Grumpy Monday – a list of all the current Delta targeted promotions!

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list of targeted delta airlines promotions delta points blog

Since it is Monday today, and many of us are back at work, we are a bit grumpy. Another thing that makes me grumpy are Delta targeted promotions. There is a long list of current ones. I got a big bag of “rocks”. My guess is you too will get a big bag of “rocks”. But on the off chance I can brighten your Monday, here is the list I found:

  • UNLIMITED BONUS MILES ON JFK-MXP FLIGHTS. – HERE
  • GET COMFORTABLE. BONUS MILES ARE HEADED YOUR WAY. – HERE
  • READY, SET, JET. – HERE
  • 3,000 MORE REASONS TO LOVE NEW YORK. – HERE
  • YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO 50,000 BONUS MILES. – HERE
  • YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO 30,000 BONUS MILES. – HERE

Are there any I have missed that you got? Please be sure to comment on the blog below and leave a link for your fellow Delta flyers so they can have a chance at a lump-of-coal bonus too!

BTW, in case you are not following me on twitter (shame on you) there are some amazing mileage run deals out and about today! – René

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Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review – DeltaPoints.com

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train out to terminal fco rome italy delta points blog

I really had a fun time in Rome. My stay turned out nice, the history and the sights in Rome were truly amazing. But being a total aviation geek, deep down, I was really looking forward to my Magnifica trip back home (I know, this is just wrong)!

no online checkin alitalia

On my KLM trip down to Rome I could not use online check-in. @KLM attempted to help me but could not find the issue, but at least I could DM them. I could not check-in on Alitalia.com either. @Alitalia would not follow me and still is not following me and I doubt they would have done anything anyway.

entrance to Giotto lounge concorse g rome italy delta points blog

We flew out of the satellite terminal G and had to take the tram out to the gates. The Giotto (they should call it Grotto) lounge is downstairs.

bar and food service Giotto lounge alitalia rome italy

The breakfast snacks were not that great and nothing like Delta or KLM lounges. There is a bar where you can get a cappuccino and drinks.

not one good chair Giotto alitalia lounge rome italy

The seats are some of the most uncomfortable I have ever endured in any lounge so far. The wifi was free and slow. There is not much good I can say about the Giotto lounge.

this guy is getting on first alitalia  business class fco-bos delta points blog

We left a little early as waiting to board was better than staying in the lounge. As you can see, the guy in front of us really wanted to be first on-board the flight!

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (6)

At last, time for Magnifica! I have seen a few reviews but was this as nice as it seemed.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (4)

We were in the back row of the front business cabin in the so called “honeymoon seats”. I want you to look at the armrest between them. They are not good. And if you were to raise the partition to get some privacy if you did not know the flyer next to you it is only bout 1″ wide. Not kidding. Bad design if not together then go for the ones with the space between you.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (8)

The window sides are single seats and would be much better if not a couple. But note the odd number seats seat well is open. This can be good or bad depending on what you like.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (10)

The seat controls are straight forward and there is a vibrate massage built into the seats. It was OK but not amazing.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (9)

The video screen are nice sized but fixed in place. It is both touch screen or can be controlled by the hand unit. The choice of movies is very poor compared to Delta. A few recent movies and a few old ones. I would bring your own. Also note in the left foot well the amenity kit. It was so sad. No real bag just plastic and cheap stuff inside.

amenity kit alitalia magnifica delta points blog

The lotion box kit in comparison was boutique like. I did not try any of the items but it did look nice!

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (14)

Now this is an Italian plane. Don’t flame me for this but I sorta got used to many Italian things not working quite right over the past few days. For example, the bathroom in the lounge had nice tile but the cheapest fixtures on earth and most were busted. Lisa’s remote was stuck on announcement for the complete flight and did not work. At least the touch screen did work.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (11)

On to the meal. The appetizer was very good. A chopped smoked salmon on a biscuit and some Prosciutto with pickled veggies.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (12)

The meal service was done via the serving carts where they serve up what you want onto plates. Kinda neat.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (13)

The first pasta dish was very good the red wine was nice. For some reason both Lisa & I were never offered a salad from the cart with the main dish.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (15)

The main dish was either a fish cake or veal. Lisa & I both chose the veal and it was very nice I must say.

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (1)

They came by several times with bread baskets and that is nice. I just wish there could be more butter on flights but it seems all airlines are cheap on butter!

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (2)

For dessert I had a tart and Lisa had some fruit. They had a nice sweet dessert wine to go with it. Before landing we were served a light snack with Soprasetta and a dry cheese that was very very good.

snack before landing alitalia magnifica business class delta points blog

However, what do you think the worst thing an Italian airline could do regarding meal service. If you said run out of red wine you would guess right!

