jfk-lax

Business class seats are expensive. Not just a little bit more expensive, a lot more expensive. I mean, if you look at New York to Los Angeles on a weekday, you are talking SEVEN TIMES the money for business over coach. Is it worth it? What if you just want space?

Delta 767-300 economy comfort seats - Delta Points blog review (2)

Delta’s Economy Comfort seats are very nice. You get them free once you have attained Gold Medallion or higher and buy a domestic fare. On the to- and- from JFK to SFO, SEA or LAX, you even get free “complimentary beer, wine, and spirits” like in business class.

In the above from NY to LA example, if you buy TWO coachseats, you are paying $831 compared to $2918 for one business class seat. Not only that, but on JFK to SFO & LAX you can order “premium meal service on select flights within limited routes to our Economy Class customers” food coach jfk delta points blog

Even if you spend 2 x $15.99 for a premium meal – both outbound and return – you are still under $900 all-in for two seats vs. almost $3000 for one business class seat!

How do you do this? While you can buy tickets for many people at once, there is no way to by two for yourself on Delta.com. You have to call Delta to book two seats. What happens next is this; the first seat will be in your name, the next, will be your last name and “EXTRA”. Since you can not do this on Delta.com Delta will waive any phone fees for this booking.

Other tidbits to consider with this idea. We all know that Delta reps will give you different info depending on who you talk to. One rep told me you have to split the reservation to have a shot at a medallion upgrade. Another said no you can still upgrade but only one of the two seats. Yet another said you can upgrade both and get two first class seats. And then about earning MQMs & RDMs (i.e. Medallion Qualifying Miles and Skymiles). I have also been told different info from reps here as well. Some say only ticket #1 while others say both. I am waiting for confirmation from Delta and will update the post, but I would also love reader feedback on to split or not to split if you have more data points on both of these issues.

delta companion certificate delta points blog

Now here is where this can get really fun and something you may not have thought about! While it is some work to find seats (LUT fare class only for coach) for the Delta AMEX Platinum card or the Delta AMEX Reserve card (you get a cert in year two after fee bills) you CAN USE THESE and buy both seats for yourself. Yep! The second seat, just like usual, you just pay the tax for this second seat. This second seat for “you” can not be booked on Delta.com so you must call and ask for the “Promotion Desk” and they can then book this for you – again fees waived since it cannot be booked on Delta.com for two seats for just you.

I so love this idea even though I have not tried it yet (but plan to very soon). Remember that with these certs the primary flyer earns Skymiles and MQMs and the BOGOF certificate (PDF here) seat does not earn anything.You get a ton of space this way and can, depending on your status, pick either EXIT or EC seats for you and yourself! And depending on the route, as we see above, you can get free drinks for you and “yourself” :-)

I have always used the BOGOF for both Lisa & me but I do not like to put my Lisa in coach (after 25+ plus years with me she has earned 1st class travel). But, if I can take a trip by myself in coach and get a ton of space then this would be a great value to me for this certificate from my Delta AMEX card(s).

What you think? Like the idea of buying two seats? Of using your BOGOF AMEX cert this way? Feel free to comment but I will have a question for you later for SWAG Saturday at 1:PM ET. Today! – René

 

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information

 

 

.
.

Posted by rene | 19 Comments

new delta 757 seats1

Out with the old and in with the new. The “other” Delta blog, the one run by the airline, has a post about the new 757 seats that are on the way soon.

new delta 757 seats2

This seat is in the same direction of the upgraded 767 international birds that I reviewed from my last trip to Amsterdam.

new delta 757 seats 3

One of the huge differences with the 767 and the 757 is wide body vs single aisle. You will have to climb over your seat mate with this style and a single aisle and some would rather see the herring bone design Delta had on the 777.

Ben, over at One Mile at a Time, says:

“I prefer not having a 767 on a transcon flight since they’re not equipped with WiFi, which for me is one of the most important amenities on a plane nowadays. On a daytime flight I’d actually take a domestic first class seat with WiFi over an international business class seat without it (I’m curious, am I alone that feels that way?).”

