Will Hotels or Airlines Extend Elite Status If I Fall Short?

Nov 2, 2014

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TPG reader Angie emailed me to ask:

“In 2013 I hit Platinum status in both Delta and Starwood. However, I was pregnant and hardly going to be traveling in 2014. I called Delta to ask if I could suspend my status until 2015; they said that wasn’t possible, but that they might be able to extend it. They recommended that I call again closer to the end of the year. I’m back in the game now, but won’t be traveling much until next year, and I feel like I’ve wasted my status. What do you think are my chances of getting Delta or Starwood to extend my status?”

Re-qualifying for elite airline or hotel status can be annoying. One year you may travel a lot for work, and the next not as much. But Elite status is like a drug–once you get it, you don’t want to give it up, and you need to continue feeding your addiction by accruing elite qualifying miles and dollars.

TPG reader Angie is in a bit of a unique situation, as she earned elite status, but was pregnant and unable to really use it. So, what do I think Delta and Starwood will do? I’m not optimistic about them pausing your elite status. It never hurts to ask, but in general these programs have strict, inflexible rules, and I think they’re unlikely to break them under these circumstances.

Nobody wants their elite status to expire! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Nobody wants their elite status to expire! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

One option is to ask other programs if they’ll match your elite status when the year is almost up. Assuming that works and you earn status in the other program, you can always try matching back to Delta and Starwood the following year.

If anyone else has any tips/experiences related to this, please feel free to share in the comments section. And Angie, report back and let us know what happens!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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