Travel updates & happenings around the blogs!

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faa weather delays

I am sure if you were flying in or out of the NYC area today you had a bit of bumpy ride and some delays. This has been an interesting summer of travel so far (i.e. weather wise). I also wanted to catch up on some goings on you may want to know about before some of them run out.

  • The Southwest Air 50,000 point bonus on 4 cards! All reports are saying that this bonus offer will be over on AUGUST 6th so if you have a new round of cards you are going for you may want to look at this one if you have not had all 4 before.
  • Delta is going to start flying back and forth all day long between LAX and SFO that is Los Angles and San Francisco! Maybe Delta Points west coast readers can chime in if this is needed and a good idea for Delta. The perks for this little flight sure sound nice. I wish all the short flights on Delta were this good (notice no #SkunkyGate they are pouring good beer)! :-)
  • I am always on a diet. I am really trying this year to drop 20-30 pounds. Slow and steady, a few pounds a week so far so I will do my best. But, for readers who are larger, did you know you can order your OWN almost universal seat belt extender so you don’t have to ask for one or ask for the 1 seat with a longer belt. Who knew right?
  • The Florida to Alaska mileage run, bookable 2x one way fares, is still alive and kicking. To pick up 10,000 MQMs for around $400 and do it in 2 days is impressive. I have looked up and down how I could do this trip but I have all the flying I can stand booked for the next six months.
  • Also BIG NEWS, BoardingArea is getting new bloggers on-board soon. Some names you will know and some maybe not. One of the blogs I have looked at for a long time due to his unique posting style and places he goes (plus he is a Mr. Mom and I think that is just kool) is Michael W. Travels. Welcome to BA Michael!

Lastly, the Chicago Seminars are just about sold out. I just know I will get about 10 E-mails when they are all gone with readers yelling – WHY DID YOU NOT TELL US? I will point to this post. – René

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Breaking NEWS: Delta adjusts SDC Same Day Confirmed / Change rules – again!

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changes sdc delta flyertalk

Via Delta Air Lines rep at FlyerTalk, DwayneSkyMiles, we get the above latest update after the last massive change.

This is some refreshing news that GM+ will not get “dinged” with the $50 fee. Many HVC i.e. those who spend a ton and fly Delta a ton, have departed Delta over this. It was a BAD move and these changes soften things a bit, but the fare class component is still firmly in place!

Will this be enough to get those back who bolted from our airline to another? One thing this DOES show is money talks. Make HVC mad enough they will say enough is enough and clearly this cost our airline!

I look forward to your input on this readers and what you think. It will also be nice to have more time to change now (if you can find it) but is this and just waiving the fee enough of a move? – René

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Monday afternoon Delta goings on and news updates

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delta ife starting early

I am so happy it is Monday (who says that right?)! I have been so busy the past few weeks plus had a few weeks without my Lisa as she stayed in Sweden for a few weeks helping out with mom and has an amazing trip report for her return flight to share soon. Anyway, I have a few things to catch you up on in the Delta “world” and some news as well.

  • You can now start your IFE (in-flight entertainment – system) on the ground. My take on this is that while I like this, there have been so many times that Delta reps have to reboot the IFE that it will be interesting to see this implemented. Plus, about 1 out of 10 flights the FA’s don’t have time for a pre-flight drink and this will be just one more task for them to try to get done.
  • Readers all know I love Grand Cayman. Delta with Audience rewards has a chance to win 100,000 Skymiles and more plus earn a few Skymiles. Audience Rewards is a quick way each month to earn 10 Skymiles. Not much, but hey for a few seconds or even in-flight grab a few more, and the answers are posted on FlyerTalk each month by someone!
  • I got to check out the SkyDeck on my Mileage Run last week in the “F” concourse in Atlanta and will cover that this week. My fellow BA blogger PM&M has a good post about a new club I saw just across from the Skyclub. If you have any INK cards you can get 2 free visits via the “Lounge Club“!
  • Speaking of INK, I hope all have noticed you can get up to $500 gift cards with free S&H with your Chase cards for now. They can, with PIN, be loaded to BlueBird at Walmart according to all reports. There is a max of $2500 per 30 days.
  • My favorite award booking guru (Adam – see the E21 post in the Essentials Tab) got to fly Virgin Atlantic upper class and I look forward to his report. Also know some low level biz seats are starting to load into Delta.com so be on the lookout for flights to try out their products.
  • Delta is getting into the food “reality” show biz it would seem. No, to be fair I love shows like “Chopped” so this could be fun to see. For me, what I really want Delta to do, is improve the food on short morning flights like the 1hr+ ones. I think a muffin and banana are just not fun in business class. On KLM etc. you get a “real” snack.
  • The old old old new account bonus account LINK is still live but I have no idea if you will still get all the points. Would love to get feedback if it is working this year too.
  • World Airline News reports the 717’s will start flying on September 19th for Delta! I cannot wait for Pinnacle Airlines – err – Endeavor Air to dump the CRJ200’s ASAP!
  • AJC.com reports Delta is hiring pilots. They will be pulling from furloughed and regionals. With the new flight hour requirements for starting pilots we are going to see a real pilot shortage on the way over the next few years!
  • I am sure you have seen what gas prices have been doing as of late at the pump. If you think the rise in the price of oil will lead to higher prices soon for Delta tickets then I would agree with you!
  • Sorry but I am never ever going to Peru EVER now. Ewwww! Oh and nor I am ever going to DUBAI (check sound video plays automatically)!

