The last winner for April is….

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Congratulations to # 24 Sarah who loves DOGS you win the rest of the SWAG!

Thanks all and I look forward to exciting news on the way for May! – Rene

 

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Delta tries new wet nap replacement in Economy Comfort

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photo from http://pinterest.com/deltapoints/

So what do you think? Will this type of slightly spitty but effective wet nap replacement work for those not quite worthy of being a Delta business elite?

OK – so I was just kidding and wanted you all to see the e-Mail winner (# 21 DAN) to round out the month of April. They get one of the last two GoGo 1 time pass, the last TSA luggage lock, Delta Points luggage Tag and this handy puppy!

I use one to make sure luggage is not overweight at check-in!

And don’t forget, I will have some great give-a-ways in May. I am thinking about a Nook or a Kindle or something big. And some fun small stuff too to CONFIRMED e-Mail subscribers to DeltaPoints.com

I also want to reward you for checking back with Delta Points more than once a day. So, all you have to do is comment below if you are a Cat or Dog person, or neither for a chance to win. Cut-off time will be 11:PM EST tonight!  – René

EDIT: voting is over we have a winner! TXS!

 

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Trip report more fun in Chicago on PointBreaks

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I love PointBreaks nights. To be able to rent a room at a nice place for just a few points is grand! This trip I did something I have wanted to do all my life. My friends and I took a lakefront tour on Segways. If you have never tried one of these, I can tell you, yes, they are as kool as they look and as kool as you think they are. There is almost no learning curve to ride them as they are very intuitive and after just a little practice you just think what you want and the Segway goes there.

The tour operator was located just across from Navy pier and we had some time to kill so we got some Garretts popcorn (the best in the world) and since it was FREEZING and we did not plan for it to be that cold, got some clearance Navy Pier sweatshirts to ward off the cold before our tour.

We had a fun instructor, Alex, who is a skier originally from Denver but is now a performer at Second City Chicago and part timer on the Segway tour.

Our instruction was inside and then, as you can see, we bundled up for the tour.

We lined up like little school kids and followed along the lake shore stopping here and there for photos and information about the city.

If you ever have a chance to try a Segway tour please try it but maybe on a warm day would be a better choice. I also put up a poll at the top right of the blog and would love to know if you have ever been on a Segaway.

Now we again enjoyed the huge bounty from this past December’s 90% off deal from Restaurant.com and got $50 off dinner at a small but very nice place called “Pavilion“. The Food was very good and I would go back if in the area but would not drive out of the way like the Italian place I found on my last Chicago trip that I would drive out of the way to go to again.

After dinner it was off to the Hotel Indigo. It was my first ever stay at an Indigo. There is only so much you can do to a mid-level hotel to make it different than any other one. Indigo does this attempt with some funky kool colors and styles. One of the BEST things was as a Platinum I got to choose a gift for each room. One of the choices was 1000 PC points. OK. So I spent 10,000. Will get 1000 back from my PC Visa. Now 2000 back from the hotel. So the stay cost me just 7,000 PC points for TWO rooms! How sweet can this get?

Overall it is a nice hotel. Our room was nice and I like the large family room couch area to enjoy relaxing and to have friends over for a glass of wine.

The bathroom and bath area was very small and the shower felt cramped and had some previous guest hairs stuck here and there and showed some water damage around the ceilings.

Before our trip home we popped into a few favorite stores like Caputo’s Italian grocery store to stock up on specialties we can not get at home. Also we had breakfast at another one of the Walker brothers spots and it was just nummy!

Chicago is a fun town to visit. I love living where I do with access to so much just a Stay-Cation away by car and a few thousand points! – Rene

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And my pick for the sweepstakes I most want to win is…

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The US AIR Disney one!   Why? Because they are giving away 1 million points (I will go to Disney too to play golf there but the points are the big win). It would get me and Lisa back to the Frankfurt 1st class terminal 4 times!

But I want to end the weekend on a good note. So,  EVERYONE  who commented by 7:PM EST, no matter what you picked, WINS a DeltaPoints luggage tag – (No fool’in Bill). I will contact you all for your mailing address and get them on the way to you tomorrow!

Thanks everyone for reading and supporting the blog and I am sorry tomorrow is Monday :-(  – René

 

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Travel sweepstakes Sunday. I actually want some of these.

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Here is another list of of interesting travel sweepstakes. To make it a fun weekend giveaway you can guess (only one try) what one of this list would be the sweepstakes I would most want to win. The first 100 who guess right, get a DeltaPoints luggage tag in the mail!

