It’s time (actually well past time) to think about next year. I’ve already made my bed for elite status next year, but there’s one last-minute question that I thought was worth discussing. That question you ask? What to do about Delta Medallion status? I’m going to end 2011 just shy of maintaining Silver Medallion. A little background: I’ve been Silver for a few years, and a very nice friend who happens to be Diamond Medallion gifted me Gold last year. My experience as a Gold Medallion has been light years beyond that of Silver, even though I’d speculate my upgrade rate as Silver was better than most just because of my penchant for choosing flights wisely. Seriously, I’m going to miss Gold Medallion!!!

Now I’m at a crossroads. It’s December, and I only have one more business trip this year, DCA to SEA on Alaska Airlines. I need 7,464 MQMs to maintain Silver Medallion. I’m figuring roughly 4,600 MQMs from that trip as I will be crediting my Alaska Air flights to SkyMiles. Through December 15th, I can buy MQMs from Delta in 2,500 mile increments (up to 10,000 MQMs). So…. 7,464-4,600 = 2,864 MQMs to go. Unfortunately, I can only buy 2,500 MQMs or 5,000 MQMs. $295 and $495 dollars respectively. In other words, I can hand Delta $495 dollars to settle this or buy 2,500 MQMs and hope for a low fare short-haul roundtrip from DCA (not likely around the holidays). Or I suppose there’s another answer, a coast to coast mileage run.

There’s a growing chorus of folks out there that will tell you that basement elite status is hardly worth having anymore since you can get a lot of what it offers by carrying the right credit card nowadays. I think they have a point worth considering, but I’m not quite ready to embrace that opinion just yet. I will continue to fly Delta just enough to make Silver Medallion almost worthwhile. The question for me, is it worthwhile enough to go out of my way to keep it right now? December 15 is coming soon, so I’d better get it together. What would you do?