In the summer it storms. In the fall it’s fog and wind. In the winter it is snow. In the spring it rains. Lions and Tigers and bears Oh my! Why fly!

We all know things will go wrong when we fly so what can we expect our beloved DELTA to do for us. The stock answer is if it is weather – nothing, nada, zip & zilch.

But this is not really true. So here are some tips for weather and more:

1) If you are stuck overnight and DELTA will not provide a room, ask them to call and book the room for you under the DELTA rate or under the “distressed traveler” rate and then you pay a much lower rate for the room, sometimes even the DELTA rate!

2) Or let’s say you give up your seat for compensation and take a bump on the last flight of the day and DELTA is willing you put you up at the “Motel 6″ (kidding but you get my point). Now you must ask for this BEFORE they print the voucher where they are going to put you up. If you don’t like the choices they offer, why not say, “how about some extra vouchers for travel and I will get my own room!” Many times you will get another $100-300 each in ETV’s PER PERSON. Also be sure while you are at it to ask for some extra meal vouchers since you were so nice to give up your seat and help them out (they can all be used at one time). I do this in Atlanta and use my SPG points to say at the Westin ATL many times (order the Alaskan Halibut Steak, it is very good. It is fun to pay for your food with 3-10 $6 coupon vouchers).  The WESTIN hotel in ATL

3) While Delta does offer Bereavement fares, Bereavement link at DELTA, most of the time they are not so great. But, what I have found is last minute, like same day or next AM low level skymiles seats in coach can many times be found. Just REMEMBER that once you book a skymiles ticket inside 72hrs of flight you CAN NOT CHANGE it or the miles go bye bye (most of the time).

4) Bags. Have you ever had your bags delayed? What if you are going skiing in SLC the next day? Don’t despair DELTA cares and will fork over some cash so you can ski. Most of the time they will pay for rentals and will come up with a list of max prices they will give you for other rental items like gloves and thermals etc etc. The cheap stuff that you can not rent they will want you to TURN IN when you fly home if you want to get your money back (they give them to a homeless shelter btw). Look here for baggage info at DELTA website. The best thing to do if your clubs, or skis etc do not make it is talk to baggage claim at the airport and see what they will do. Know the rules, be NICE, and remind them this is your dream vacation and don’t want it ruined (sappy I know but be nice, it helps).

So there you are eveyone. DELTA will do lot’s for you if you know what to ask for and how to ask.

What to give away today? I have one more of the Kool DELTA PGA pins so leave a comment if you want it and I will have a random draw tonight at 10PM EST.

 

We have our winner of the PIN: Aleks

I guess not many want to win a DELTA pin?

Send me your mailing address Aleks and I will get he pin to you rene@deltapoints.com

 

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Posted by rene | 5 Comments

One sad thing about the current state of affairs with DELTA.com is the lack of info when an aircraft swap happens or slight time change or flight number change occurs on your itinerary.

Now you will not see this when you simply look at your flight LIST in your upcoming itinerary page:

DELTA website My Trips

But you must rather click on each one to expand it and see what it really looks like (this is just nuts).

As you can see I have a trip I need to have DELTA fix for me. Now, I strongly urge you, don’t click on ANYTHING – PERIOD! DELTA.com when it come to things like this very DELTA.dumb and there are many reports all over the web of itinerary just going bye bye when you click almost anything. In addition, when you later call DELTA for help, they say you have clicked CANCEL when you clearly did not!

So, I suggest you call DELTA, ask them to please “clean up” your itinerary, then BEFORE you hang up with the rep say, “let me just see if I can see what you see on DELTA.com” and make sure all is well for you. Then, and only then, you can you go into the record and look for the seats you had before or want. If your aircraft changed you can always look at Seat Guru here.

Now the ridiculously frustrating part of this is that as soon as they do “clean up” the record, you should expect very quickly an e-mail that there has been a change to your itinerary. Maybe “IT” could do this before we find it? Ah well.

Once again here is a chance for 2 more free drink/snack coupons for DELTA good until 31DEC2012 – just comment below(by 10PM EST) and I will randomly pick a winner and get them in the mail to you!

