If the headline leads you to think this is a “hate on Delta post,” I apologize….because it isn’t. But on this New Year’s Eve, I think it’s appropriate to take a look at the impact of the changes I made in the way I travel over the last year. I was pretty clear on worrying less about “elite” status, and making schedule, price, and convenience my primary motivators for air travel. Not to mention, I experimented quite a bit with American from Atlanta in 2015, and a tiny bit of Southwest too. The result: I spent less on airfare overall, but come February 1, 2016, I will be a Delta Silver Medallion. (Insert sad face, crying, and gasping noises here)

delta platinum medallion

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Less Travel and Other Priorities = Less Status

In the end, I am fine with my decision and my travel choices in 2015. If I had concentrated moreĀ of my flying with Delta, I would have ended the year earning at least Gold Medallion for 2016. Gold is light years better than Silver, but neither are Platinum. šŸ™‚ When it was all said and done, I wasn’t willing to mileage run or spend my way to higher elite status because in truth, I flew less in 2015 than I have in years – 56 segments and a tiny bit over 65,000 miles if my public school math is correct.

I’ll Miss TheĀ Status But There’s a New Year Ahead

The things I’ll miss most about Platinum Medallion are Sky Priority, the call center support, and service charge waived award redeposits. It certainly won’t be my upgrade percentage, which dropped precipitously in 2015 along with most everyone else’s. However, I did find the regional upgrade certificates to be useful…..which reminds me….I still have oneĀ to burn!

Looking ahead to 2016, it seems that my travel needs are picking up again. I suspect I will know in Q1 whether I will remain in Atlanta longer term, or if I’ll be looking at living elsewhere. If I’m still here, it’s entirely possible that I make the slow climb back to Platinum….or let’s dream….Diamond in 2016. In any event, my first flights of the new yearĀ are already booked…..I’ll be flying Delta.

Have your travel patterns and habits changed in the last year? Share your thoughts in the comments. And have a Happy New Year!

-MJ, December 31, 2015