To me, who is also totally gaga over GoGo on my Delta jets, says no way! I would rather have a much more comfortable seat and give up my WiFi for a few hours and enjoy the ride. What do you think about this trade off?

Other things about this upgrade. The last round of Economy Comfort upgrades to the Airbus 319 & 320 resulted in the loss of 4 first class seats. I am very happy to see the 757-200(e) that had 16 business class seats will retain 16 after the upgrade. I think had they gone with individual aisle access you would have seen far fewer seats on these birds.

The old AirTran 717′s start flying with Delta colors next month and the A330′s continue to get the new seats too so I am very excited about flying the rest of this year on Delta as well as in 2014! – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information

 

.
.

Posted by rene | 9 Comments

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Delta Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

Delta-767-300-economy-comfort-seats-Delta-Points-blog-review-2

One would think this is just the most simple thing in the world, but in fact it isn’t. Delta really does have a a ton of different aircraft and different models within each family of planes. Delta has a fairly standard product, but even then some of the aircraft have great bulkhead seats, others the exit row really is miles better than the bulkhead.

So in a rookie way, the “best seat” on an aircraft is a subjective choice. I am going to look at the choices this way. Are you a family of 1, 2 or more? Are you tall, or like me, a bit wide. Or are you tall and leg room is all that is important.

To me I have a list of things that can make a huge impact on the travel experience. See what you think and to me it is amazing how many factors come into play and why seat selection really is so important:

1 – Location on plane
2 – Leg room
3 – Ability to sit together
4 – Width of seat
5 – Softness of seat
6 – Quietness of area
7 – Windows (or lack of them)
8 – View from seat
9 – Overhead space
10 – Choice of food
11 – Nearness to bathrooms
12 – Recline
13 – Cabin (area) feel
14 – Arm rests
15 – Access to power

Have I missed anything? Wow. You see why I wanted to “rookie” this post. So how do you now make sure you get the best of the list above? Delta.com does a pretty good job of showing the seat maps, but not all the pro’s & cons.

Delta-wants-you-to-go-for-the-green-seats-the-economy-comfort

The two sites I always check are SeatGuru and the other is SeatMaestro. Both have been revamped recently and have very good seat maps of Delta Jets. They also have some seat photos from readers and reader feedback. Some of the data, IMO, is not 100% right and some seats they warn to be careful of, I love and others they should have recommended to AVOID, but that is personal more than anything else.

seat guru delta 767-300 new seat map

So with all this data, what choices should you make? To me it is simple. The most important feature to me over all else is leg room. So I take that and then work down the list. For you, other factor or factors may trump that. Also be aware that on some delta jets the front row is behind 1st class and you can stretch your leg into 1st while on some there is a hard wall there and you are very limited (same goes for some row 1 seats in 1st class as well).

The other major issue is day or night flights. You may be willing to put up with more noise and people on a day flight, but that would clearly be disturbing on an overnight.

I would pay close attention to windows if that is an issue for you. There are many seats where the windows are either missing or miss aligned so they are hard to see out of. If you are the kind that gets motion sick unless you can see out then please pay close attention when a seat map shows this is the case (for example the WORST 1st class seat on a 777 is 10A – window behind you and nothing but a view of the galley).

Other little musings. Another major issue for me, and many others, is shoulder width. That is the space you have at shoulder level. How can this be an issue? For me, and maybe I am unique in this, I want RIGHT shoulder space. I am right handed and for me to have a cramped right hand side makes me crazy. So, I sit on the “BC” aisle side most times so I can have my right free into the aisle. I also like a seat where the armrest can fold up. Just makes the space much better.