Alitalia Magnifica Class Business seat review delta points blog (3)

They do have outside cameras on the flight so you can view takeoff, approach and landing. I know the A380 has this also but I had not seen it yet so I enjoyed it.

Some overall thoughts about the flight. Check-in went great and was fast. The lounge was a disappointment. The seats were nice but Delta’s new ones are very similar. Food was a bit better than Delta buy only by a little. Wine was just as good on Delta and has never “run dry”. Service is better on Delta IMO especially since the Alitalia FA’s were much more attentive to me than to Lisa. I could not online check-in and @Alitalia still is not following me and doubt they ever will. I am very happy I took this flight and I would fly Magnifica again for 100,000 Delta points or even the new 125,000 Delta points plus under $200 in tax but if routes are better I will stick with Delta! – René

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Is it smart to use Skymiles to book a hotel room?

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skymiles marketplace

On Tuesday I talked about the Skymiles auction and how, depending on the winning price, it could maybe be a good value and use of your Skymiles. I have also in the past looked at the option to spend Skymiles to rent a cartiny arrow. This can also, at times, be an “OK” value but rarely a good deal.

Renting a car, or paying for a hotel room is a function of the Skymiles Marketplacetiny arrow. As you can see from the above FAQs screen shot, you must be Gold Medallion+ or have a Delta AMEXtiny arrow to use the site.

skymiles hotel one

So let’s say you have one of the coveted seats at the sold out Chicago Seminars in a few weeks. You got a ticket for the event but did not get a hotel room at the host site. What do you do? Could you use some Skymiles to book a room? Let’s see what comes up.

skymiles hotel two

If you do a search you will find not ALL hotels in any area show up. There are limited ones that participate in the program. But Howard Johnson’s hotels are not all that bad. Is spending 26,000+ Skymiles a good deal? Well if you do “Pay with Miles” on a Delta ticket we know you can get 1 cent each for a ticket so you are in effect spending $260 for the stay or $130 per night. Is that a good price? Let’s see if we just go try to book a room at Howard Johnson’s web site and see:

skymiles hotel three

Oh, well, hum. I guess $60/night is just a tiny bit cheaper than $130 per night. Not just a tiny bit but, uh, well way less than HALF the price! YIKES! I have searched many times for hotels for different trips just to see if I could get near the 1 cent value to have tried and used Skymiles this way just to be able to post that I did it but I have never ever found good value ever.

So just like most things in the Skymiles Marketplace that are over priced and a total waste of your valued Skymiles, please avoid booking hotel rooms with your Skymiles! – René

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Skymiles Auctions – a good use of your Skymiles?

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skymiles auctions email

There is a never ending battle over determining what a point is worth. Not just Skymiles but any points. It is simple with things like Ultimate Rewardstiny arrow that you spend like cash at 1.25 cents each to say buy an airline ticket but less so when you transfer to say United as then it becomes more murky. To me, since I fly to Sweden a lot, and want to fly business, but don’t want to pay for business, I value my Skymiles at 2-3 cents each (since I can buy a business class discounted ticket, most times, around $3000 with flexible dates)

skymiles auctions

How does that tie in with today’s post? Most of us got the “spam” e-mail from Delta about Skymiles Auctionstiny arrow. This can be a neat idea and is marketed much like the SPG “Moments” I blogged about back in February of 2012tiny arrow.

spg moments

Now if Colin Montgomerie is your golf hero, and you have a ton of points to fly to China, it will not take much to play a round with him. But that is the SPG program, back to Delta.

attend baseball game

Let’s say you are an Atlanta Braves fan and or you live in Atlanta (you know medallions have access to a premium parking lottiny arrow right). And you want some good seats.

attend baseball game 2

Look at a recent auction. Now I don’t want to get into a discussion if a few hours at a baseball game is worth the ticket price or not but let’s break down the math of this deal to see if spending your Skymiles for this has value.

attend baseball game 3

If we were to buy 6 “low price ” dugout level seats it would cost us $532 or more. We also know with the Delta AMEX cardtiny arrow and with “Pay with Miles” we can get a fixed 1 cent each for a Skymiles so they are worth at least 1 cent each redeemed for any ticket any time anywhere.

This package, if it goes for under 53,200 Skymiles is a fair value as you still get a parking pass and a jersey too worth not just cash value. If someone gets it for only 40,000 Skymiles that is not a “bad” price or redemption for your Skymiles (again if you would pay for the tickets anyway).

This is just one example and to show you the math. There are other things to consider that go beyond the raw dollar value. There are other events with “stars” that you will, more than likely, never ever get another chance to do or take part in. What is the value for a once in a lifetime experience? I have no idea, you tell me. But that is part of the point of this. With this or the SPG program you are able to, via redemption of points, get something of great value beyond flying.

