Delta Airlines was the first of many US air carriers to add a revenue requirement on top of distance flown to earn (and maintain) elite status. Delta’s elite tiers are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond – each has varying benefits and earning requirements. For frequent fliers, the difference between each elite tier is massive and can mean the difference between a stressed out traveler or one seamlessly jetsetting.
I’ve been flying pretty hard core since 2009 and with the revenue requirements added in 2015, it definitely makes things harder to keep tabs of. Unlike the MQM’s, the MQD revenue requirement is not 1:1 for dollars spent. MQDs are earned primarily on base fare – you will NOT earn MQDs for taxes or the plethora of other fees you see on the receipt.
How to read your receipt and calculate MQDs
MQDs are calculated on only a few line items on your flight receipt and can be access via the delta.com portal or the FlyDelta app.
- Base fare
- Carrier-Imposed Surcharges (YR) (maximum $650 each way)
- Carrier-Imposed Surcharges (YQ) (maximum $650 each way)
All MQDs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar. The Carrier-Imposed Surcharges show up on some international itineraries.
Example MQD calculation
- I booked a flight to Athens with a total round trip price of USD $2,048.86.
- Adding the base fare + YR line items (USD $978.00 + USD $956.00) earned a USD $1,934 MQDs.
Taxes, Fees and Charges section of the flight receipt
These fees vary widely from destination to destination. International itineraries have more taxes than domestic locations.