If the application is approved, reclaiming status would mean a traveler who is about to start flying again would get three months of complimentary elite status, during which they would need to resume the same rigorous flying schedule required to retain the status. The process calls for someone who had Medallion status the previous year and is ready to resume travel to submit a request at www.delta.com/reclaimmystatus.
Not every airline has a written policy for such occasions. But some smaller carriers have more generous policies.
For example, Alaska Airlines allows new parents to apply for "elite leave" and then keep their status for another year.
Delta says it sees its policy requiring frequent fliers to earn back their status during a three-month proving period as a way to ensure travelers want to keep flying on Delta.
“Getting back into travel after a big change can be stressful,” acknowledged Delta’s senior vice president of loyalty Sandeep Dube in a written statement.
“Loyalty is a two-way street,” according to Dube, and “we are always looking for new ways to take care of our customers.”