Over a year ago I created some comparison tables of elite status across the five major U.S. carriers: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways. Now, American and US Airways are merging while Delta and United have introduced new elite qualification requirements.
Otherwise, there haven’t been too many changes to the benefits of elite status in each program …but these projects take a lot of work and I may have overlooked some things. When looking at the tables, please keep in mind that there is only so much space to describe and compare the various benefits, each with their own nuances. If something is radically incorrect, I’ll change it. If something just isn’t described in sufficient detail for your liking, that might take me some more work to determine if it’s (1) necessary and (2) possible. Also note that while I say that AAdvantage Gold members only receive access to Main Cabin Extra seats at check-in, in fact they remain complimentary at the time of booking through February 28.
My Thoughts in More Detail
If you want more information about earning elite qualifying dollars and possible waivers for this requirement, you can read more in my posts on United Premier Qualifying Dollars and Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars. I also discussed in December what I think are the “best value” tiers in each program:
- Alaska Airlines — MVP Gold
- Delta Air Lines — Platinum or Diamond Medallion
- United Airlines — Premier Platinum
- American Airlines — Executive Platinum
- US Airways — Well, they won’t be around for much longer…
Quick Comparison Tables
Feel free to download these for your personal use or share them for public use as long as you include attribution and a link to this page. They get larger if you click on the image. Or you can download a PDF containing all three tables.