So if you have a ton of Skymiles and are looking for something fun to do, do take a look. Just make sure you DON’T overspend as Skymiles do have great value for those of us who know howtiny arrow to use them! – René

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from American Express®
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On my mind this weekend – what’s next Delta?

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brain

I try each day to pick some little bit, any little bit, to share something travel related I have learned. Today is more just what I am thinking about for the rest of the year. Most of this is just my musings in my head and some of my concerns. Some of this I may be right about, others we will see. Feel free to comment what is on your mind for this year, and next, for our airline and you personally.

I cringe each August 15th now since so many BIG “enhancements” have come down from the mothership in the past few years at around this time. Then again, like Friday’s post, all through the year we keep finding out about program changes without notice and then sometimes a second change. Delta says their lawyers say they have to do it this way, but as my fellow BoardingArea blogger Gary Leff points out, so often other airlines give warnings before program changes. I hope the year shows some good news, but I fear what is next.

Another issue that really bothers me is the lack of the promised MQD reference card (my words). We were told we would be able to:

“You will be able to track and monitor your MQDs and Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Eligible Purchases on delta.com prior to January 1, 2014.”

that is compare what our spending on Delta tickets would be in real life had MQDs been in effect this year already. Also, I would assume, the amount we have spent across all personal and business Delta AMEX cards we have done this year toward the exemptions spending. I hope this comes soon, but would not be surprised to see it propagate into our “MY DELTA” as late as the beginning of December as that would be prior to 01JAN2014 right!?!

klm europe food short 1hr flight delta points blog

I wish Delta would do better with Domestic food. I really like the domestic business class product Delta has and dislike the economy with extra space that KLM has. But KLM, even on just a 1 hr hop, feeds you something like a salad or a sandwich. Not an amazing meal, but better than the snack basket Delta has. I am really tired of the basket and the basket choices. How about we go Dutch Delta? ;-)

I can’t wait to get on a jet (even with snack basket only). It has been a few weeks since I have been up in the air and I miss it. I really love to fly and that is why I like mileage runs as well as fun and work trips. I get to go back to SFO soon.

Another thing I am still miffed about is cash & points from the NWA days (cash one way and points the other) that Delta promised to bring back. This program, as well as one-way Skymiles awards, would be so welcomed and appreciated and I really think help Delta’s image in the frequent flyer world. Heck, in a twisted kind of way, Delta could even end up with more money from Skymiles because the T72 rule would fully affect both one ways compared to a round trip tickets. I just don’t think these two things are important enough for Delta to address this year. MQD is the focus and maybe we could see these two by this time next year, but I doubt it. I can dream right?

my skymiles redeemed delta points blog

What is next for Skymiles? Delta will clearly not tell me or you, but if we are to believe the pundits nothing good is on the way next. I am not sure and think we have more time as-is. But as you can see my recent redemption totals I am burning my Delta points as fast as I get them and will keep doing so (200k per Sweden visit for Lisa & me in business class does tend to do that ;-) )

That is what is my head for now. I hope you have a good rest of your weekend everyone and don’t forget about SWAG Saturday as I will have the drawing very late tonight. – René

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Rookie Wednesday: Buying, gifting or transferring Delta Skymiles? Ever a good idea?

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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.

buy-gift-transfer miles delta-com

I started this rookie Wednesday series as a way to educate on, not just how to do things with Delta, but also to show how some things are a good value if you do them and some are just not. Today’s post is one of the latter. It is almost never, with a few rare exceptions, a good idea to buy or gift or transfer Skymiles.

First the basics. Delta will allow you to buy or gift Skymiles each year. The cost is very high. How high? Take a look at buying:

cost to buy skymiles at delta-com

OUCH! 3.5 cents each is a very high price. Even if you are thinking (in some way) that this is a good deal if you can find a business class ticket at low level 100,000 award points, you need to think again. A fall trip for a week  from New York to Paris in business class, just buying it, and earning a ton of miles along the way, is under $2700 midweek.

cost to buy a business class ticket to paris from jfk on delta air lines

So we have established buying is expensive. What if you are just a few points short of some award trip? What about having someone gift you some miles then, like grandma?

gift miles delta-com

OUCH AGAIN! 3.5 cents to gift is the same price as you would get to buy them. So again here we see this is a very expensive option (grandma can give you something else nice ok)!

