A few weeks ago I wrote about what airline status matches and challenges were, but since there are just over 90 days left in the year, now may be the last opportunity to apply for a status challenge. By completing the 90 day status challenge offered by Delta, you will earn status for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017. After this weekend the 90 days will carryover into 2017 and I seriously doubt Delta will allow you to earn status from a challenge in early 2017 which will last until the end of 2018.

How to Apply?

Delta Airlines is currently offering the following status challenge. The challenge allows customers to earn Silve, Gold, or Platinum Medallion Status from Delta. Customers who retain status with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or United Airlines are eligible for the challenge. To apply for the challenge proceed to “Step 2,” enter your contact information, and include a screenshot proving you retain status with an eligible airline.

There are two factors that can help your chances of being approved:

  1. Use a company email address: In general, using a work email address can help your chances of being approved. This is especially true if your company uses Delta Airlines a preferred airline.
  2. Use Social Media: Reaching out to @Delta on twitter can help get your status challenge approved. Simply send a tweet or direct message to twitter regarding your application status and you may be approved, even after being denied.

How to Earn Status Quickly

Depending on which Medalion Status you are approved for the requirements are actually quite generous and should prove easy to complete. Medalion Silver only requires 8 Medalion Qualifying Segments (MQSs), Gold 15, and Platinum 25. Medalion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) are 6,250, 12,500, and 18,750 respectively. Delta’s domestic network makes building in additional stops very easy if you plan on qualifying on segments alone. If you plan to qualify based on MQMs, be sure the flights booked are OPPERATED by Delta Airlines or Delta Connection.

While completing a status challenge, Delta will grant you complimentary status for the 90 day period which should make completing the challenge a little more enjoyable.

My Experience

I have been a longtime American Airlines AAdvantage member. For years their program offered superior benefits and qualifying for status was simple and often cheap. With the recent “enhancements” to the AAdvantage program now seemed like the perfect time to switch to a different airline. As a Chicago based traveler, United seemed like the likely candidate, but given most of my domestic travel is comprised of short-haul flights, Delta seemed like the best option as I plan to qualify based on MQSs rather than MQMs.

I applied for Delta’s status challenge approximately 2 weeks ago and was first denied due to my current status not being earned in 2016. I contacted @Delta on twitter asking about my application status and was told via DM to wait. After a few days, I received a second email stating my application was accepted and I have 90 days to complete the requirements to remain Medalion Gold status.

In Short

With just 90 days left in the year, now is the perfect time to apply for a status challenge, especially if you are making plans to change airline loyalty. Although Delta SkyMiles (aka SkyPesos) are not “worth” as much as other airline currency Delta and the SkyTeam alliance offer a great in-flight experience which can be further enhanced by Medalion Status. Also, American Express Platinum cardholders still have access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on Delta Airlines. Delta is the last airline to allow customers to access a loung via a non co-branded credit card (after July 2017).

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