Delta Air Lines is gunning for the frequent flyers of Qantas and Virgin Australia with the Delta 2024 status match program.
Your Silver, Gold or Platinum status with Qantas, Virgin Australia and a dozen other airlines can unlock an instant three months of equivalent Silver, Gold or Platinum status with Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program.
We’re talking lounge access, free upgrades, priority airport screening and boarding, a more generous luggage allowance and more.
Not only do you get 90 days of free Delta status and the perks that come with it, you can easily keep that status through to January 2026 with just one return flight on Delta Air Lines, such as premium economy between Sydney and Los Angeles or business class between LAX and New York.
Plus, this isn’t just a Delta Air Lines status match: because Delta belongs to the SkyTeam alliance, this doubles as a SkyTeam status match across all 20 members of the SkyTeam alliance (a roster including Taiwan’s China Airlines, China Eastern, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines and Virgin Atlantic) plus Delta partners such as LATAM.
In other words, you have literally nothing to lose by apply for the Delta 2024 status match – so here’s what you need to know to get on the fast track for all the perks of shiny Delta and SkyTeam status.
The Delta 2024 status match explained
There are two components to what is officially known as the Delta 2024 SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge.
The Delta Status Match is pretty straightforward: your frequent flyer status with a competing airline can qualify you for one of three equivalent tiers in Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program – those being Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion (but not the very highest level of Diamond Medallion).
(And for those new to the status match scene: you don’t forfeit or swap your Qantas or Virgin Australia status to get your shiny new Delta status, nor do you have to part with any points or status credits.)
That complimentary status is yours for 90 days, during which time you can enjoy its perks on Delta Air Lines and Delta’s partners, including SkyTeam members.
The Delta Status Challenge is the second part of the deal - earn the necessary number of what Delta calls Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) within those 90 days and you will retain your gratis status all the way through to January 2026.
The number of MQMs varies depending on your Delta status tier, but under this promotion they are vastly discounted from the norm – you can qualify for Gold Medallion with a business class return flight between LAX and New York, and you will easily pocket Platinum Medallion in premium economy or business class with a Sydney-Los Angeles return ticket.
This is a year-long offer with no published end date, so you don’t need to rush to apply.
Delta SkyMiles status perks
The specific benefits of each Delta SkyMiles tier are detailed on the Delta Medallion Benefits page, but here’s the take-away.
All Delta SkyMiles tiers enjoy
- priority check-in and boarding with Delta, as well as SkyTeam and with other partner airlines
- complimentary upgrades on eligible flights (subject to availability)
- a minimum of a free 23kg checked bag on all Delta flights
- complimentary preferred seat selection, and
- complimentary Five Star status in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program
That makes even the lowest Silver Medallion status tier a pretty decent place to start, especially with that free 23kg checked bag – this comes in very handy on US domestic economy flights where there’s no checked baggage allowance, and even a single 23kg bag will cost you US$40!
If you qualify for Gold Medallion status you can access to Delta Sky Club lounges on international Delta flights, a higher priority for complimentary upgrades (compared to flyers with Silver status) and priority security screening and baggage delivery, along with SkyTeam Elite Plus status (see below for more details).
The highest Delta 2024 status match tier is Platinum Medallion – this raises the ante with even higher priority for complimentary upgrades, President’s Circle status in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program and a ‘Choice Benefit’ with options such as upgrade certificates, 20,000 bonus SkyMiles or the ability to gift Silver Medallion status to another frequent flyer.
However, it’s important to note that none of these tiers includes access to Delta SkyClub lounges on domestic Delta flights within the USA.
Delta status match SkyTeam alliance perks
The Delta 2024 SkyMiles status match also qualifies you for Elite-level status in the SkyTeam alliance and its 20 member airlines, including the following SkyTeam members which fly from Australia:
- China Airlines (Taiwan)
- China Eastern
- Garuda Indonesia
- Vietnam Airlines
- Korean Air
A Delta status match to Silver Medallion status covers you for SkyTeam Elite status, with baseline benefits such as priority waitlisitng, check-in and boarding, access to preferred seating and an extra baggage allowance.
Both Delta Gold Medallion and Delta Platinum Medallion status will see you enjoying SkyTeam Elite Plus status, which adds the prize perk of lounge access (to SkyTeam Lounges and more than 700 lounges of individual member airlines.
As you can see, a SkyTeam Elite Plus card is a very worthwhile addition to your passport wallet.