Well what if grandma has say 5000 miles left over and she will never ever fly again on Delta. Well maybe in this case. Let’s take a look.

transfer miles delta-com

Now in this case we see you are “only” paying 1 cent per point to send them over. However the uber-important thing to keep in mind is you are only paying 1 cent for points someone already has. So while this is the cheapest option, it is still not cheap. So consider this option if you only need a few points for some redemption from an account that will NEVER EVER use their points (since Skymiles never expire)!

award builder delta-com

What about Award Builder we see each time we buy a Delta ticket? I mean, it sounds nice to be able to get 1000 or 2000 or 3000 extra Skymiles for one of the few trips I take each year. Right? Well not so much! This price comes to a gut wrenching 2.8 cents each. Still way too high. I would NOT do this either even for the few extra points I would need.

So we can see it costs just about more than they are worth so you are better off not doing the above under normal circumstances. However, now and then, Delta runs 100% bonus offer to do the above, then, maybe, if you must, to get an award, it could be worth it to you! Then the buy or transfer cost can drop down to 1.8 cents each and while high, it is possibly tolerable to get you over the top for some trip.

Ok René you have shown me these are costly options. Then what do I do to get the few points I need? I had a post asking for suggestions from readers for bonus Skymiles deals out and about. Be sure to check the comments in the post for some ideas.

What else? Clearly you can pick up a bunch of Skymiles with the Delta AMEX cards either personal or business. This is a much cheaper cost out of pocket to get what you need.

Lastly there are other ways. I had a reader (you may have hear of him – BOB) who was so upset at Delta that he attempted to complain his way to 100,000 Skymiles in one year. There are few times a flight and trip is perfect and Delta most times is happy to send you a few Skymiles to say they are sorry for a LEGITIMATE gripe you had about the trip. – René

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PS – in case you missed it –  ATL-CDG $558!

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Time for a scavenger hunt for Skymiles bonus points!

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CPS160SU_600

I don’t know about you but I am really busy this week. My other job and some family “stuff” are taking all my time. So, time for some help from readers. Now this will take some effort on your part and I want to make this worth your while so how about prizes (later today EDIT: You get extra time – now Wednesday eve via random.org)!

Just what am I asking for? I want to know all the WORKING & LIVE bonus deals going for Skymiles. For example:

  • Fedex has one HERE
  • Fidelity has one HERE

What I want from you is more bonus point deals – more more more (& I will update the list above & HT you)! You have to tell me/us what the working & live Delta Skymiles promotion is and the link for a chance to win the above Mobile AC Power unit and GoGo one time pass!

gogo single use free pass delta points blog

If two comment with the same promo and link then the one that commented first with the time stamp counts. So thanks for helping me during a crazy busy week and now “get to work” and help me/us out please :-) – René

And our winner via Random.org is #21: LarsErikNYC

winner for links delta points blog

 

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Rookie Wednesday: What are the perks of #CrossoverRewards from SPG

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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.

A reader asked me to post about all the perks you can get as a Delta SPG CrossoverRewards member and I think this program, with all it’s in’s and out’s deserves a “rookie” look.

The first thing you really need to do, rather than have me just cut-n-paste from the SPG site that has a great description of all the program benefits is to click HERE to read them all (and the Delta.com one is HERE as well). I will summarize real quick the key points and then some of my issues and you can share yours in the comments on the blog below.

All levels of medallion get points but PM & DM get more. They get:

Diamond and Platinum Medallion® members can also enjoy 4pm late checkout, access to the SPG elite check-in line, complimentary in-room Internet access, and upgrades to enhanced rooms at check-in.

So, you get some nice perks that many times cost more money and do give you many of the same perks as a GOLD SPG member and that is sweet (more on this soon).

Then, from the SPG side, GOLD & Platinum SPG qualify, but only Platinum gets all the Delta perks.

SPG Platinum elite member, you are eligible to receive priority check-in, Priority Boarding, and first checked bag free in accordance with the SkyMiles Program Rules and the Crossover Rewards Terms on eligible Delta flights (First checked bag free for the Crossover Rewards Participant and up to 3 additional passengers traveling under the same reservation as the Crossover Rewards Participant.).

So looking in this direction, if you have no status with Delta, you get a bunch of perks that an entry level medallion gets, but noticeably you get NO chances at upgrades that even the lowest medallion (Silver Medallion) does have a chance for. Unlike the Delta AMEX cards (Gold/Platinum/Reserve) that gives you+8 more on the same reservation free bags, this perk only give you+3.

More info to consider. A Silver Medallion with Delta, who only gets 1 free bag now, can get the Delta AMEX and get 2 free bags domestically (50 lbs). But, say you are a Delta Silver and an SPG Platinum, can you then leverage this the same way as with the AMEX card? SPG says:

No Incremental Benefits. A Crossover Rewards Participant who qualifies for elite benefits pursuant to Section 4.2.a and who has Medallion status in the Delta SkyMiles program will not receive incremental benefits. [and]  If you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are an SPG Platinum elite member, you are only entitled to receive one checked bag free.

