I have said how much I love living where I do. The middle is just nice. I have EZ access to the “Windy City” for Stay-cations whenever a point breaks room is found. I can fly out of SBN, AZO, FWA, GRR, IND, MDW, ORD & DTW all within a 3 hr drive. I could go on and on, but you can not all move here to the great Midwest!

But if you live in MSP, you may be starting to miss the glory days of MSP. Let me ask you a few questions.

  • First, what has been going on since 2010? Look HERE.
  •  And what has Delta been doing since then about the size of the jets going in and out of MSP since 2010? Look HERE.
  •  And since Delta has not been buying any new planes for a while, can you tell me what type of plane Delta is buying right now? Look HERE.
  • Last question. If a plane is small, noisy and very old, then our airline would like to keep this as quiet as possible right? Look HERE on the Delta blog.

Of course, you celebrate the bird. Now I do like the MD’s as long as I am not in the back. I like the 3+2 seating so neither my wife or I have to have the middle seat. They are running this ship from ATL-MYR where my mom-in-law lives and I love it over a CRJ (and never again an ATR)!

But back to MSP. Like real-estate you are location location location. Unless you are going to Europe, Asia, Hawaii or Mexico, you had better get used to more MD’s and CRJ’s! Just be happy you have birds at all as readers in CVG would love to have the size issues you now have to deal with.

At least you have one of the best airports in the world to enjoy before you fly! (does that help?) – Rene


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Posted by rene | 7 Comments

What is the one topic that is worse than religion, taxes or politics to talk about? No not that; it is seat recline and your right / non-right to do so.

Every day I use my laptop and I feel the screen a little loose from my incident on this trip I hollered about on Flyer Talk, I have been giving thought to trying one of these little puppies called Knee Defenders.

photo from businesstravellogue.com

Now the reason I have not ordered a set to try is because my stand on seat recline is this:

“I have every right to recline all the way
my seat will let me as it is my seat!

I always do so slowly & gently so the person behind me has time to react. I also, as much as I can, pick the exit row ( another reason to get MQM’s from my AMEX Reserve card each year to have status with Delta ) as the row in front of the exit row does not recline most of the time.

In the old days, apparently NWA banned them from it’s flights. Delta Air Lines representatives have confirmed to me the airline has no official policy on the gadgets. So my guess is that if an FA tells you not to use them you had better listen to them as they can put you in a WORLD of hurt for not following the direction of an FA ( you could complain later and maybe get some points who knows ).

Many of my fellow BoardingArea.com bloggers including Road Warriorette, View from the Wing and One Mile at a Time have talked about this issue before, but as Delta flyers it is good to know that for now we can use these if we should so choose to.

I would love to know what Delta Points readers think of this device and the topic in general. How about this. If you are PRO Knee Defender, and I pick your comment via random.org, I will order a set for you and you must agree to take a photo using them and tell us all how it went. If you are AGAINST them, and win the drawing today, I will send you a set of Delta Drink coupons and a GoGo one time pass.

This should be fun (ps let’s keep it clean and nice as I will edit comments if need be) – René


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Posted by rene | 66 Comments

Delta Air Lines is giving us a warning to very carefully check out e-Mails and not to just click on them (good advice always anyway) as there seems to be a Phishing one going around that looks like it came from Delta. You can read about it HERE at the Delta web site.

Also time for today’s daily NON-PHISHING DeltaPoints.com e-Mail winner!

Today’s winner is: #323 – Heidi!

Congratulations and I will email you soon.

Lastly, as I am sure you have seen around the blogs, it would appear that Chase is going to up the spend required to earn the 50,000 points on the INK BOLD card from $5000 to $10,000. This seem to continue the growing trend to have uber-spend needed to get points this year. So, if you want this card, now may be the time. I will also have the results from my round that I did today up tomorrow on the blog! – René

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Posted by rene | One Comment

I love this Swedish saying and it translates to “away is good but home is best“! And you know, I feel that way about my Delta Air Lines after my recent trip and will go so far as to say I like the Delta business class “travel experience” better than United / Lufthansa 1st class. I proudly say I am biased toward my beloved airline, even with all it’s faults, and why do I say that? Let me break it down for you.

A trip is more than just a single flight. It is all the parts that make the trip an experience. Now I must say the private car to and from the plane in Frankfurt is just uber-kool. And the 1st class terminal is beyond uber-kool.

The rest, ehhh, ya know, really not so much!. The food was good in 1st but I like the choices and food much better on Delta over the pond and have almost never had a dish I did not like.

The business class product from FRA-GOT was much worse (the new ultra thin back breaker seats) than the KLM’s business one as well as the food offered for lunch and breakfast. The attendants are nicer and more attentive on KLM intra-Eurpe. The check-in at GOT on the Delta side is run by Air France. The United / Lufthansa one is run by SAS ( ugg ). The lounge at GOT is smaller on the Star Alliance side too.

Now one of the biggest reasons I love Delta over United are the airports. DTW is all that for me and I just love the airport. I love that you exit customs, have re-screening right there, then back into the airport and done (Oh and did I mention the Skyclub entrance right there with showers after my flight and the oxygen spa a few steps away).

