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Delta Just Made This Permanent Change for All Passengers, Starting Now

The airline's loyal flyers have plenty to get excited about as part of the new policy shift.

Even amid all the hassles of flying these days (including mass flight cancellations exacerbated by the pandemic), there are pockets of good news to be found for air travelers. Among them are new and evolving perks for frequent flyers across multiple airlines. Read on to learn the latest boon for loyal flyers of Delta and what it might mean for your next flight experience.

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Delta Air Lines is making changes to its loyalty programs that will reward frequent flyers (and people who spend a lot of money on tickets).

Delta airplane airplane interior with person deplaning.

Delta is rolling out an array of changes sure to please its SkyMiles members, according to The Points Guy. The changes will be especially beneficial for elite status members and flyers who spend big bucks with the airline or use a Delta co-branded credit card. The modifications overall make it easier for travelers to earn elite status and earn SkyMiles on flights that come with high price tags.

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Delta's announcement makes permanent what was previously a short-term perk.

Delta planes sitting on the runway

Last year, the carrier began awarding Medallion Qualification Dollars, Medallion Qualification Segments, and Medallion Qualification Miles on award flights. Later, it announced it would extend the benefit through the end of 2022. But the airline has now announced that the benefits will become permanent. And it's the first airline in the industry to announce this type of benefit.

Delta is eliminating its cap on earning for flyers who book paid tickets.

A Delta Air Lines plane sitting on a runway

Even better for loyal flyers, the carrier has removed its previous earning cap of 75,000 SkyMiles on paid tickets, a change that is immediately effective. And it will even honor the perk retroactively: Members who already went above the cap in 2022 will see those extra miles post to their account as a credit.

While that's a tremendous perk, it only really applies to people who spend a lot of money on flights: The Points Guy notes that you'd have to spend $15,000 on a Delta ticket as a non-elite member or $6,818 as a Diamond Medallion member to hit that cap.

Travelers earn only on tickets issued by Delta for Delta flights.

A Delta Air Lines flight taking off from an airport

Flyers earn the qualification segments based on flight segments and the qualification miles based on the specific number of miles in a flight. When you redeem an award ticket using SkyMiles, you earn qualification dollars at the rate of one per 100 miles redeemed. Only tickets issued by Delta for Delta flights are eligible to count toward elite status. (That means it's a no-go on Virgin Atlantic tickets, despite the airlines' partnership.)

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American Airlines and JetBlue recently announced new perks for their loyal flyers, too.

Chicago, IL, USA - July 17, 2017: American Airlines fleet of airplanes with passengers at O'Hare Airport passing through corridor.

Delta's announcement comes shortly after American Airlines and JetBlue announced similarly sweet upgrades for flyers as part of the airlines' Northeast Alliance. Last month, the airlines announced that American Airlines status members will get access to JetBlue's Even More Space seats with extra legroom without paying more at the time check-in opens 24 hours before flight departure time. The same benefit also applies for JetBlue's Mosaic elites flying on American; elite flyers can now select Main Cabin Extra seats at no extra cost, according to a JetBlue news release.

Further, top-tier American Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro elites, as well as JetBlue Mosaic members will be allowed to make same-day confirmed flight changes when flying with either of the airlines. That means Advantage status members Platinum Pro and higher can now access same-day changes when traveling on flights operated by JetBlue. JetBlue Mosaics will continue to benefit from no-cost, same-day changes on American-operated flights.

And starting next month, according to an American Airlines news release, Admirals Club members traveling on JetBlue will be able to access Admirals Club lounges, with perks like included food and beverages, Wi-Fi, business centers, and kids' rooms.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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