This also would mean as say a GM or higher you would not then qualify for say 3 bags free from your SPG Platinum status. But what about going the other way, that is, you have say Delta DM status and are an SPG Gold. Do you get more perks since you are already an elite with SPG? Notice what SPG says:

Yes. If you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are a Delta Diamond or Platinum Medallion member, you will receive complimentary in-room Internet during Eligible Stays through Crossover Rewards, so you may choose a different welcome amenity (e.g., 250 bonus Starpoints) as an SPG Gold elite member.

I have had, for the most part, good results with this. I think overall SPG has done a good job. However, some brands do not fully understand the CrossoverRewards program and tend to balk when you ask for more than wifi one perk (I have to tell them I am a CrossoverRewards member and should get both – they relent – but give you “the look” and I hate that)! BTW if a hotel already has free WiFi you do not get to pick more perks:

If an SPG Participating Hotel provides in-room Internet on a complimentary basis, no substitute benefit will be provided to Delta Diamond or Platinum Medallion members who are registered for Crossover Rewards.

Another “gotcha” for those who like to use a booking portal to get extra points. If you do this, you cannot triple dip and get CrossoverRewards. Take a look:

If you make a reservation for a Delta flight through an online travel agency (e.g., priceline.com, expedia.com, booking.com, orbitz.com, elong.com), you are not eligible to receive Crossover Rewards benefits for that flight even if you are registered for Crossover Rewards and are an SPG Platinum elite member. However, if you make a reservation for a Delta flight through a corporate booking tool that is powered by an online travel agency, you may be eligible to receive Crossover Rewards benefits for that flight.

Does this mean others like KAYAK.com would not work? They should be fine as they just scrape data and do not pay extra points. Others, like Travelocity via Ultimate Rewards site and the like maybe readers can comment if they have gotten both those credits and CrossoverRewards (and would be much appreciated btw)!

When it comes to earning SPG points from Delta flights keep in mind that like the Skybonus program  the points are based on the base fare price not the total price of the ticket. Consolidator fares and priceline.com type fares do not qualify. Also it needs to be a Delta code share flight that is have a DL in front of the number (so you could earn on say KLM if a code share flight). For SPG stays, like Delta, tax etc. does not qualify going from SPG to Delta to earn Delta points.

What if you have an issue and points do not post right? Here is where most people are upset as it seems from readers that each company is pointing fingers back at the other. SPG says that:

If you are registered for Crossover Rewards and meet the eligible criteria to earn Starpoints and/or Delta miles for your eligible flight or stay: (1) if you are missing Delta miles for an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel, contact the SPG Customer Contact Center; (2) if you are missing Starpoints for an eligible Delta flight, contact Delta SkyMiles Customer Support.

This makes it clear (but I have been told it can still be a fight to get credits some times). Either way, there is no question the CrossoverRewards is a very nice perk in a year where we have seen mostly enhancements cuts from Delta. SPG points are each worth 1.2 Delta Skymiles should you choose to send 20,000 over in one block to Delta Skymiles. If you are a Delta elite or an SPG elite be sure you enroll to enjoy the perks you have coming to you! – René

 

EDIT: As of 12SEPT2013 SPG Platinum’s can get Delta upgrades

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How are your SPG-DELTA #CrossoverRewards going / posting?

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I was one of the very first to both break then news that you could register for Delta & SPG’s crossover rewards program and to take a trip that would get points for both (my Istanbul mileage run flights & stay at the SPG Sheraton AMS)!

I have found that my Delta points (like the ones from my ticket purchased with FlexPerks points above) do post very quickly to SPG, but my SPG points take a while and sometimes do not post at all, but most of my SPG stays are on points anyway and yes the below points are sad but they all count, right?!

I love being able to earn Delta Points from my Delta AMEX Reserve card, from my AMEX SPG card and thus with CrossoverRewards double dip in all sorts of directions. My question to you all who are taking part in the program, are your points posting both correctly and in a timely fashion? I would love to know so please share your experiences so far below on the blog below – René

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How to prepare for what could be “Next” for our Delta Air Lines!

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It is hard to say how much worse the changes are going to be to not just for Delta’s frequent flyer program, but to ALL airlines frequent flyer programs. I talked about what I see on the way in a post HERE and my fellow blogger Gary Leff had his thoughts about our beloved airline.

