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In 2009, Delta announced a new top-tier status for its most loyal flyers: Diamond Medallion. But that’s not the actual top of the heap. In addition to published top tiers, like American’s Executive Platinum, Delta Diamond and United Premier 1K, all three carriers offer an even higher level of status, reserved specifically for the biggest spenders.
Delta 360 is Delta’s version of an invite-only, hyper-exclusive service tier. It compares to American Airlines’ Concierge Key and United’s Global Services. Here’s the official description from Delta: “Delta 360° is an annual, invitation-only program for our top SkyMiles Members, offering an exclusive suite of benefits and services even beyond Diamond Medallion Status. An invitation into Delta 360° is based on your overall investment with Delta. If you’re selected to join, we’ll contact you directly.”
I caught up with a current Delta 360 member to get a feel for what it took to trigger their invitation, and how they’re looking for maintaining it in 2019. One Detroit-based member, who hasn’t received word on whether he’ll re-qualify for 2019, received this year’s 360 invite via email in early February. He’s presently sitting at just over 240,000 MQM (with 86,000 of those rolling over from 2017), which were accrued over 43 segments. His MQD count is just north of $42,000. He’s taken six international business trips this year, is a Delta Million Miler and puts “a fairly significant sum” on his Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express.
Despite Delta 360 offering (arguably) the weakest set of perks among the three major invite-only programs, it generally requires the most to get in. A spate of Delta loyalists at FlyerTalk have recently chimed in, with one NYC-based flyer having nearly $90,000 in spend but still lacking a 360 invite. Another based near Huntsville (HSV) has spent nearly $50,000 year-to-date and is also looking in from the outside. A few added data points show that in saturated Delta markets, such as New York and Atlanta, you may need to hit six figures in annual spend to be in the mix for an invitation.
A separate poster explains that Delta looks at more than just overall spend, including how much control you have over corporate contracts that could funnel vast sums of money into Delta’s coffers.
For those who do get the invite, you can look forward to a few extra perks:
- Delta Sky Club Executive membership
- Dedicated phone line
- Greater chance of a Porsche gate-to-gate airport transfer
- A fancy Champagne gift
One could expect that the dedicated individuals employed to service Delta 360 members would also go above and beyond when flight plans are thwarted due to schedule changes, weather delays or IROPS, but on paper you’ll see a more robust set of exclusive perks when achieving American Airlines Concierge Key and United Global Services.
In fact, one Delta 360 member told me that he hasn’t felt a huge difference since being elevated from Diamond Medallion, which can be looked at one of two ways: Either Delta isn’t doing enough to celebrate its 360 members, or its top published tier (Diamond) delivers truly exceptional service, making the differentiation between the two tougher.
As a Diamond Medallion myself, I’d say the truth likely lies somewhere in between. I’m consistently impressed with how well I’m treated, particularly giving my relatively small Diamond spend ($17,000 MQD for 2018), but I’d be angling for a few more Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates at the very least if I ever hit a point where 360 was a possibility. Let us know where you’ve netted out for 2018 in comments below.
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