These are the things that caught my eye Delta and aviation related. Any other Delta news you have seen we should see too? Be sure and include a URL or link in the comments if you can.- René

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Delta NEWS day on the blog – hard to keep up lately

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change frontier to delta skymiles

I don’t know about you but I feel like summer is flying by (no pun intended). My daily life is starting to feel like a mileage run and I am just running from gate to gate. The news bits about Delta are coming just as fast. Let’s take a look:

☢ As I blogged about last summer, Frontier offered Wisconsin flyers to send their points over to Delta (as you can see thanks to the web.archive.org) due to their pulling out of so many markets. But all did not go as smoothly as they would have liked, it would seem, and some flyers had to take matters into their own hands!

Shareholders happy paying Delta management a ton of cash thanks to the company making money!

☢ Pinnacle Airlines is GONE! Yeah. Oh, they are now Endeavor Air. I hope they Endeavor to dump the horrid CRJ-200’s ASAP so we don’t have to Endure anther flight with broken radio altimeter, bathrooms, tray tables and on and on!

☢ An interesting discussion about if Delta can and can’t discriminate based on weight!

☢ Delta is redoing the Delta museum in Atlanta. I have never been, but cannot wait to go and see the new place next year!

☢ Virgin exits the airplane seat mfg business (did not know they were IN that business).

☢ Looks like Delta is hiring more FA’s for the 717’s that will start flying in Delta colors this fall (can’t wait)!

☢ Delta does the right thing and refunds a sick man’s NON refundable ticket and then the travel agency keeps the refund? Huh? You have got to be kidding me!

Other things on my mind about our airline. August and September have, in the past few years, been the months where we have been hit with big changes. Last year it was consolidator fares getting axed in award and MQM earnings. The year before, the T72 change to award tickets. What will we get this year? I hope nothing, but that is not realistic. My sources tell me both good and bad are on the way by year end. I just hope the bad is not really bad, but we shall see and just hope we don’t get too many more “Ruh-Roh” moments. – René

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Delta related news for you – keepin’ ya up to date.

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Unless you live on the moon you will know Delta opened the mighty TX4 terminal in JFK today. Some are upset to see the old T3 former PanAm “World Port” go (my grand dad was with PanAm for years btw) but for me new is better and time to move on! So what else is making Delta-ish news? Check it out:

  • The Chicago Seminars soon sold out!  – don’t miss out HERE
  •  Michael W’s blog has a nice Delta giveaway going HERE
  • PM&M has a good post about using MR points for Delta 1-way is HERE
  • Delta has updated their blog HERE
  • Will Delta “oil” ever make money? Maybe is HERE
  • A short video from Delta CEO is HERE
  • A longer video from Delta CEO is HERE
  • “They” say FF programs are not worth much – HA! is HERE
  • OK this video had nothing to do with Delta or flying it is just funny!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tk1I0u0SVs

Have a great weekend everyone and be safe and be sure to check back tomorrow for my trip/cost report for my last mileage run as well as SWAG Saturday on the way at 1:PM- René

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Delta Updates from around the web (keeping you informed)

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Readers have been e-mailing me about having to RUN in ATL due to very very long lines at security. If there has ever been a time to go ahead and get your GOES and TSA Pre done it is now as I blogged about  HERE  . Also, the strike in Brussels, Belgium (BRU) could affect you today as well.

➤ Points Miles & Martini’s has a good post on the latest “enhancement” to our Economy Comfort seating fees!

➤ In case you missed my post last night, nothing but “skunky beer” now for free in the Delta Skyclubs!

➤ If you are going to Scandinavia Delta is resuming seasonal flights to both Sweden and Denmark.

➤ You may want to read the comment on the Delta e-Gift cards if you have an AMEX PLAT card of either the personal or business flavor! :-)

➤ Live in Austin? Phoenix? Join me and other points enthusiasts for lunch on Tuesday!

➤ I have posted some Mileage Run updates at Milepoint – 11,000+ MQM’s under $500!