Last thing is what happens when Delta has an equipment change and moves you from your favorite seat that you did all this work to pick. Do you have any right to gripe or ask for a change? Simple answer is NO! You paid for transport not for that perfect seat. But, if you make a case to @DeltaAssit they can many times move you to a much better seat when you explain what happened (not from coach to biz, but EC is often possible even if you do not have a right to that due you)!

There is my 2 cents. Please shout out as your feedback may help another reader either enjoy the trip or wish they had picked another seat – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information

 

 

.
.

Posted by rene | 7 Comments

Lisa & I have been in Sweden for a few weeks now and are just about ready to head home so I though I would review our first flight on the updated 767-300 seats (you can check Seat Guru for the full layout HERE).

The “Full Flat” seats as Delta calls them are very nice. Compared to the 777 these have a TON of space and felt much less claustrophobic than the herring bone style it uses.

The arrangement of 1-2-1 works great. If you are a couple traveling together the middle seats offer a ton of room, individual aisle access and space.

But speaking of claustrophobic, avoid row 1 in the middle. You have the bulk head wall, that does not intrude on your space, but does make the space feel much more cramped. All the seats have the same space in the middle so opt for something in the middle.

If you are traveling solo, the sides are very nice and offer great personal space.

Again here, just like with the row 1 in the middle, I would have you consider middle area for the best “open” feel.

While the seats are nice size, as well as the foot area and space around you, the one thing that is really lacking is personal storage. There are only a few little “flat” areas for you to put things so plan for that. I have also put up a YouTube slide show of the above photos as you can see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw5aEOJEXSU

Now on to the Economy Comfort section on the 767-300. Depending on the seat you pick you can get an amazing amount of leg room.

The side AB&FG seats in the first row of EC, row 17, are very nice as you can see.

There is one std power port between the seats, but I do suggest you always travel with one of my handy dandy monster power splitter you can buy for under 10 bucks that has extra power and USB power so you can get some extra ports when you need them (I would buy a bunch and give them to friends as gifts even).

Clearly if you are just two try for these side rows. The exit rows also have a huge amount of leg room.

But the seats are harder in the exit rows. It all depends on what is most important to you, leg room or a softer bottom :-) (there is also the noise issue with the bathrooms next to the exit so it is quieter farther forward).

Another nice thing is the EC front cabin does have a business mini cabin “feel” to it.

I think Delta has done a very nice job with this interior cabin design and if you are not a Platinum or Diamond medallion, so able to pick these seats free, the upgrade cost if you can get the right seats is well worth the price. As a warning keep in mind row 20, while exit, has limited recline but just as much leg room as row 21. I would avoid row 20 for sleep but would be just fine for a daytime flight. Lastly Delta does fly this design transcon now and then so you can enjoy it not just internationally, but there is no wifi as of this posting so if that is more important to you look to the old standard 767-300′s they fly all over the USA!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3fh4KENgkc

Just as with the Business class seats I have put up a YouTube video slide show of the seats from the post. Delta has made the decision to stick with older jets and just update interiors. They have a state of the art maintenance program and facilities in Atlanta and partnerships elsewhere. I have full confidence in this strategy and love what they are doing with this design.

Have you had a chance to try these seats out? Do you like them? Do you think the others are better? Let us all know please – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information

 

Posted by rene | 39 Comments

crj200-delta-points-blog-needs-paint

We all know Delta / Delta partner CRJ100/200 & Embraer145 jets are evil (ok that may be a bit harsh but not by much). I know some readers say they like them but as one who “must” fly them out of South Bend all the time – take my word please they are evil little things (you hear me Jeff Robertson – please get SBN some CRJ700/900′s)!

OK mini-rant over and now to what can help you in today’s post. If you have to be stuck on a regional jet there are some things to know. The first is overhead storage. I “like” row 1 on a CRJ as it does give you “some” extra leg room in B&C to stretch into the galley area. But, many times, the overhead for row 1 is full of first aid oxygen and for FA use so your bags could end up in row 2 or much worse. If you are going to sit in row 1, be sure you board #1. If not, pick row 2 to be safe.

