Many frequent travelers are eagerly awaiting the day when they'll be able to fly again. They are also wondering what will become of their elite statuses during the travel slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that airlines are generally being proactive and generous when it comes to protecting elite statuses of its loyal customers. Here's a look at what the country's major carriers have announced.
All current Mileage Plan statuses will automatically be extended through Dec. 31 of 2021. Additionally, any companion certificate that was set to expire in 2020 can be used to purchase new travel through Nov. 26 of 2021 by Dec. 31 of this year.
American Airlines is extending elite status for AAdvantage members until Jan. 31 of 2022. All Admirals Club® memberships purchased from American are being extended for six months. In addition, American is reducing elite qualifications for 2020.
Delta Air Lines
Delta is extending all loyalty benefits for SkyMiles Medallion Members that are in place in 2020 throughout 2021. All Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive memberships that expired on March 1 or later will be extended by six months. Lastly, Delta is giving all SkyMiles American Express members six-month extensions on companion certificates and flight credits.
Miles will not expire during the period lasting from March 1 until Dec. 31 of 2020. Additionally, Hawaiian has indicated that it will be reducing elite qualifications for miles and segments for 2021. It is expected that more updates will be announced soon.
United is extending all MileagePlus Premier statuses that are in place right now through Jan. 31 of 2022. United will also be reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50 percent for every tier. We also know that all annual membership and subscription benefits are being extended by six months. MileagePlus 1K® and Platinum members will have expiration dates for their PlusPoints extended by six months.
We're still waiting to hear official announcements regarding elite statuses and points from some of the other major carriers in the United States. JetBlue and Southwest have not made any official announcements regarding decisions to freeze or extend expiration dates. However, both airlines are offering waivers for flight cancellations in response to the COVID-19 crisis.