If you, like myself, have been considering switching to Delta now that American Airlines has diluted their loyalty program, the time may be right. The best way to switch to Delta if you already have status with American or other Airline, is to do a status match. Delta is a little bit different, they do a status match and sort of a challenge at the same time. If you match, the requirements to meet that status level mean that you need to put some miles under you belt to maintain that status.
As you can see in the image below, the requirements for flying aren't minor, especially if you've been putting a significant number of miles toward another program like I have. Personally I'm a Platinum Status member with American Airlines and would match to Delta's Gold status. I'd like to make Delta Diamond Status, but that will be a long way to go this year, so I'll settle for Gold and if the opportunity is there, push to Platinum status with Delta.
So why is now the time to make the status match? Well the way this match and many others work is that if you match in the first half of the year, they are only good through the end of this year's program cycle. If you match in the second half of the year (July -December), then you maintain that status through next year's program cycle, so you'd be covered until the very beginning of 2018. So waiting until July gets you 1.5 years at that status level, if you do it prior to July you get less than a year.
Of course there are other factors that must be taken into account. In my case, I'm still dealing with a major move in to my new home in South Carolina. Right now I don't have any flights planned, and the way this match works is that you have 90 days to meet the flight miles requirement. So while this moment is the best to take advantage of it, always wait until you are ready to take some flights and meet the minimum miles requirement to match.
So, if you are planning to status match and have some flights coming up, this may be the best time to do so.
Rocket Scientist, Travel Junkie, and Ruler of the 4th Moon of Omicron Persei 8