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Delta hikes requirements for elite frequent flier level

A maximum of 50 pilots can retire early through the deal offered to Boeing 747 (above) captains and other pilots.
A maximum of 50 pilots can retire early through the deal offered to Boeing 747 (above) captains and other pilots.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced it is raising the requirements to reach its elite frequent flier levels, in a bid to increase the “exclusivity” of the program.

Delta had already announced last year it would require a certain amount of dollars spent on Delta tickets annually to reach the elite silver, gold, platinum and diamond levels. It also announced earlier this year that it would begin awarding free flights based on dollars spent, rather than miles flown.

When it comes to elite qualification, Delta announced this week that it will now require $3,000 spent on Delta tickets in 2015 to reach the silver level, $6,000 for gold, $9,000 for platinum and $15,000 for diamond.

That’s up from the required $2,500 in spending on Delta tickets in 2014 for silver, $5,000 for gold, $7,500 for platinum and $12,500 for diamond.

Delta will continue to waive the requirements for those who spend $25,000 a year on a SkyMiles American Express card.