  • You must be 45+ for this one and it is on NCL but HERE it is
  • Eat Better America has a trip to Arizona HERE
  • Outside Magazine has one to the Himalayas HERE
  • Nine West and ELLE has one to NYC HERE
  • For my UK readers you can win a trip to Amsterdam HERE
  • Fandango has one to Hawaii HERE
  • Dole has one to a water park HERE
  • US Air has one for a trip to Disney HERE
  • Delta also has one to Disney HERE
  • Disney has one to San Fransisco HERE
  • Fondor’s has one to Italy HERE
  • Marriott has one on FB for 75,000 points HERE
  • Marriott also has an FB one to Hawaii HERE
  • Food and Wine has one for a cruise HERE
  • PureWow has one with a trip to Honduras HERE

So quite a list! As always if one of DeltaPoints readers wins one of these, please let us know and I would love to have you do a guest blog post of the trip as well! Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone – René

 

EDIT: You have until 7:PM EST today to guess – time is almost up!

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Groupon for IND or MDW parking for up to 3 days!

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Just got this via e-Mail that Groupon has a deal for us Midwesterners!

Choose Between Two Options – $15 for outdoor self-parking and shuttle service to and from Indianapolis International Airport (IND) from Indy Park Ride & Fly (a $30.25 value) or $17 for outdoor self-parking at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) from Midway Park Ride & Fly (a $34.25 value).

Additional days of parking at IND can be purchased online during the reservation process or at the time of your visit. Additional days of parking at Midway can only be purchased online. Taxes and fees apply. Expires Sep 30, 2012.

The normal parking rate at MDW for “park and fly” is $9.25 so you are basically getting one day free with this package. Every little bit helps right? – René

 

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2012 Freddie Awards Delta “Win’s” two!

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I was not able to go this year to the Freddie Awards but a bunch of my fellow Boarding Area bloggers did. So what two wins did Delta get?

Best promotion (redemption) Americas: Delta Air Lines (SkyMiles: Travel in Style for Half the Miles – SkyMiles International Upgrade Program)

Best Loyalty Credit Cards Americas: Delta Air Lines (SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express)

We did not win the Program of the year and AA was the biggest winner for the night. So why were these two categories voted the best?

The first I find funny and telling. We have a list of changes we would like to see from yesterday’s post, but upgrading with miles is only great if you are buying a “Y” or higher class or higher ticket (for that promotion normally you can upgrade most H class or higher with points). Most of us regular flyers are on LUT class and do not qualify for using points to upgrade. So this one was a surprise to me.

Now the next one I get and was an easy and clear choice for the win. Since Delta has 3 choices for us in the AMEX credit card game, we can pick one that is best for our needs. All of them give you up to 9 free bags, faster boarding, 20% discount on buying stuff on the planes, and all give you some kind of free or $99 companion pass certificate after one year. For me, clearly, earning MQM’s with the Reserve card is the one perk I love most!

I know all those in the travel industry care about the Freddie’s and want to win. I think Delta could benefit by looking at yesterday’s post for what to change to sweep the board next year as these are the things Delta passengers want the most! – René

 

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What is your wish list for Delta Air Lines to change?

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Every airline has issues. None of the majors are perfect or we would all fly them. I freely admit I am biased toward my airline. I am not hub captive. I have EZ access to AA and United regional jets but I know Delta is better.

The other day I got an e-mail stating –  “Are you on our side or what?!!!!” (and I know I liberally toss around exclamation points but four?) The reader wanted me to share this video about how hard it is to book award tickets on the Delta site (please turn your  VOLUME   down because while funny it is very loud).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyr1XvMNtr0

 

To answer the reader’s question, Yes I am on “our” side. I would love to see Delta give us everything we want, but I am a realist too. Delta people do read the blog. They also read all the social media outlets for feedback about what we want.

So just what DO we want? Let’s make a list. I will put my picks and then you add yours. I will then add your ideas to the post as a record of what we would MOST want to see for 2013.

#1) With work we know we can find low level seats but if the award site SHOWS seats at low level let us book them. Whatever the cost, fix this FAST and we promise to whine ½ as much as we do now! For crying out loud, we are not even asking for more seats here, just that the IT booking system works.

#2) Next, well, we want more low level seats! If you give us more low level seats we promise to stop wining ever again ( at least much less then we do now anyway).

