run” to Tokyo and asking for food suggestions. (I told him to go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe, of course.) What’s a status run, you ask? That’s when you take a quick flight somewhere just to earn enough miles to ensure that you keep your status with your chosen airline. Keeping your status means you still get upgraded, still have lounge access, and still get early boarding—and apparently, once you get those perks, you never want to go without them. Hence the status run.

Sometimes, though, major life events make it impossible to earn enough airline miles to keep your precious status. Perhaps you’re in the hospital, or you just had a baby, or you’re caring for a sick relative and can’t fly.

Now, Delta Air Lines is offering elite travelers a chance to keep and easily earn back their Medallion elite status if something derails their platinum plans. Today, the airline introduced an aptly named program called “Reclaim My Status,” where SkyMiles Medallion members can apply to reclaim their status with the airline if they have a qualifying life event. Delta Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Medallion members who either lose their status or are dropped to a lower level due to a life event can submit a request to reclaim their old status here.

Life events include things like becoming a parent, recovering from a serious illness or injury, changing jobs or careers, being a caregiver, or getting a degree. Each case will be evaluated on a one-on-one basis. If approved, Delta will give the flyer their old status back for three months and give them the opportunity to earn it back for the rest of the year and the following Medallion year by meeting certain travel and spending thresholds. A few status runs later, and you’ll never have to suffer the indignity of sitting in an airport terminal eating Panda Express and boarding with Group 7 again.

As The Points Guy points out, other frequent flyer programs do let frequent flyers to pause or extend elite status, but Delta’s new program is bigger and broader and may lure in new customers.

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