book blank pages

Medallions and other Delta high value customers as well as Delta CO-branded American Express “airline travel cards” all come with a lengthy list of published benefits. Last week I talked about million milers and how they sometimes are more appreciated by Delta than other flyers. However there is an equally long list of unpublished benefits, perks and advantages Delta occasionally or fairly regularly extends to flyers that will not appear on Delta.com or anywhere else (well, other than on DeltaPoints)!

Like what? There are a bunch, but here are a few:

  • Better access to low level award seats
  • Porsche rides gate to gate
  • Preferred baggage handling & trip tracking
  • Waived fees
  • Hotel vouchers
  • Food vouchers
  • Soft landings for medallion status
  • Medallion status itself
  • Even more hush hush perks

Many of these perks are sometimes extended to Diamond medallion or Delta 360 flyers that is those who the airline views as the most valuable customers and biggest dollar spenders with Delta. Others just have to be asked for and they will sometimes happily help or other times begrudgingly assist.

Better access to low level award seats is one of the many reasons I keep my Delta AMEX Reserve card “airline travel card” . I have yet to get the coveted Porsche ride between gates but I tend to book long layovers to enjoy Skyclubs (and other much better clubs) along the way. We all know Skyteam elite+’s bags get special handling, but there is even more beyond that as well as someone monitoring your trip (in case of issues to proactively fix them). Stuck at the airport – nope – you get a hotel voucher as well as food from Delta. Miss your medallion level by a a few (or a bunch) of MQMs? To me, it is amazing that you can spend enough with Delta or a Delta AMEX and you will keep your status or flat out have a nice status level gifted to you by the airline.

Now I know you are thinking and want to ask me what you have to do to get these perks yourself and what are the requirements; did I mention these are unpublished perks so the airline is very reluctant to even acknowledge they happen let alone tell lowly ME what is needed to get something that they don’t talk about happening (thus the graphic I chose above ;-) )!

Some of the reasons these are not published perks is that they are not always extended to HVC’s. But all of these do happen and sometimes quite often. Have you had some unexpected perks extended to you? – René

PS – Don’t forget SWAG Saturday is live for a shot at a $54 AMAZON gift card this week!

 

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minute-suites web page

I hate tight connections. I mean I loath them. When I happen to get a schedule change that moves me from say 2 hours down to 45 minutes I start to sweat. A little less so on Delta as I have to say of all the airlines Delta has been outstanding to me on being on time or making up time. Sure, I get that Delta is padding their schedules more than other airlines, but who cares, I say it makes the connections work. Fine by me.

One of the reasons I really dislike a tight connection is that it does not give me down time to enjoy the airport. Er, what, enjoy an airport? Have you lost your mind? Well, that is another topic for discussion but airports, if you are not just running from gate to gate, are great. Airport lounges, that you can get into free with cards like the American Express Membership Rewards “Airline Travel Card” or even a few times a year in the “The Club at ATL” with Chase INK cards that is “business credit card“. If you have enough time you can enjoy these kinds of breaks between flights. Have a long break, even take a refreshing shower all free as well as wifi and areas to work and plug in all your toys for a recharge.

But what if you are not smart enough to have access. Is it a good idea to rent a tiny room for $34/hr to get some work done in quiet or take a nap? MiniSuites says on their website:

“We are pleased to offer our passengers high-quality, convenient services like Minutes Suites,” said John Cugasi, director of Concessions. “Minute Suites gives our passengers an affordable, private retreat within the terminal to nap, relax or work.”

I agree getting away from the masses to a private retreat to nap, relax or work is good. Now as to affordable, I am not sure $34 per hour fits into my frugal travel plans as well. I mean, even Delta with their ridiculously over inflated new $29 per visit if you have the Delta GOLD or PLATINUM AMEX “Airline Travel Cards” is a better value than this. No you don’t get complete privacy, but for the cost I see more value.

Maybe I am just missing something here. You tell me, would it be worth it to you to rent one of these rooms for an hour or two on your trip? – René

PS – Don’t forget SWAG Saturday is live for a shot at a $54 AMAZON gift card this week!

 

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uber 30 credit

UBER has had a $25 Delta Air Lines offer code that has been the best one out for awhile. Now, they have extended a $30 bonus offer for 1st time riders.

This is on top of the $250 one you can get in Chicago, Atlanta & Nashville for getting a Lyft driver to try driving for UBER instead.

As these two, as well as other ride-share services duke it out, we can enjoy the perks and credits! Have a great weekend everyone! – René

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one vanilla visa

The bad news is, a while back, Vanilla Reloads that cost just $3.95 each for a $500 card were shut down for purchase with Credit Cards at CVS. No problem, we switch to Vanilla Visa Debit Gift cards. They cost $1 buck more, that is $4.95.

metabank visa debit gift cards

Now, with confirmation all over the web, those have been shut down at Walmart as well. OH NO – PANIC? Not really. You see the MetaBank Visa Debit Gift cards that cost, say it with me, $1 buck more, that is $5.95, work just fine and I tested two just a few minutes ago at the Money Center Machine at Walmart.

