Advertiser Disclosure

Delta Will Now Let You Reclaim Status After Major Life Events

May 10, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or becoming a new parent, sometimes life throws a wrench in your travel plans. Delta is now making it easier for SkyMiles Medallion Members to keep the benefits of their elite status after major life events that impact their ability to travel.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Reclaim Your Status benefit.

What kinds of life events qualify?

Delta will review each case on an individual basis, but some examples of life events that they will consider include:

  • Becoming a parent, including maternity, paternity, adoption or foster leave.
  • Recovering from a serious illness.
  • Sustaining a serious injury.
  • Changing jobs or careers.
  • Caregiving for a family member.
  • Getting a degree.

You will need supporting documents that show evidence of your life event when you submit your Reclaim Your Status request.

How do I submit a request?

When you’re ready to start traveling again, submit a request on the Reclaim Your Status webpage. The request will usually be reviewed within five business days, but it could take as long as two weeks, Delta says. If Delta approves the request, you’ll get an email, and your automatic three months of complimentary Medallion status will begin.

How long will my status last?

Upon approval, the level of benefits you received as a Medallion member before your life event will be restored for three months. During this time, you must meet the minimum travel and spend requirements to be able to keep your Medallion status for the rest of the year, plus an additional Medallion year. For example, if you make a Reclaim My Status request in 2019 and you meet the thresholds, your Medallion status will be extended through Jan. 31, 2021.

Are there any other restrictions?

All requests are reviewed individually, so there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules. The benefit is designed to help Delta frequent flyers who lost their status in the previous Medallion year, but the airline is willing to make exceptions for life events that might have delayed travel for more than a year. You can only participate once every three years, but there may be exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Bottom line

Delta and other airlines already offer general “status challenge” opportunities for certain frequent flyers to fast-track elite membership, and what you get here is similar to that, so in that sense it isn’t entirely groundbreaking.

But it’s still positive news for SkyMiles members, who can now rest a little easier knowing their elite status stands a decent chance of being protected even if a major life event means they can’t fly for a while.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
How to find the best travel insurance

About the author