Living in Hawaii makes it easy to earn a lot of frequent flyer miles. As a loyal Delta customer (have to support the hometown businesses), I am able to maintain SkyMiles Medallion status. The SkyMiles program has changed a lot since I've been living in Hawaii. Benefits change slightly and the names of things change more often than anything else. Medallion, Elite, SkyTeam Elite, Breezeway, Sky Priority, ... the list goes on. Basically they all mean you can board the plane before other people, which is useful because you get first pick of the overhead storage space.
Delta has 4 levels for the Medallion status. The Silver level is attained after you fly 25000 miles in a year. Gold is 50000 miles. Platinum is 75000 miles. And Diamond is 125000 miles. Diamond is the newest and it was added because Delta found that the super frequent fliers are usually way beyond 75000 miles, so they created a new level.
The mileage requirements are actual miles flown (per program rules) in the calendar year. Bonus miles, miles earned from credit cards, and other such non-flying miles rarely count towards medallion status. Another nice trick is that Delta awards a minimum of 500 miles per flight, so puddle jumping can earn you a lot of miles in a short distance.
I am currently just under 41000 miles for the calendar year. I will most likely hit the Gold requirement for this year again. Karen just leveled up to Silver during Thanksgiving.
So why do I care about this? Delta is really nice to Medallion members. All of the benefits listed seemed pointless, but they are nice. Two free checked bags on every flight. Priority check in, special reservations number, automatic complimentary upgrades to first class (various rules apply and there is a pecking order with other medallion members), boarding before the other suckers, double miles earned, and other things. It all seems pointless, but every since I achieved that level, I don't want to lose it.