#3) Stop treating us like thieves and criminals regarding the ETV’s (electronic travel vouchers ). A $50 or $10 left over credit is just about worthless now and we may end up with a bunch of them in our accounts. Seriously Delta, how hard would it be allow combining ETV’s for the same family. This would stop theft since that is the publicized reason for the rule change!

#4) You promised to bring back PerkChoice (it is still here on the web site), the ability to use CASH one way and miles the other and earn RDM’s & MQM’s on the cash side of the trip. We are still waiting. It was a GREAT program from NWA and we want it back.

5) Stop beating up Silver Medallions. Even those who are low level elite’s should be shown some “love”. Sure reward GM, PM & DM with MORE, but don’t make FO’s feel like gate lice!

And now from readers:

6) Allow SWU upgrades to be used on any fare. These have become almost worthless compared to other airlines! – HT to NYBanker

7) One way awards. Oh we know Delta offers this but for the same miles as a round trip. HT t0 Steve

8) more on the way soon….

So there are my top gripes. What are yours? Be nice and please give this REAL thought before you start to type. I feel this is an important chance for us to let Delta know what is important to us who want “OUR” airline to “turn into the wind”, “keep climbing” and make flyers proud to look down their noses at anyone who chooses to fly another airline as ours is BEST! – René

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Delta – “Award seat availability rumored to exist” the new reader slogan!

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We have our reader’s choice winner! We now need theme music and a catchy video to go along with it.

Delta Air Lines

“Award seat availability

rumored to exist”

Thank you all for the input and votes. I have a post on the way tomorrow in the spirit of the new winning slogan from Scott M! I will want your input so please check back tomorrow.

For now congratulations to all the top 5 winners and I will email you soon to get your address to send you SWAG! – Rene

 

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Best Android phone APP ever + still time to VOTE

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I have been with Sprint forever I think. I love love love my Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G  and the Delta APP as well. I do HATE the fact that if I want to use my phone as a HOTSPOT they make you pay extra for it. What I did instead was use the PDANET software with my USB cord and can then use my phone as an Internet connection to my laptop when on the road (btw it works with iPhones too and others it would seem but I have not tested these).

Today, I found the APP of my dreams. It is called FoxFi and it is FREE! With this little puppy:

“FoxFi enables WiFi or Bluetooth Hotspot on your Android phone – no tether plan or rooting required! This is a new Android app with great reviews in Android Market. Bluetooth mode works for all phones. WiFi mode works on most Samsung/Motorola/LG phones. WiFi mode does NOT work on Motorola Droid 1/Triumph, Samsung Admire, LG Revolution or any HTC phones, use Bluetooth mode instead. Connect your tablets, computers or game console with WPA2 security. FoxFi usage is covered under your phone’s existing data plan.” – quote from the FoxFi.com website

The download from the Android Marketplace option does not work (blocked by Sprint?) so they have the file on the FoxFi website for you to manually download, then click on to install.

BTW there is still time today to vote for your favorite reader slogan for Delta on the poll on the right top of the blog! – René

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Latest round updates and I made a stupid mistake!

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I made a mistake even a  rookie  would not make, but it all worked out OK. For some strange reason my wife did not get an instant approval on all her 3 card round from last week. Now I fully expected the non-instant on the INK BOLD and with a call to Chase got the approval. The Bank of Hawaii was an instant approval and I expected instant on the Citi Hilton as well. We did not, in a day or so, get an e-mail saying “you are approved”. So we did what any experienced points enthusiast always does and called to see what the status was and found the problem. I had messed up one digit in my wife’s SSN. What a stupid mistake. CitiBank was great about it and immediately approved my wife for a $15,000 line. We are now still 100% for all approvals this year!

So what did I learn from this. One, when applying for credit cards, check the numbers – Duhhh! Also don’t be afraid to call the application status lines or the reconsideration lines as companies are willing to work with you when you work with them or make a mistake on the application. I have most of the major card’s numbers in the Best Point Cards link if you need them. Gosh I feel dumb some days – Rene

 

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Time to VOTE on the NEW DELTA slogan! Good or Bad…

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OK. I love the input. You all are very creative both good and bad. Here are the ones Lisa & I have picked as the top 5 for you to vote on in no particular order:

#1 from Sam – Fly with Pride!

#2 from JH – Exceeding expectations one traveler at a time.

#3 from Scott M. – Award seat availability rumored to exist

#4 from Shindig – Turning travel into travail

#5 from Brennan – Connecting You

So now these readers need your help. The winner gets the T-Shirt, a bunch of GoGo swag and Deltapoints tags. The other 4 still get the coveted DeltaTags so you are all winners. Please vote with the poll at the top right of the blog! – Rene

 

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What is your BEST Delta slogan? How creative are you for a chance to WIN SWAG!

