In 2015 Delta Air Lines was the first of many US air carriers to add a revenue (MQD) 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.

MQDs earning FAQs

MQD calculation example

In this example, I paid $2048.86 for a round trip flight from IAD-ATH, the base bare was $978 and the Carrier-impsed interantional surcharge (YR) was $956. The MQD earnings for this flight would be $1934.

MQD calculation from flight receipt

Taxes, Fees and Charges section of the flight receipt

Taxes and fees vary drastically on the destination and stop-over points along your route. Some of the highest taxed countries are the United Kingdom (LHR) which has added an additional luxury tax for passengers exiting the country in premium cabins of service.

    • V is the lowest main cabine fare class, X is the next lowest. In terms of earnings (MQM, MQS, MQD) there is no difference.

  1. Debra London says:

    I’m receiving an MQD “boost” for either Amex Reserve Card or my current Diamond status or both. The agent cannot get me an explanation. I’d love to know more!

    • Debra London says:

      It could also be from Class of Service (1st) and YR (ATL- London).

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