With O’Hare you exit the international terminal, transfer via “tram-train” and then re-screen with the masses. Also, the United clubs I visited were smaller and more crowded than any Delta Skyclub I have been in and the snack choices were not as good. Power ports in T2 club were all sunk in so my e-Reader could not even charge up – Grrrr!

I can not wait to try the new ATL international terminal to open in May and plan to have lots of blog coverage with reader input and other bloggers live at the event if all goes as planned so stay tuned. – Rene

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Posted by rene | 4 Comments

photo credit: Lori Barber – CBSDFW.COM

Mental illness is nothing to laugh about when it happens to someone you know or love. We may snicker over the recent AA attendants video of “get off the plane” scream but even those giggling in the video I bet were scared! Mental illness, as we have seen of late with JetBlue, can impact many others when the sick person is put in trust of the lives of many others on an airplane.

We all hope these people get the help they need and I sure hope this is not a growing trend. What about passengers? I did a lighthearted post HERE about things that can get you kicked off a Delta flight as in my mind, who would do any of those things. But with all that has been going on I did a search and was shocked at all the results. Just look at these:

Arrested for not turning off you cell phone HERE

Arrested for painting her nails in the bathroom HERE

This one – you decide – red beam out of glasses HERE

How many dumb drunks need to fly HERE?

I flew with the crew that dealt with this drunk HERE

And the drunks with DUMB jokes on a Delta flight HERE

I HATE baggy pants fashion so no pity for this one HERE

We all know you can not open a door at altitude right?
Not HERE on this Delta flight.

And these are all over the past year or so. I found a TON more and if you Google arrested and airline you will get a scary list. I had a step mom that was bi-polar and some days (when she was off her meds) I wish I could just block from my memory. Once again these types of reports remind us it is up to us all to keep one another safe from anything and everyone when as a group we are traveling at 500+ MPH in a tiny metal tube.

Be safe and fly alert everyone – Rene

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Posted by rene | No Comments

Airline bankruptcies seem to have become part of the norm of doing business and now Pinnacle Air has as well. All the majors seem to be either doing it or have done it in the past. No one today is afraid of flying an airline in bankruptcy or in fear that their frequent flyer miles are going away or not earning them before, during or after the exit from the financial event.

Not just Delta, but all the major airlines need healthy regional partners to feed us into the HUB systemPinnacle Air flies a ton of routes for Delta and owes Delta million’s and now has a credit line, notably after the filing, for many millions more.

Pinnacles services to United and US Air will end / wind down and that means Delta will be the only big customer for Pinnacle going forward according to these SEC filings. Overall I see this as a good thing for us as Delta flyers. This will give Pinnacle a chance to rework many long term contracts with Delta and others. For Delta, they will undoubtedly have more control and “say so” going forward and long term as THE customer for the regional airline.

As a side note Delta has joined other airlines using this new interactive map system to see where you can fly from point A to point B. Try it and see what you think. – Rene

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Posted by rene | 5 Comments

Knowing tech as I do, and using tech as I do, I take steps to try to mitigate the chance of information I want kept private from going public. I am still dumbfounded by the number of times people click on things they get from a “friend” either via facebook or an e-mail that ends up being a virus or malware.

But I digress. Today’s blog is about security when you travel. Most of us fly Delta with a cell phone, laptop and or a tablet of some kind. I use passwords for all of them on the startup page. A dedicated hacker who did get hold of my laptop could pull the drive and get to some data, but that is what it would take. Do you have passwords on all your stuff? Do you always put these items back in the same place or absentmindedly lay them on a chair or table or plug them in to charge somewhere? According to this article you should password protect them as millions of cell phones are lost each year and people who find them TRY to open data you wish they would NOT!

Delta Points readers are a select group. We “get” travel. We know the routine. We plan for what often times happens so we are not shell-shocked and frightened when travel goes awry, but just spring into action our next option to get where we want to go. And as I blogged about in my personal experience on a KLM regional flight we should be pro-active and aware of what goes on around us in our modern age.

A lost cell phone could cost you plenty in inconvenience and lost productivity, but if you cause a ruckus or delay a flight it may cost you thousands of dollars if you end up impacting other travelers according to the NYC port authority. Recently we were on an already delayed flight and had a now somewhat tight connection. Every minute counts at this point and a business traveler walked back up the asile to the boarding door and said he “left his cell phone somewhere near the window at the gate” and wanted the ground staff to look for his lost phone before they closed the door. He was ready to deplane to find his phone. What about his luggage? Would it have to be pulled? Plane side checked bags too? The list goes on and all our connections looking down the tubes due to one person’s lost phone. In this case it worked out and ground staff found it and we were only delayed 5-10 minutes all-in but you get my point!

Much of what we do is intended to improve our travel experience and avoid causing our own delays and frustrations. Please add this to your list of thing to think about each time you travel – Rene

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Posted by rene | 2 Comments

The growing trend for Delta has been to downsize over the past years. Fewer routes and more packed planes. However they are expanding many routes into NYC due to the new dual hub strategy. Here is one example in Buffalo. So keep on the lookout for these as well as other seasonal routes that you can find on the Delta web site HERE.