➤ And lastly today, always take your SKY with you and shoot a photo for a chance to win from SKY!

 Any other little Delta updates I have missed or you know about? Please comment on the blog below. – René

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Delta DUMPS Blue Moon now just “Skunky Beer” for free (just when I got free DM club access)

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With a HT to reader Marc I can say I am not a happy club “hopper” as Delta Corp Guy has posted this:

Update from DL on Club beverage changes – FT

Delta Sky Clubs are changing the selection of both complimentary and for-purchase premium alcoholic beverages beginning tomorrow. Complimentary well-known alcohol brands will still be provided at the Club just as they have been.

Altering our complimentary offerings will enable us to expand our portfolio of premium for-purchase products and maintain complimentary spirits, beer and wine as we continue to invest in the overall Club experience. We review our Club offerings periodically so that we are able to make changes based on customer feedback, financial considerations and other factors including the variety of options we offer our members.

The new offerings are comparable to house/well brands in other airport lounges.

  • Complimentary spirits: Vodka – Gordon’s; Gin – Gordon’s; Rum – Myers’s Platinum; Scotch – Scoresby; Bourbon – Jack Daniel’s; Sweet Vermouth – Martini & Rossi; Extra Dry Vermouth – Martini & Rossi.
  • Complimentary beer: Budweiser and Miller Lite
  • Complimentary wine: no changes to current wine offerings

Other brands will be available through our for-purchase options available through our Luxury Bar. Our goal is to offer members quality products and services at reasonable prices that are competitive with other airport lounges while continuing to provide good value for membership.

__________________
DLCorpGuy  –  FT
I am all for Delta making as much money as they can from the Skyclubs but in NO WAY is Budweiser and Miller Lite a drinkable beer. I have said it before and will say it again, soon Delta will charge for AIR on the jets (unless it is a stinky CRJ 200 as they smell so bad that it would be criminal to charge for that air)! – René

Time for a Delta & Aviation news day

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Last night Delta Air Lines sponsored a really fun concert and nummy BBQ in Colorado Springs in connection with BAcon or the BoardingArea Convention. This weekend has been both educational and fun and I think you will see many new features from BA bloggers over the coming months.

But on to the news. April & May have been busy for our airline & here are some headlines that caught my attention and may peak yours as well:

  • Delta is rewarding DAL shareholders is HERE
  • Making Delta elites happy is HERE
  • Legal update on the Delta phone APP is HERE
  • Skywest is dumping more CRJ200 is HERE
  • The result of the above could mean less flights is HERE
  • The Delta Pinnacle Airlines takeover continues is HERE
  • Not Delta, but you can now sleep & dine on a 747 is HERE
  • I just thought the below was too funny!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6MLFlyx2Mg

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone and you still have time to take part of SWAG Saturday as well as a ReTweet contest both ending later today! – René

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I always say that driving to the airport is the part to be afraid of & other travel news!

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I just don’t get people’s fear of flying! The part you should be scared out of your wits about is the driving TO the airport part. I mean take a look at the photo above and now please read THIS news piece from my local WNDU station of what happened right outside my hometown SBN airport.

So what else is going on in travel news? Let’s take a look:

  • Delta does right by a young boy HERE (wish they would do the same with Delta DieMiles)!
  • Pinnacle Airlines is on it’s way out of bankruptcy and MEM is HERE
  • Wahoo – The airlines are making money is HERE
  • DAL is to be inline with expectations is HERE
  • I will never use a hotel room drinking glass again is HERE

So there are some of the latest travel & Delta headlines. Any other news worthy of our time? Be sure to include a link below on the blog in your comments! – René

 

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Extreme Weather in Chicago – Free Delta changes 18-19 April ORD & MDW

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Delta thinks it is a very bad idea to fly in and out of Chicago today. I have been out in it in the South Bend area today and I can tell you it is nasty out here! So, if you are flying in and out of ORD or MDW, or even just connecting through there, you can change for free. HERE is the Delta link. – René

 

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New boarding pass notification for TSA PreCheck & a bunch of good Mileage Run deals!

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 Sample from Delta corp

Some good news from Delta today from Delta that we will no longer have to “hope” we are selected by TSA PreCheck (I always feel like a puppy waiting for a treat when I wait for the 3 beeps)!

We’ve got some good news for you if you’ve already experienced TSA PreCheck. Starting today, we will become the first airline to print an indicator on kiosk-printed boarding passes to give you some advance notice if you’ve been selected for TSA PreCheck. On Thursday, April 19, we’ll add a similar indicator on OCI and mobile boarding passes. The indicators will be available at the start of the check-in window in all formats.

“TSA PRECHK” will appear immediately underneath the passenger name on printed boarding passes and for customers using mobile boarding passes the TSA PreCheck logo will appear at the top right corner above the barcode.