The next little torture jet is the Embraer145. The ONLY plus of these little gems over the above ones is if you are alone you can have your own private row. This is so much better than fighting for space in a CRJ. But, please be alert for seats 1A & 2A. 1A does have some extra leg room (nice) but there is NO overhead space until row 3 and all of it is on the other side of the jet. Again, you need to be one of the first on board to get your stuff “up there”!

Another nice tip for those of you like me that need to lose 10 pounds (ok 20 pounds) is the little button under your armrest. As you can see in the above shot, on most, some both sides, you can raise your armrest if you want to (thus the announcement each time to lower them before landing on this aisle side). Many times this can be a nice way to gain some space and comfort!

Anyway, Delta has promised to continue to reduce these “gems” from the inventory and for me it can not happen fast enough. Any other tips to make regional jet travel better? Please share them with us too – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information


 

Share

Posted by rene | 14 Comments

Yesterday I got a call that caller ID’d as from Singapore. I almost did not answer the phone, but cautiously picked it up. I am happy I did as it was from Delta Air Lines from the Singapore calling center.

I have found in the past, and have up under E9 in my Essential tab, that if you are having a hard time with US calling center reps that you can try calling the other centers overseas to get better results. For me, most of the time, the Platinum Medallion desk is cheerful, happy and most times more than willing and able to help out. So I was looking forward to seeing how this call went. Here is what happened.

The cheerful heavily Asian accented rep had GREAT news, my spring trip to Sweden, that had 4 connects, now had just 3 and it had been all rebooked for me (uh oh – NOT good, I had, with thanks to my good friend at PM&M, intentionally booked via CVG to get the full flat seat flight they have CVG-CDG).

At this point I say hold on, I had booked to get full flat seats. I also knew that now, with the new years schedule loaded, that Delta is flying a 777 once a day from DTW to AMS with full flat seats. So, I quickly jumped on Delta.com to see that I was NOT on that bird but on an A330. These are fine for daytime flights, but not as nice as a full flat to sleep.

I quickly looked at the SBN-DTW-AMS-GOT and picked the perfect flights and fed the rep each flight number and time. She punches the keyboard (loudly I might add) and after a very long wait puts me on hold and comes back with the flights I want. Looks great. BUT, before she reissues the ticket I notice that the last leg, AMS-GOT is in Y-Coach NOT in O-Bisness class. This may have been due to the fact that Air France only runs a coach class plane from CDG-GOT but I asked the rep please to make sure I was in business class on the last leg too, not coach. She confirmed this change and reissued the ticket.

With all the updates to Delta.com now I had no problem picking all the seats I wanted including row 1 on the KLM flight from AMS up to GOT.

Never ever forget, when a schedule change happens, THEN, not later, is the time to ask for ALL YOU CAN. Delta has impacted YOUR travel plans at this point and you do not want to miss out on this chance to get the perfect trip that you booked originally at low level award points. Now, the point amount DOES NOT matter! Are we learning yet? – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information


 

Share

Posted by rene | 16 Comments

For a very long time, when you had a reservation with an AF or KLM included segment, booked via Delta, you had to get your AF/KLM confirmation code to see the seat map. You could ONLY see the seat map if you were in business class. So, you could ask a Delta rep for this number to use on the web site or you could go to AirFrance.com/us and put in the Delta ticket number and your name and you would then be able to see the corresponding AF/KLM confirmation number assigned to your ticket from Delta.

Well now, it would seem, that has all changed. You can simply use your Delta confirmation on both AirFrance.com and KLM.com with your last name and pull up your reservation.

However, you still should take the step of also  joining Flying Blue  even if you never ever plan to credit one point to them. Why? Intra Europe flights. Air France is still acting in their typical way and will not let you see coach class seats. KLM, however, wants to make money off of you. To that end, look at the below:

Bingo! Delta will tell you this is airport controlled. Wrong! With a Flying Blue number you WILL be able to pick seats and use your Delta confirmation number to pull up the booking.