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Currently we have “Keep Climbing” (as opposed to ground stop until further notice? :-) )! What do you think? Does it inspire you to fly Delta Air Lines?

We love to fly and it shows“. OK, so this could easily be the mantra of all frequent flyers right? But they say it was one of Delta’s most successful ever!

Delta’s got a list of past slogans and I think, although a bit before my time, my favorite has got to be “DELTA the airline with the BIG JETS“. I still get giddy each time I look at or ride on a Delta 747 and will till the day I die. Northwest had a nice one too with “Some people just know how to fly“.

So how about a little creative writing contest for DeltaPoints readers?! Here is the contest. To win you must come up with a new slogan that is better than “Keep Climbing“!  For this to be really fun you can be either PRO-DELTA or NONPRO-DELTA like “Fly Delta cuz U R a Hub captive” (no you can not use mine).

At 5:PM EST (EDIT:extended to allow west coasters more time will close ideas 10PM EST) today, I will put up a POLL at the top right of the blog with the TOP one’s I liked and you will have until 5:PM  10:PM Thursday to VOTE for the one you like best! The WINNER get’s a DeltaPoints T-Shirt and Luggage tag & some of the remaining GoGo swag I have, the other runners up all get a DeltaPoints Luggage tag.

You must keep them  “PG”  and no cheating by using another airline’s past or current slogans as I have researched a fairly extensive list. Let’s have FUN – René

 

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EOS on the way? May 1st? September? When will the next “Enhancement” happen?

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There is so much to love about Delta. I have had elite status with many airlines and I think the Delta reps are the best in the business. For those of us who fly a bunch, either on high price tickets or those of us who fly a ton of LUT flights in the dozens, the value to our airline should be clear. Heck even those of us who get our status via AMEX RESERVE cards are supporting the financial institution that helps Delta fly.

Rumors are often based on at least some facts. There have been a bunch of little bites out here and there like the job postings from JDC below (now pulled btw):

Official company representatives have declined to comment on this or about EOS ( Evolution of Skymiles ) other than advising:

 “Delta is always reviewing various aspects of its business as we constantly strive to improve our customers’ experience; however we have made no recent announcements regarding changes to the SkyMiles program.”

This in response to this posting on FlyerTalk from “itsaboutthejourney” with a supposed transcript from a Delta corporate meeting. If the FT post is true (it’s not btw), it is sad that we who love our airline, care about our airline, want to fly our airline as much as we can are looked upon as “cheats & gamers”!

So will a change happen on May 1st? Will plan “Z” be the Zorro slashing the medallion ranks to only those who spend $XXX dollars per year AND xxx BIS miles? Will Skymiles become harder or easier to spend going forward (we can hope right)? The question I want to know is will these changes drive high value customers FROM Delta. Will these type of changes drive those who Delta MOST wants to keep to another airline? You tell me!

If you are concerned about this (or other changes)  I suggest tweeting Delta. It seems as of late once Delta enacts a new policy, they dig in their heals and push back like the 72hr rule. It may be better for us to speak now before the change happens if we want our voices to be heard! – Rene

 

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Delta NEWS day. Some good, some bad.

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So what is on tap this week in the news roundup for our favorite airline? Let’s start with the fun and good news.

  • If you, like me, spend a lot of time on the ex-NWA Airbus 330’s going over the pond to Europe, you can now enjoy the completed video upgrade to the birds.
  • And to follow up on one of my least favorite people, who wants to keep 50 seats CRJ until our Grandkids are our age, is leaving Pinnacle airlines. Now this after a huge increase in CEO pay I talked about last round. I bet he gets an outstanding exit package. What do yo think?
  • And lastly how about we look at Delta’s top brass doing some call center work. It looks like they only talked to Diamond Medallion flyers. So were any of Delta Points readers on the other end of the line for these calls?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrZmgIaO7Hc

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V908Rxh5rV8

Some other musings while talking about news. We are seeing few offers from American Express this year while Chase is going hog wild. We are however seeing many targeted offers so be sure you are signed up with AMEX to receive junk mail as one of them could get you a bunch of bonus points. I still hope AMEX will bring back one this year where we can send Membership Rewards to Delta and score MQM’s! We will have to wait and see. I am still working on some kind of Delta DO this year and will let you know if I can get something firmed up. – Rene

 

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