How All the Major US Airlines Are Handling Elite Status During Coronavirus

The good news is that extensions are becoming the norm

A parked Delta jet in California on March 24
David McNew/Getty Images

Even though you’re not flying, you might have some questions for the airlines on your mind right about now (beyond “Why are you not giving me a refund?”). And one of them probably concerns status.

Earlier this week Delta became the first airline to announced they’d extend elite status to 2021 for anyone who qualified in 2020. And while the situation is fluid during this pandemic — and airlines may look and operate very differently in a few months — we thought we’d do a quick check-in on what the airlines are doing for their most prized customers.

Note: This list does not include information on cancellations, delays or refunds (that’s an entirely separate issue … check with individual airlines for those, which, again, is a fluid situation).

Alaska: Current MileagePlus status will be extended through December 31, 2021. All companion certificates set to expire in 2020 will be extended until December 31, 2020 to purchase new travel through November 26, 2021.

American: Nothing yet related to coronavirus, but you can now earn credit toward American elite status on Alaska flights thanks to this year’s partnership.

Delta: Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members will have the same loyalty benefits throughout 2021 as they have in 2020. Also, Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive memberships with an expiration of March 1, 2020, or later will receive six additional months of Delta Sky Club access beyond their expiration date. And SkyMiles American Express Card Members will get at least six-month extensions on flight credits and companion certificates beyond current expiration dates.

Hawaiian: Nothing too specific yet, but “elite qualifications (in both miles and segments) will be reduced to qualify for 2021,” according to the airline. On top of that, the airline isn’t expiring any miles from March 1 through December 31, 2020.

JetBlue: No changes to its Mosaic membership currently announced.

Southwest: No announcements yet.

United: MileagePlus status is extended until January 31, 2022. For the 2021 status year, United is also reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50% for each status level. Plus, all annual membership and subscription benefits will be extended by six months, and 1K and Platinum members will have their PlusPoints expiration dates extended by six months. Skip Waitlist will also be expanded.


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