As you can see, you can pay for EC seats or exit row with USD or FB points if you have some. If you are a Delta Medallion I would personally not do that. I would grab the best seats FREE in coach so you at least have a “good” seat and then once you get “over there” go to the KLM crown room or AF lounge and see about getting exit or EC for free. They will give you a snaky look, but if you remind them of your Skyteam elite status and explain how you would so much appreciate it, they will most of the time help you out.

As a final note that I find very interesting is the Skyteam issue this raises. Think about this: the idyllic partnership we fly on & that KLM has found a way to upsell you, if you want, and make money off of you from a Delta purchased ticket! Also, as another fun bit, if you add your Delta itinerary to your KLM flying blue account to track, and you also have KLM in your Award Wallet account, it is a back door way to track a Delta trip (that is as long as you have one AF or KLM segment). – René

 

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information


 

Share

Posted by rene | 10 Comments

My roots, while ½ Swedish, the other ½ is mostly of Hungarian descent (oh and some French and Italian too). Every few years the hundreds of descendants get together in Philadelphia. So why drive when you can fly and I may just have had the best trip ever and it was not in business class!

I booked 25,000 point Skymiles award seats from AZO-DTW-PHL round trip but as we got closer to departure date I was able to switch, using my wife’s platinum medallion status and miles, to SBN-DTW-PHL. We did have my mom-in-law with us and that knocked us out of upgrade possibility and for such a short set of flights I did not want to split the PNR into many (gosh I hate this as most of 1st flew empty). But, I had not tried the EC seats on the 900′s yet nor the 737-800 for the return flight.

So here are a bunch of photos and feedback on the product. We were in row two. If you can get row one, get it as the middle arm rest does come up and you have just about unlimited leg room stretching into first class.

The GoGo WiFi worked well and was snappy and responsive. I forgot to do a speed test but will try to remember for my next flight. (may have to start a FT post and ask readers to upload their results with ( http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest ).

The return seats were nice as well. Good recline and leg room (sorry for the bad photo). I was again able to use my “mobile” HOOU coupon as I blogged about the other day and got a “travel treats” snack box to enjoy (man they pack a lot of goodies in that tiny box).

The view on the trip home from coach was just as beautiful as in 1st class. Seriously, even us who put in tens of thousands of miles each year, please, take the time just to stare out the window at the view below. Every time my wife and I “walk laps” around where we live I look up at the vapor trails and wish I was looking down at this. The view is humbling and we should enjoy it!

Lastly I said this may have been the best trip ever. I enjoyed the 2-3 hours between flights in our new clean and renovated Skyclubs. Food is nice and drinks are free. The Delta FA’s were nice and smiled and thanked me for flying and you should have seen the FA (Karon H.) on our last DTW-SBN short hop “BUST IT” to take care of us. These people WORK VERY HARD for us. Thank them! I did with a “Delta Points” Chairman’s club card and it made my day! – Rene

 

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
American Express – RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
Click here for more information


Share

Posted by rene | One Comment

I get this question all the time. Many, including my fellow bloggers, those at Flyer Talk & Mile Point, will tell you you can get the same benefits by JUST getting the Delta AMEX branded credit cards! This is because the cards get you so many Delta benefits like zone 2 boarding, a free bag and on and on! I have even, in this blog, talked about the fact that having the Delta AMEX is like having “Gold Plated” medallion status with Delta. I am now modifying my stand. Really, why? Why should I try to get ANY level of status with Delta?

