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COVID-19 News: Delta, United Extending Frequent Flyer Elite Status Into 2020

United Airlines is the latest company to announce that it will extend the status of loyal customers through 2021. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, United joins fellow U.S. carrier, Delta, in extending frequent flyer elite status for members through January of 2022.

United’s announcement came on the heels of Delta’s statement that SkyMiles Medallion members will keep their current status through January 31, 2022. United is following Delta’s lead, extending the same offer for MileagePlus members with Premier status.

Delta SkyMiles Statement:

In a statement to customers, one of Delta’s senior vice presidents, Sandeep Dube, offers the following updates:

“On behalf of all of us at Delta, I want to thank our customers for your continued loyalty during these unprecedented times. While our focus is on keeping customers and employees safe and healthy today and always, you are a part of the Delta family and we know how important these benefits are to you. That’s why as coronavirus continues to dramatically impact travel across the globe, you don’t have to worry about your benefits – they’ll be extended so you can enjoy them when you are ready to travel again.”

Key Details:

  • Medallion frequent flyer elite status will extend through the 2021 calendar year
  • All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) rollover to qualify for 2022 status
  • Six-months extension to:
    • SkyClub individual and executive memberships expiring March 2020 or later
    • Delta SkyMiles Gold Card $100 Delta flight credit
    • Member and companion SkyClub pass for Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve Cardholders
    • Upgrade certificates
    • $200 travel vouchers
    • Priority boarding and drink vouchers for SkyMiles Select members

United MileagePlus Statement:

United’s statement reads as follows: “Throughout these unprecedented times, we remain committed to doing what is right and fair for all of our MileagePlus® members and are pleased to share the steps we are taking to reciprocate the trust and loyalty that you have placed in United. These steps include not only Premier status updates but also an extension of current memberships and subscriptions. The updates will happen automatically over the next few weeks — there’s nothing you need to do.”

Key Details:

  • United is reducing Premier qualification thresholds by 50% for 2021. This action makes it even easier to reach higher tiers, though it still requires a minimum of four flight segments.
  • United doubling qualifying points (PQPs) for United Explorer Cards
  • Also quadrupling PQPs for United Club Card
  • Six-months extension to:
    • PlusPoints set to expire ON/BEFORE January 31, 2021
    • All annual membership and subscription benefits
    • Electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months
    • The waiving on some redeposit fees for 2020.

About SkyMiles and MileagePlus

SkyMiles and MileagePlus are the frequent flyer programs for Delta and United Airlines, respectively. These programs offer travelers perks like complimentary upgrades, lounge access, priority boarding, and more. Additional rewards and benefits are available through co-branded airline rewards credit cards.

Both Premier and Medallion frequent flyer elite statuses start at the tier above basic membership in both programs. For United, this means Premier Silver through Premier 1K members can expect their benefits to continue, even if they can’t travel due to coronavirus. For Delta, Silver Medallion through Diamond Medallion members can expect the same great perks, despite COVID-19.

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About: Cory

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident rewards expert, covering all facets of the points game – especially travel, hotels, and airlines. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.