But what really “burns” me up is people who email me or comment (whatever) and then say, I have 400,000 or 700,000 or over a million Skymiles. What - ARE YOU CRAZY? I always try to have almost ZERO Skymiles. As soon as I earn them I try to book with them. Now I do have a leg up over many Delta flyers as Platinum & Diamond Medallion flyers can book Skymiles awards and change them all they want up to 72 hrs before flight. I get that. But if you are NOT a medallion and if you KNOW the dates for next winter’s or spring’s trips, please think about booking them ASAP. Why? The below is not my travel plan for next year but it gives you the idea of what a business class ticket would cost to buy.

No way in this lifetime or any other am I going to spend almost $7000 to fly in business class to Sweden. I would and do many times a year burn 100,000 Skymiles each for Lisa & I to go, plus under $100 in taxes each.

But just think if tomorrow, or next month, Delta announces a change to each Skymile only being worth 1 cent across the board, but you can book any flight any day as a result of this change. Then, the above ticket would cost me 677,360 Skymiles compared to 200,000! Oh my is right. There is no way they will be able to go back and ask for MORE miles once you have booked so you see the logic of burning as fast as you can and lock in what you can sooner than later.

The 64 million dollar (or should I say 600 million powerball) question is will this happen tomorrow or next month? I doubt it and I do think it will be a disastrously stupid and financially destructive choice for Delta. That does not mean they will not do it, but if I only have under 100,000 Skymiles then if and when it happens I will be a happy camper and enjoy my last 3 or 4 trips in Delta’s international business class seats!

I hope you also see the logic of having other points that are NOT tied to an airline like Chase Ultimate Rewards from cards links INK & Freedom or the AMEX Membership Rewards points from Gold & Platinum cards (i.e. NON-Delta ones). Even those you must be careful not to allow to build TOO large a balance.

I fight to bring my point balance down to not come across as a hypocrite in saying all this. I do a great job with Delta Skymiles & with Chase but have well over ½ million AA/USAIR points now and need to burn up my last ¼ million United. I think Hotels are done for a little while causing mayhem so I am risking letting them grow just a little. Either way, I hope this makes you think and to by all means BURN BABY BURN those points! – René

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Delta Air Lines – an email from a reader you need to see!

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I received this email the other day from a reader. It got my attention. I have permission to post as is! Take look and see what you think.

“Dear René,

This thing about Delta tightening up on sky milers tells me they have gone overboard on revenue enhancement straight into penny wise and pound foolish. They are tripping merrily down the primrose path of big data. I see it in the company I represent and many other companies.

Big data is a good thing but many companies are showing that they are “educated beyond their intelligence” and are trying to make decisions before they fully understand what they should do with said information.

That said, I am carefully watching what Delta does with the program. I’ve been a medallion flyer for at least ten years now but I can tell you my loyalty is going the way of the dodo along with my Delta gold Amex and my business Delta Reserve card which I use for about $70,000 in purchases per year for my business alone.

So, I am spending my miles down to 100k, I like to keep that many because we live in the east and have one child on the west coast and another in middle of the country and its just a safety cushion for emergencies.

Over the past two years I’ve begun to branch away from Delta. I am writing this from the Caribbean where my wife and I flew on 58,000 British air miles on American. Priority access boarding to boot. A month ago, I flew to Florida one way on United miles via us air (yuck) but the cabin crew was great!

I am fortunate to live within a one hour drive of three regional airports and can usually get a reasonable fare anywhere I want. I think delta is doing a great job but if they continue to squeeze every last drop of blood from us turnips, revenues eventually will fall and they will be in trouble again. There are many lessons delta can learn from JCPenneys and Sears. They better start paying attention and quick.

Cheers!” – KM

Thanks KM for this. Delta struck out at the Freddies this weekend. It was SO BAD in fact that Delta was not even in the top 4 in ANY of the categories! What has Delta done this year to make us proud of them? Crossover Rewards is a great new perk and is a brilliant idea. Delta DieMiles® and the SDC rule are not. The latter needs some time to see just how bad it really is.

I get e-mails like this one almost each day from readers. Delta flyers are fiercely loyal and have been treated well by the airline for many years. It takes a LOT to push someone with that kind of loyalty away. Unless Delta is careful, they will push that hard. Please don’t Delta – please! – René
 

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Will you soon earn less than 100% MQM’s for LUTXVE class flights on Delta Air Lines?

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This year, will all the updates and “enhancements” from Delta, I feel a bit like the 3:20 mark in the clip above. Each week I wait to see what our beloved airline will “buzz” me/us with (yeah I know that makes me Cliff Claven, but so be it)! Even when we have complained back to the mothership, it’s kinda like when Cliff says – “well let’s see how you like it pal”… And I think you get the rest!