The TSA PreCheck indicator will appear on boarding passes throughout your itinerary whether the airport has TSA PreCheck or not so be sure to verify that the airport is a participating location.

The addition of this visual queue does not change any other aspect of the program, but it gives you some valuable information. While passengers with the TSA PreCheck indicator have been pre-cleared, no passenger is ever guaranteed expedited screening. The TSA continues to incorporate random, unpredictable screening measures. – DLCorpGuy

But, as the last few lines say, we may still get randomly pulled out by TSA. It will be fun to see what difference this does make in practice.

 

 

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Boston – Logan International Delta extends changes 15-17th

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Clearly everything is much more important than an airline flight, but Delta is doing the right thing and letting you change if you need to. The update from Delta is here. – Rene

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Massive changes to Delta’s SDC Same Day Confirmed Travel rules!

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Delta had to get these changes out to all their personnel, so information about the update was “leaked” to FlyerTalk. In today’s instant information age, it is very hard to keep secrets.

Now the changes. Here is a chart of what has changed:

So, good or bad? Medallions are a bit “jumpy” lately as Delta has been eroding our benefits and making it harder next year to quality. Delta is selling this as an enhancement to the SDC program and if you are a non-medallion it is great for you as you now get a chance at SDC.

If you are a GM+, overall this is mostly a downgrade since, depending on the change, you may have to pay, not be in the right fare class, or now have a bunch more competition from regular flyers and elites (all in the same fare class). I am also confident we will see this more and more as Delta begins selling these perks at the kiosks to tell non-medallions they can do this if they want!

Award seats are an issue as well with this change. Delta says that inside the 72 hr window, many more award seats at HIGH/MED/LOW open up so this should not be a big issue. We will see. But keep in mind that each of these has a “Delta Award Fare Class” associated to HIGH/MED/LOW so you must be able to find seats in THAT fare bucket to be able to SDC your award seat.

Lastly, Delta IT will NOT be able to give you “lower” fare class seats. For example, say you book in “K” class, and seats are open in LUT, but NOT K, you booked HIGHER so the lower seats should let you get the SDC. You can, but you will have to CALL Delta to get this done!

EDIT: It has been pointed out to me that the above event is very unlikely to happen in real life. As an example, from TrojanTraveler from FlyerTalk who says:

“I can only look at my own experience, but on most of the flights that I am on, they are packed. And each time I have SDC’d, the only bucket available has generally been Y, maybe B (I know because I have looked at Expert Flyer). As many have said, this puts a practical end to SDC.

Thus, anyone who has not booked a very high fare class ticket, will just about be DONE with SDC unless you are willing to pay the much higher fare class fee!

The standby rules are very different also as to changes in routes (you can’t) and more. You can see the full new update page HERE at Delta.com to read all the updates live.

I am sure you will see a lively conversation over this over at THIS new FlyerTalk thread put up by Delta CORP. Feel free to chime in what you think here on the blog or join the discussion over there as well! – René

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The Skyclub “Inside” the Skyclub in LAX that only a few get to enjoy!

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Thanks to reader “KS” who sent me the above clipping from the “LA Times”, it would seem the LAX Skyclub will not only be upgraded to have top shelf drinks for those who want to pay up for those, but the “Stars” will have their own Skyclub inside the Skyclub – their own VIP room!

I plan to reach out to my Delta CORP contacts as I will, on just a few occasions over this year, be in the LAX Skyclub so I hope to get some pictures to share of the new place for celebrities  (or maybe I can just get my own VIP pass while I am at it ;-) ) – René
 

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Skybonus Update: Delta Completes Fare Class Alignment with Joint Venture Partners

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Some updates from Skybonus about the fare class alignment with the rest of Skyteam:

Delta Air Lines and its joint venture partners, Air France, KLM and Alitalia completed the final phase of fare class alignment on March 19, 2013. An overview of phases 2-4 are outlined below, as they may have affected certain SkyBonus certificates. Please note, however, that although the certificate classes of service may have changed, the new booking classes will have the same availability as the original booking classes.

Delta Product Description of Class Change
Phase 2 SkyBonus Upgrades
G/Z class changes to “R” First Class; “O” Business Class
Phase 3 Business Class
“S” class changes to “Z” class
Phase 4 Domestic First class and Economy class
“A” class (Domestic First Class) changes to “G” class
“H” and “U” classes changes to “Q” and “T” classes, respectively

Log in now to check available certificates, status, and certificate validity information. For questions regarding SkyBonus certificates, please contact the SkyBonus Service Center at skybonus@delta.com or by calling 1-877-832-5211.

Want to learn more about the Skybonus program and if you qualify to take part then you can read up in this rookie post about the progoram  HERE. – René
 

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