Report: Delta Now Investigating If Your Elite Status Is “Real” When You Request A Match

Delta SkyMiles has been known to status match a ham sandwich. No matter what proof of your current status with another airline you’d send in, they’d approve temporary SkyMiles status and a challenge to keep that status. That’s part of how they work to poach the best customers of their competitors.

The easy matches may be tightening up a bit at Delta Boulevard. At least they may be working to make sure the status you’re offering with another airline to justify the match is at least real, based on a report that “Delta just contacted [British Airways] to verify my elite status for a status match” (emphasis mine).

@garyleff @OneMileataTime @xJonNYC

Delta just contacted BA to verify my elite status for a status match. I do hold valid BA status but this still concerns me, how is this not illegal with UK privacy law. BAs terms don’t mention this anywhere. This seems extremely questionable

— Xavier (@Xavier38220123) December 31, 2022

Many airlines will give you elite status to make it easier to move over your business if you’re a current elite with another airline. With so many elite statuses earned before the pandemic finally ending, if you’re in that boat it can be a great idea to take your soon-to-expire status over to another airline!

https://viewfromthewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/card-throwdown.mp4

Unfortunately for airlines it’s easy to photoshop elite cards and edit member statements, take a screen shot or use a .pdf editing tool. Some may show status higher than what the member really has. Others take an elite member’s credentials and change the name. Or they might add flight or hotel stay activity to meet the minimum requirements a program has in place for a match.

A smart program checks for correct fonts, image quality, and even file names (believe it or not people sometimes title their files “delta screen shot copy version 2 edited.png” and then hit submit).

Members also engage in long workarounds, like Best Western to Wyndham to Caesars to MGM to Hyatt. It’s easy to get hotel status with just a credit card. In Australia you can get Star Alliance Gold status with just a credit card.

United Airlines will sometimes check with a competitor to validate your elite status when you ask for a match, and share information for the same purpose. They must think stopping fraud is better for them than helping competitors steal their customers, and vice versa. Hyatt and Starwood hotels had a similar arrangement a little over a decade ago.

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