Anyway, back to today’s post. The above chart, as some most upset readers know ( right Steve ) who, thanks to working on cruise ships, does get to fly Delta, but does NOT get full credit for each flight.

Could the above chart be a message of what is to come for the rest of us soon? KLM for example, already gives you less depending on the fare class and economy tickets do not ALL earn full credit.

In fact, on my latest flight to Istanbul, one segment, that was booked in Delta “T” class, accidentally was credited to my Flying Blue account and I only got 343 elite qualifying points compared to the 1,376 Delta MQM’s I did, in the end, get credit for.

Had the fare been a consolidator fare then I would have only earned 343 Delta MQM’s for this segment (and I would not have taken the mileage run to begin with).

My question to you all is this: If Delta were to move to this kind of award chart for ALL Skymiles and MQM’s, would that be enough for you to be pushed over the edge? So far, all of Delta’s changes, have been for the most part,  just  accepted  and put up with by Delta flyers. Some have bolted to other airlines, but most just say “ah well”. Would a change like this, if it were implemented system wide, make you stand up and complain until they changed back or would you just take this too?

Now I am not saying this is about to happen tomorrow (and as we know Delta will NOT tell us but we will just find out on our own), but the expanded fare class and synchronization with the rest of Skyteam sure does set the stage for this to happen at some point in the future. Remember kids, unless you are spending money with Delta and spending big, they do not love you! I would love to have your input and thoughts and would this be the last straw?! – René

 

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Are unlimited Medallion upgrades about to vanish too? Let’s look at the upgrade test program!

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Yesterday ThePointsGuy (TPG) Brian Kelly had a post about a new Delta Air Lines test program you can read more about HERE. I also reached out to Delta CORP about this program and was told:

“We are testing an Upgrade with Miles option to offer customers the ability to redeem miles for upgrades in select markets on Delta.com. All of the SkyMiles accrual rules apply as currently described on Delta.com.” – Delta CORP

Now that sounds very fishy to me since, as we all know, the use of any Skymiles to pay for a ticket will VOID your chance to earn any Skymiles or MQM’s. And, if we look at the internet “way back machine” we will see this was the wording on Delta.com very clearly.

But, notice a massive change in the wording about spending miles to buy a  first or business class  ticket now with “Pay with Miles” that I first posted about yesterday on FlyerTalk!

“Pay with Miles tickets booked in First or Business Class are eligible for mileage accrual, Medallion Qualification Segments, and Medallion Qualification Miles.” – Delta.com

This alone is shocking and major news. We now must all run the numbers to see if it is worth spending Skymiles to book an award ticket, OR, to use them to pay for a ticket with Pay With Miles, thanks to our Delta AMEX card that you need to have to do this in the first place, and then be able to EARN Skymiles and MQM’s for a trip we paid for WITH Skymiles. It makes the head spin!

Now back to the test upgrade program. With this, a flyer can earn HUGE class of service bonus Skymiles and MQM’s. Notice what TPG said yesterday in his post:

“I wanted to test out some the routes where this was offered, so I randomly checked Atlanta-Cincinnati on April 12. The lowest coach fare was $262 for this one-way flight, and Delta was offering upgrades for either $59 or 5,900 miles. This route can be rough for complimentary Medallion upgrades, but for 5,900 miles I could confirm the upgrade at booking.” – from TPG

Well DUH! And think about this. Say your employer is willing to reimburse you for ONLY a coach class ticket; ANY coach class ticket as long as it is coach. You can sometimes find a full “Y” class ticket for almost the same price as first class. But, your employer will ONLY let you buy coach. No problem, you burn a few Skymiles, ride up front, and earn a bunch more Skymiles and MQM’s on top of that. Easy peasy!

Oh, but one thing, you can do this as a general Skymiles member and you have just taken a “free” upgrade away from a medallion member. Think how many times this will happen each and every day. Now, think about the heavy medallion routes. Can you see a situation where when you are NOT buying an upgrade with Skymiles just about squashes any possible chance for an upgrade?

Notice what else TPG had to say:

“The bottom line is that Delta is trying to sell more upgrades, whether with miles or money, instead of upgrading elites. Over time I expect Medallion upgrade percentages to drop as less seats become available for last minute complimentary upgrades. United has also been aggressively marketing upgrades and I know many elites have been disenfranchised by the process, but I’m curious how much business Delta and United have lost as a result. I’d bet less than the amount of revenue they are bringing in- that’s what I suspect the hacking of elite upgrades will continue as airlines seek to squeeze as much revenue from paid upgrades. Great news for shareholders- frequent flyers? Not so much.” – from TPG

I agree with most of this. I am about as PRO Delta as any blogger in the blogosphere but as of late, it is getting very hard. The MQD move, while unpopular, will, I feel, have the positive affect of opening up some 1st class seats as so many either jump ship and go over to AA or UA or drop down from DM to PM or lower and on down the chain. This, will have the exact opposite effect if it comes into play fleet wide as it is being tested now.

