Delta Extends Elite Status and Upgrade Certificates Into 2023

Delta Airbus A220 First Class Cabin from Rear

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In an awesome move for Delta SkyMiles elite members, Delta has decided to extend existing elite status along with upgrade certificates. Even better, it has opted to extend the ability to earn elite status credits from award tickets. Delta is the first U.S. airline to take this step, although both United and American have offered promotions to those looking to earn elite status in 2021.

Let’s take a look at what’s affected and what it means for elite status in 2022.

Elite Status

As we’ve mentioned above, Delta has opted to extend all elite statuses until January 31, 2023. This is the second time it has done so, after extending status earned in 2019 and 2020 through 2022.

Unfortunately, Delta isn’t awarding additional perks such as the Choice Benefits earned via actually earning your status.

You’ll also be prioritized behind those who’ve earned status in elite status in 2021 when it comes times to complimentary upgrades. Be aware that this caveat doesn’t take effect until February 1, 2022, when your status would normally expire.

Other than that, you’ll still receive all your normal benefits of status, such as free checked baggage and priority boarding, depending on which status you’ve attained.

Upgrade Certificates

Delta One Suites A350 900 cabin closeup
Upgrade certificates can nab you a spot in Delta’s coveted Delta One business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Those who haven’t been able to make use of their upgrade certificates are also seeing an extension. Both Global and Regional Upgrade certificates will be valid through the end of January 2023. This is welcome news as the constantly fluctuating travel situation has made flights difficult to book.

Award Flights

Earlier this year, Delta announced that award flights would be able to earn both Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), which meant that those traveling while using their SkyMiles would still be able to earn elite status. That ability has now been extended through December 31, 2022.

Other Extensions

Those who hold one of American Express and Delta’s co-branded credit cards will welcome new extensions, with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card all seeing some benefits. 

Those who’ve got the Delta Gold card with a $100 Delta flight credit issued between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, will see the credit’s expiration extended to January 31, 2023.

The Delta Platinum card and the Delta Reserve card, meanwhile, both feature a companion certificate; any unused certificates as of July 31, 2021, will be extended through January 31, 2023.

Finally, any Delta Sky Club passes issued between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, will be valid through January 31, 2023.

Final Thoughts

This is an excellent move by Delta, who’s always been known for its customer-friendly policies. Along with elite status, both upgrade and companion certificates have been extended through 2023. Even better, award flights will also continue to earn EQDs and EQMs, which will help bolster those looking to earn elite status in 2022. Hopefully both American and United will soon follow suit with generous extensions to their elite members.

Carissa Rawson

About Carissa Rawson

Carissa is a native Californian whose taste for travel began during her seven years in the US Air Force. A former Arabic translator, her first serious journey overseas was to Jordan, where a six month deployment taught her a lot about people and a little about award travel. What started as a curiosity quickly became an obsession, and soon she had launched her own website teaching others how to travel for free.

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