Delta’s Qantas, Virgin Australia status match
Delta lists 15 airlines as being eligible for its 2024 status match promotion, with the headliners for Australians of course being Qantas and Virgin Australia.
Delta will match to the following Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity status:
- Qantas Silver, Velocity Silver = Delta Silver Medallion and SkyTeam Elite
- Qantas Gold, Velocity Gold = Delta Gold Medallion and SkyTeam Elite Plus
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One, Velocity Platinum = Delta Platinum Medallion and SkyTeam Elite Plus
Other airline frequent flyer programs pre-approved for the Delta 2024 status match include Air Canada Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club, American Airlines AAdvantage, Asiana Airlines Asiana Club, British Airways Executive Club, JAL Mileage Bank, Lufthansa Miles & More, and United MileagePlus.
What about the likes of other heavy-hitters such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways?
“If you have status with an airline (excluding Delta airline partners) that is not listed above but meet the participation criteria,” Delta says, “you can still submit your request to participate in the Status Match Challenge.”
Applying for the Delta 2024 status match
Here’s how to apply for the Delta Air Lines 2024 status match.
1. You’ll need to be a member of Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty programme; if you’re not, it’s fast and free to join – head to the Delta website and sign up.
Note that you must have joined the SkyMiles Program “at least 30 days prior to enrolling for the Status Match offer”, so you may as well sign up today and start that 30-day countdown.
2. For applicants outside the US, within the last three years as a SkyMiles Member you must have “flown on at least 1 Delta-marketed flight on a fare class higher than Basic Economy.”
3. Another caveat: you can’t have received a status match, promotional Medallion Status or complimentary Medallion Status in the past three years.
4. If you’ve ticked all those boxes, click through to the SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge page, scroll down and click the Enroll Now button to call up the SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge online registration form
5. As part of the application process you’ll need to provide proof that you hold current status with one of the eligible airline’s frequent flyer programs and provide “a current statement... showing your earned elite status and activity with that airline program.” Status gained from another status match without actual flying won’t be accepted, nor will gifted status.
Your instant Delta 90-day status match
Allow a few weeks for Delta’s Medallion Status Match Challenge team to get back to you: if you qualify, you’ll immediately be elevated to the appropriate SkyMiles Medallion Silver, Gold or Platinum tier, and you’ll stay there for 90 days.
This means you’ll get those status perks from day one – very handy if you’ve got some Delta flights coming up – although Delta says travellers will enjoy those initial three months of status benefits only on Delta Air Lines flights, not with SkyTeam members.
(That said, we’ve heard of instances where SkyTeam airlines did honour Delta status privileges in that 90-day window, so this is a ‘YMMV’ situation.)
Keep your Delta status to 2026
When that 90 days of gratis status begins, it also starts the clock ticking on the status challenge part of the promotion.
That’s your window for doing enough flying to keep your newly-minted Delta SkyMiles Medallion status (and SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus status) all the way through to January 31, 2026.
But you won’t need to do much flying: as part of the status challenge, Delta has significantly reduced the thresholds for earning Silver, Gold and Platinum compared to what would usually be required.
Delta Air Lines awards status based on spending, using what it calls Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs).
You earn one MQD for every US dollar spent on your Delta airfare (without counting taxes and surcharges), and here are the MQD amounts needed to lock in your Delta status to January 2026:
- Silver Medallion: 1,250 MQDs
- Gold Medallion: 2,500 MQDs
- Platinum Medallion: 3,750 MQDs
As a rough guide, you can allow two-thirds of the AUD cost of a Delta airfare to be your MQD haul.
Looking around mid-2024, Delta’s premium economy return fares from Sydney to LAX would net you close to 6,000 MQDs – well above the minimum for Platinum Medallion – while of course Delta One business class soars return closer to 10,000 MQDs.
Even if you’re already got a flight to LAX or San Francisco with Qantas, American Airlines or United Airlines, for example, a return Delta One business class flight to New York will come in above the 2,500 MQD qualifier for Gold Medallion.
You can even earn MQDs towards your desired 90-day goal when flying with SkyMiles airlines if the booking uses your Delta SkyMiles membership number for the nominated frequent flyer program, although Delta also requires “flying on at least one Delta-marketed flight during the Match Period (excluding Basic Economy).”
If you don’t meet the criteria for your requested challenge but do for a lower tier, you’ll still get to keep the lower tier until the end of January in the following year.
For full details on the Delta 2024 status match visit the Delta SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge page.