On top of all of this, with many more seats being sold and upgraded with points, just how many less business class seats will this make available for Skymiles redemption at low, medium or high level? I just don’t see this policy resulting in an increase of award seats being opened up by Delta.

This one is a hard one. There will be fliers who are just over the top in love with this one and it will have an impact for Delta as I think many will be happy to burn Skymiles for this perk. But for others, the chance for an upgrade will be even lower than it is now. So what do you think. Do you like this idea? Is it one more potential “enhancement” you love or hate? Comment below please! – René
 

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UPDATE: Don’t DIE with any Skymiles in your account (or they are GONE)!

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Last January I had a post on the fact of what would happen upon the death of  a loyal Delta flyer who spent their life flying Delta, their next of kin would at least get to enjoy their Skymiles and think of them.

Well the new Skymiles guide is out and “DwayneSkyMiles Company Representative – Delta Airlines” rep posted on FlyerTalk that things have changed.

If you die,
so does your
Skymiles account!

 

Delta has been doing a lot of customer unfriendly kind of moves as of late; I don’t know about you but this one is just reprehensible and turns my stomach and is a HUGE insult to a grieving family.

Delta went from one of the BEST IN CLASS polices in this area to the worst now! They could have changed to a policy to charge a fee like others do, but to just close the account? Really Delta?

What do you think about this? Are you outraged by this? Delta asks us to comment on Delta.com if we don’t like something – this may be a good time to do just that! – René

EDIT: You can also LIKE and ReTweet THIS post from AA who just charges $50!

 

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Be happy you are NOT a Medallion or have a Delta AMEX card!

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Those who do not read the blog and learn how to redeem Skymiles at low level, can spend a TON of points to get a seat.

But wait. Just what would it cost me to buy a ticket to fly from the NYC area to LAX? in coach?

A layman may say that the cost for the ticket is almost $400 so the redemption at 1 cent per mile is not all that bad. We know better. We do know that redeeming for 25,000 Skymiles would be a good value redemption. But then we have this.

Delta asks us to Shop Your Heart out:

“Miles can be used for more than just travel. Now you can shop luxury gifts, Broadway tickets, exclusive auction items and more using miles. So next time you find an item you just can’t live without, put away your wallet and bring it home with miles.

Well gee whiz kids that just sounds like such a great deal! A way to use my Skymiles for something other than flying. But wait, who can use these Super Neat-O redemptions?

Ah. Well this must be a great deal since it is only open to some of the best of the best who support Delta Air Lines right? You would be very wrong. Years ago there was some good value. You could get a $100 AMEX gift card for example for 11,000 Skymiles. Look what that costs now!

OK that is a gift card. What else? How about this. The Chicago Seminars this year is OCT 11-13. Say you want to spend Skymiles to book a hotel. Let’s take a look.

So you could stay at a Best Western for just 14,976. Now since you can, if you have a Delta AMEX card, any day redeem ONE Skymile for ONE cent when buying a ticket. So, are two nights $149.76?

Ah. $118 plus tax. So, not such a great deal. Once we add Chicago tax it gets a little better but still not full value. Then let’s forget about the hotel, how about a rental car so I can get around Chicago?

So, we can get a car for 17,685 points. Is that a good deal? Is $176.85 a good deal vs. just renting the car and paying for it less or more?

Oh. $118.98 plus tax. So again here we are not getting full value for our Skymiles for renting a car either. Since you have to be one of those Delta LOVES, should these deals not be a GREAT deal? These are, at a stretch, almost equal to “Pay with Miles” remediation. Skymiles marketplace is not a value to those who qualify.

OK that is just cars & hotels. There are many other things like being able to catch a show. Look at this

Hey, in Chicago we could go and catch a show if we come in early or stay a day after the Chicago Seminars. Is this a good deal? Let’s take a look.

So to redeem points it would cost 17,200 Skymiles. That does seem like a lot, $172.00 for a ticket. Maybe this is just an expensive show. Lets look.

YIKES! Seats for $64-$84 can be had. So, once again, redeeming Delta Skymiles for a show would be a HUGE mistake. These three redemptions would cost you almost 50,000 Skymiles. To me, I would rather redeem 45,000 Skymiles and fly in 1st class to Chicago and spend my own money on the hotel, car & catch a show.

Most of us are already well aware that the Skymiles Marketplace is 99.99% of the time NOT a good way to spend our Skymiles, but a review is always good now and then. – René
 

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