Not only are these avenues to search when looking for somewhat hard to find low level seats where you may want to go, but there may also be great chances for fare sales (be sure and let me know if you find good ones to share with other blog readers please btw) for mileage runs or to pad our MQM totals for the year.

Another fun thing is the new restaurants on the way to LGA as you can see at the Delta Blog.

One of my absolute favorite chefs in the world is Chef Anne Burrell. One of the new restaurants planned will feature burgers and milkshakes created by Chef Anne. If you’ve never seen her show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food Network, you should definitely add it to your DVR! My wife and I love watching and learning and then trying a lot of her recipes so we can’t wait to check out the new LGA restaurant choices, including Chef Anne’s! We’ve learned over the years to follow the crew to the better restaurant choices at the various hubs (the Chinese place in concourse B in ATL for example) so hopefully these new restaurant additions at LGA will be a great start to more improved airport food choices!

So, what are your favorite spots when you want more than fake cheese from the lounge? Share please with your fellow readers so we know what to try next time at a Delta HUB! – Rene

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Posted by rene | No Comments

I am not sure if you have had the chance to notice this but Air France has gone au revoir when it comes to SKYMILES seats to Europe from anywhere in the USA for any amount of points in business class! I was hoping this was a quick bug that was part of the new booking bug that also would quickly be fixed. But as of last night at 10:30PM EST it is still broken.

I have reached out to Delta but have not received a response back. So, I reached out to my “other” contact within Delta Air Lines and have my reply. For about a week AF has been unbookable and even if you can see inventory on AF or other sites, there is no way to book those seats as they show ZERO inventory in the Delta system. This again is internally confirmed information.

What can you do from my experience to get it done anyway? There may be a work around via Twitter @DeltaAssist or phone with Delta if you ASK them to liaison with their AF colleagues 9-4 Europe time. Now you must get a nice rep or two at this end, then hope to get a nice rep at the AF side (I do not think they exist), and then maybe you will get the seat that you know is there. If I do get more information from Delta about this I will be sure to update the blog.

The next hot topic is the EOS or Evolution of SKYMILES. Again here I have repeatedly reached out to Delta for a comment on this and my “other” source had some information to share but only on a basic level.

So what does it look like is on the way? Well right now we get full credit MQM’s for low cost seats. How much longer? At the first of the year I blogged about some of the changes that may be on the way this year for our Delta Air Lines.

It looks more and more like the monetarization of SKYMILES is on the way for September of THIS YEAR. If you look at this now removed job post from maxhire.net you will see some interesting information.

Now could it possibly be part of the expansion of the Pay with Miles? Or work on the new / old PerkChoice program to be called something like “miles and money award” where in the old NWA days you could split a ticket, pay for one way, get points and MQM’s and the other way fly free on points! Basically you had one way redemption’s this way!

I hate to say it, but I think that is grasping at straws. I will be sure to update as I get more information but Delta’s CEO has stated in the past that the current SKYMILES program is unsustainable in its current form.

So what do we get next? My frustration with my beloved airline is the same as yours. Like with the 72 hr rule, that was first attempted to apply to tickets already purchased and then backtracked, will the same bulldozer approach be attempted here?

What do you think? For me, I get EOS. I hate it, but I get it. I also get the argument that someone who spends say $50,000 or $100,000 in LUT class is just as good as someone who spends the same amount in Y or business class! The bottom line is the bottom line. It is hard to make money in this business. If Delta can not make money we get ZERO perks. I just do not know how many more hits the elite flyers can take and stay with Delta. The 72 rule is in place and we all can see how easy it now is to find low level seats to Europe on Air France as you can see from the beginning of this post! – Rene

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Posted by rene | 8 Comments

There are so many things we just “do” after a while. For example, if I want to pick a seat for a flight, I never ever use the Delta seat maps, even though they are all listed on Delta.com HERE, I immediately go to SeatGuru HERE and look at what is best.

So what are some of my favorites that you may like too and would be good to save? Here is my list:

MQM’s. I must know how many I am getting as well as RDM’s. This site CWSI.net HERE does that EZ. Also it has my other favorite that look at upgrade chances etc HERE and fare chart HERE.

When on the go or wanting flight info Flightaware HERE is just tops in my book. I do like to log in to the free GoGo tracking when on a Delta flight as it is free.

Another great one from the people behind BoardingArea is Webflyer HERE. So much information you need as a frequent or even for you as a not so frequent traveler!

Thanks to the many bugs currently with Delta.com and just because it is such a good site. The ITAsoftware search site HERE for finding tickets is just so good!

Naturally I love my AwardWallet HERE and many readers love Tripit HERE.

And several times a week I check my credit score HERE and HERE both free!

So there are just a few I find very useful as a Delta flyer. I want your help to build my “LINKS” list at the top of the blog I want to help out your fellow Delta Points readers. So how about this, comment what your favorite or most useful site / link is for a chance to win this TSA approved luggage lock! – René

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Posted by rene | 20 Comments

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