Delta status match targets Qantas, Virgin Australia

Enjoy access to lounges, free upgrades and much more, all the way through to January 2026.

By David Flynn, February 1 2024
Delta status match targets Qantas, Virgin Australia

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.

Just one Sydney-Los Angeles trip in Delta's comfortable Delta One business class locks in top-tier status.
Just one Sydney-Los Angeles trip in Delta's comfortable Delta One business class locks in top-tier status.

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!

Get the priority treatment at airports around the world with Delta and SkyTeam.
Get the priority treatment at airports around the world with Delta and SkyTeam.

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.

The outdoor deck at Delta's new LAX Sky Club lounge.
The outdoor deck at Delta's new LAX Sky Club lounge.

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
It's not just a Delta status match, it's a SkyTeam status match.
It's not just a Delta status match, it's a SkyTeam status match.

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

Delta’s highest Diamond Medallion tier isn’t available as part of this status match, even if you’re a member of the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge or Virgin Australia’s Beyond VIP program.

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.

Even Delta premium economy puts you on the fast track to winning the status challenge.
Even Delta premium economy puts you on the fast track to winning the status challenge.

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.

12 Aug 2022

Total posts 9

VA Platinum, if I apply and fail to hit the target do I get Gold until January 2025?

JBR
JBR

26 Jul 2023

Total posts 1

Small correction: 19 members for SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic having joined the alliance this year and not being only a bilateral partner of Delta Air Lines.

Disclaimer: SkyTeam employee ;-)

Isn't it 20 airlines, counting Aeroflot which is still a 'suspended' member but has not left the alliance?

Qatar Privilage Club

31 Mar 2023

Total posts 8

Tell me if I am wrong? So unless I am flying internationally with Delta between now and January 2024 this doesn't appear to be a good offer due to the time frame and time of year.

Delta have one of the most confusing and strict lounge policies out there, meaning if you are Platinum flying domestically within the US example LA to Miami or from the US to the Caribbean then you can't even access their lounges.

Based on the above I wouldn't even bother.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 104

Byron, it’s the same for all the US airlines. I’m a Premier 1K with United and don’t get access to their domestic clubs even in premium cabin “First Class” similar to QF domestic business class. All airline clubs over there require a membership or a connection to an international flight on the same day with the same FF attached. We are rather lucky here

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 687

Qantas and Virgin can relax, there's far too much 'fuss 'n bother' in this deal to lose market share to Delta.  Make me wonder why the deal was even offered in the first place?  Reminds me of Joyce's $50 offer at Qantas a few years ago.  

Delta has put more conditions on this 2024 status match than before, but I think that's just to prevent ambit status matches and get actual flyers of value. What we need now is a comparison of Delta One business class SYD-LAX versus AA, QF and UA.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 687

Excellent suggestion.  David, you started this, sorry Pal, but you may need a couple of return trips in rapid succession to benchmark the services.  Or requisition one of your readers to tackle this task?  :-)

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

Interesting idea, albeit couldn't be done in that back-to-back way, but one I can take it under advisement...

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 951

Hi BT, I agree 110% but I flashed my current status credits with QF and VA and instantly got Delta Platinum. I have a trip booked for the end of July with WestJet / Delta on a Delta ticket (due to the timing of the flight).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 50

The requirement for applicants outside of USA to (a) have flown Delta in the last 3 years (b) as SkyMiles member (c) on fare higher than basic economy is a deal breaker to me.

A few complainers commenting.  I took a status match last year and it was well worth it. We flew their equivalent of premium economy from Sydney to Las Vegas (via LAX) , had lounge access in all cities which was really helpful in LAX as we had 3 hours to wait for the international leg.  Be aware that initially they treated my lifetime gold as a promotional benefit rather than an earned benefit and rejected the match - I persevered and they accepted it after a couple of email exchanges. 


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