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Posted by rene | 32 Comments

Delta is a big airline. I mean really big!  Thus, if they can simply give us some miles or DELTA money to “go away”,  they often will. So what exactly am I talking about? Well, what if something went wrong with your “travel experience” on DELTA? Guess what, you can expect to “enjoy” either miles or delta $$$. What do you mean something went wrong? Like what?

Lets say you taxi for 30 min in ATL, that happens all the time right, but the a/c on the flight does not work for some reason while you were on the ground. Getting sweaty before a long trip is not much fun is it. Or, the video does not work in your seat. Or, they run out of your meal of choice. Or, they scuff your bag via plane side check. Or, the bath room on the CRJ is a mess. Or, well you get the idea here.

So how does one complain the best way to be compensated with points or ETV’s? For me, the best way is simply “NOT” to complain. Wait – say what? No really, do it kinda like this(do not cut-n-paste please):

“I just wanted to drop a note to say how great everyone I interacted at with DELTA was on my last trip confirmation # xxxx. Also, you may want to alert maintenance to look at dlxxx as the cargo hold must be just covered in motor oil because it ended up all over my brand new leather computer bag I plane side checked. Now, most of it came off using the soap and towels in the DTW SKYCLUB, so I think I am OK. Many thanks for being such a great airline for me and my family whenever I choose to travel”!

I hope you see my point. Remember reps sit all day, somewhere, reading way too many long rants that they either just pass on or get sick of and cut-n-paste 1 of 100 stock go-away answers to you and you get nothing for your “issue” whatever it was . But we LOVE our airline. We want to make it a better airline. So, DELTA will reward us for the helping them if we use SHORT emails like this (most of the time anyway!).

Have a Comment or Complaint? – DELTA site

So next fight see how many free miles you get and let me know how it works out :-)

….and so you all don’t complain about my blog, here are 2 more free drink/snack coupons for DELTA good until 31DEC2012 – just comment below(by 10PM EST) and I will randomly pick a winner and get them in the mail to you!

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Posted by rene | 43 Comments

 

Today we look at award booking. One of the reasons I love DELTA is how simple it is to collect a ton of miles. The reason most dislike DELTA is their hopelessly broken DELTA.com web site to search for free tickets. Many in the frequent flyer community call it DELTA.dumb. Why? Let’s say I want to visit my mom in Sweden. I would like to fly from Kalamazoo MI (AZO) to Gothenburg Sweden (GOT). Let’s see what I find on July 4th this summer in BUSINESS CLASS?

Ugh – 245,000 miles per person. Yuk.

But, look at this. If I first search AZO-ORD in coach I find low level seats 25,000.

Next I look for seats from ORD-GOT in business I find low level seats for 100,000!

We need to understand the rules and that we can have up to 5 legs each way as a “legal” routing. So, with the above info in hand, if I call DELTA and they put this into one trip, it will cost me just 100,000 all-in for the trip.

Now I really don’t want to fly 5:40 AM from Kalamazoo to Chicago via Detroit (DTW) in coach before I fly business the rest of the way to Sweden. But, I bet you missed the best part in the photo’s above. Notice we only have a 33 min connection in DTW! The minimum legal connection is 30 min. Why is this a good thing?

THE MIGHTY Schedule change rule!

That far out, and with regional airline partners, schedules change all the time! Once that happens and you can not make your connection the “miles requirement” for your frequent flyer ticket goes out the window. Then, we can simply ask for the flights that would have cost 245,000 and avoid ORD all together! Now there are times this does not work and you may have to fly some crazy routes but when that happens I just look at is as extra “bumportunities” or a chance to give up my seat for DELTA $$$ or ETV’s towards my next trip.

Crazy, sure, but it works! BTW you must do this searching for a one way trip. Then the same on the dates for the way back home. It takes some time and work on your part and then phone time with a few reps but worth it for the points savings! There you have it. You now know the way to get low level seats in business class to Europe on DELTA in the middle of summer.

Get 500 free DELTA miles in no time when you pick DELTA as your program here:
eMiles survey site
(let’s see that’s 1500 free points for the last 3 days – not too bad!)

And I want to have another give-a-way. So, leave a comment (by 10PM EST) below for a chance to WIN this DELTA PGA pin! – René
.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Posted by rene | 36 Comments

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