Times, they are a changing. Delta is going to make changes to the Skymiles program, we do not know just when. So how will status help? Simple. How our airline “looks” at us when we fly. Like what, upgrades? Much more than just that. I have a list for you to consider:

  • Upgrades. Sure, the higher your status the better and keep in mind the Delta Reserve breaks all ties.
  • Boarding and bag space. Face it, first on, your bags go up and you get leg room. The gate cattle get to put their bags under seat and get no leg room! In a tight “tin can” space, this is what we want.
  • Issues! Never underestimate the fact that our airline will compensate an elite  more Skymiles, ETVs & other goodies like these at a MUCH higher rate when you complain to Delta if you are FO or GM or PM or DM!
  • Issues at the airport as well. Redcoats have been through some intense training as of late. Do you really think a general passenger gets the same treatment as a Medallion?
  • Speaking of issues, when you call Delta the computer says, “please enter your Delta Skymiles number”. This does impact your wait time to talk to a rep and even the quality of the rep once they answer.
  • Flight Changes. I preach & preach about the glorious and ultimate wild card in Skymiles booking, the mighty schedule change. The higher your status the more likely our friends at Chisom or the other call centers will say SURE we will do that change for you!
  • Partners. Delta has a bunch of partners. Passengers in tourist class are slightly appreciated by our airline. Delta partners treat them, well, like cattle! But if you can play the DYKWIA elite Delta card, in a nice way now, like “as a valued elite with Skyteam, I am sure we can find a solution” does not hurt you one bit! They will still fight you and give you looks, but if you stand firm things tend to work out!

I could go on and on about this all day. Despite the vast amount of medallion flyers with Delta, we really are a small percentage compared to the rest of the flyers and if we understand this it can help us. Think about this, getting both a personal and business Delta AMEX Reserve card, after your first one dollar spent on each card, you are only 5000 MQMs away from Silver status for the rest of this year. Reach that and you will have status until FEB2014! Not a bad deal for $450/each in 1st year card fee’s when you think about it.

So as you can see, chasing status is about much more than just upgrades and can really have a huge can impact your travels and how we interact with our Delta Air Lines. – René

 

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
American Express – RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
Click here for more information


Share

Posted by rene | 5 Comments

 

Back in February I had a post talking about the different business class seats between DL/KLM/AF. Delta has a bunch of different products due to the integration with NWA. I still like the old NWA clam shell product and have yet, as much as it pains me to admit, not had a chance to try a single one of the now many different styles of lie flat seats. But is it not strange how many different kinds of lie flats that Delta is going with? Is it really that hard to find the best type and cost of seat and then put them in all the birds? Then I came across this video interview about business seats. Take the time to look and see what you think:

Click photo to watch

This does explain a bunch. But why has Delta gone with so many choices? I mean look at all these types:

You have the 747 style in the video clip above

You have this one in the 767

You have this one in the 777

You have yet another one on the way in 330′s

???? – wait and see!

Why is this? I reached out to Delta and was told that one of the main differences between Delta and all the other airlines is that Delta wants all customers to have direct aisle access from all BE seats so we do not have to climb over another passenger to get out of our seat.  Also that it is not a question of cost of one vendor over another, but due to airplane shape and cabin size from the different aircraft manufactures. Lastly they are reacting to customer feedback going forward with seat choices.

Progress is happening. Delta hoped the refit would be done this year but I have been advised it will be between 2013 and as late as 2014 until all the planes in the fleet are done. The 330′s will not start until Q3 or Q4 this year.

So have any of you been on all the different types of Delta lie flats? Do you like one over the other? Do you think Delta’s focus on aisle access is a winner over the other airlines product choices? I would love to know! – René

 

[EDIT: Please take the time to read comments from readers in this post.
They are very helpful!]

 

☺☺☺☺☺ ☺☺☺☺☺ ☺☺☺☺☺ ☺☺☺☺☺

You still have three more days to qualify to win the new NOOK 7″ Tablet so be sure to sign up for the once a day e-Mail for a chance to win it this Sunday!
.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information


 

Share

Posted by rene | 10 Comments

« previous home top next »

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which DeltaPoints.com, a division of RDL Enterprises LLC, receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DeltaPoints.com does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.