So, we are now up to a whopping $59.50 to fully load BlueBird to $5,000 for a month or 1.2% cost. Well if you are earning from say BeFrugal the current low 2.5% plus points buying AMEX gift cards, and then use those to buy these gift cards, you are still coming out almost 1.3% ahead plus the points you earn on top of that. I can live with those numbers and know the higher 3-4% rebate deals will likely be back soon! – René

EDIT: Twitter follower WES reports that he TODAY did VDGCs from USBANK so those should be good to go too!

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delta-com updates seat maps on web page

If you have not logged into any of your current reservations on Delta.com, you may want to log in and take a look because they have dramatically updated the seat map as you can see from the photo above.

Personally I am not thrilled with some of the graphic enhancements. For example, the Delta or partial Delta name and logo on the side of the plane may seem like a cute idea but it just clutters up the image. A huge improvement is on planes like the 767-300 (INT bird) you can now see the odd numbered seats that give you the aisle armrest that provides protection from passengers and carts going by in the aisle. Another plus is a more accurate representation of space in exit rows etc 767 (domestic).

Overall I think this is a nice improvement, but it still needs a little more tweaking to be perfect. Delta has really been investing a lot of time and effort as well as working with focus groups to improve the visual appearance of Delta.com and the “My Delta” page. Expect more in the coming months. Do you like the changes? – René

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tweet from inside delta tour

This Monday Delta had a media day with bloggers and Jaunted tweeted out a screen shot of the most “valued” Delta flight for the day that had 13 million milers on it (12 of them were Diamond Medallions and 1 was a Platinum Medallion). But does Delta even care about MM’er now that the horrid Skymiles2015 is on the way?

I’ve written before about Delta recognizing passengers crossing the million mile mark, like Michael when Delta showed their appreciation to him. However, is there more than just this kind of one time event recognition that they could do? Well as we can see from the tweet above, million miler’s are noted on flights in manifests and on the Delta luggage tags. But does it really make any kind of a difference with Delta?

Officially, no (other than “annual” silver status, and so on). For example you do not get more upgrades as a million miler over one who is not. Nor are you given more access to low-level award seats than others. But there are unofficial things that do matter. Since Delta people do see you are a million miler you can expect preferential treatment as well as when you do make requests they are going to see you are a loyal million miler with Delta. Or say in case of an issue that Delta would not normally give you a free hotel room for the night – a MM may be offered one where a casual flyer would be on their own.

I have seen flight crews take real note of MM’ers and be willing to go out of the way to accommodate special requests. Like what? Say a non-rev is on an international flight and a MM wants that seat (for whatever reason); the purser may ask the non-rev to switch. There are many other examples that can pop up onboard as well.

Honestly, one of the things that shocks me most is that MQD spend is NOT on the screen shot above as spending, not miles, is what seems to matter the most to the airline.  Are you a Delta MM’er? Have you noticed any difference pre-MM and post-MM?- René

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In addition to a number of bloggers and dignitaries, Delta Points reader and contributor Lars-Erik Olson was there to cover the grand opening yesterday. Here is his telling of the day!

DFM_MainSign

Entrance to the Delta Flight Museum is on Rainey Ave (Woolman Place).  Shuttle service from the South Domestic terminal is planned, but for now you’ll need a car or taxi.  On an overcast day, you could possibly take the Renaissance Concourse Hotel shuttle and then walk for about 10 minutes.

DFM_Hangars

These hangers, which include the company’s original on the right, house the museum.

DFM_Entrance

The newly constructed entrance building, that also houses the museum’s gift shop, uses three sets of landing gear to prop up the overhang.

DFM_JFKT3Letters

Signage from Delta’s Terminal 3 at JFK (the former Pan Am Worldport) was taken down and transported to ATL to be on permanent display just above the museum store.

DFM_VintageUniforms1

​Frontline employees in current and vintage uniforms were present throughout the museum, and then assembled on stage during the program. The museum has an extensive collection, including uniforms from the companies that became part of Delta Air Lines.

DFM_AndersonPodium

Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, spoke about why the museum is an important initiative for the company: it highlights Delta’s unique culture, advances the exploration of aviation history and the future of flight, and celebrates the perseverance, resilience and accomplishments of Delta people. Behind him is “The Spirit of Delta,” a Boeing 767 purchased for the company by employees in 1982 when the company was in financial jeopardy.

DFM_Proclamation

Georgia governor Nathan Deal (left) and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed (right) were the other two speakers.  Both presented Anderson with congratulatory proclamations.​DFM_InteractiveKid

Interactive touchscreens allow visitors to do such things as explore the Delta “family tree” and, as shown here, attempt to place the various Delta logotypes in the correct historical order.

DFM_WoolmanDesk

As principal founder of Delta Air Lines, C.E. Woolman led its steady growth from the world’s first crop dusting company to a firm place of leadership among the nation’s scheduled airlines. This item is from his office.

DFM_PropPlane

DL Ship 41, Delta’s first Douglas DC-3 to carry passengers, was painstakingly restored to its original 1940s condition by volunteer active and retired mechanics.

DFM_amenitykits

In a series of exhibits that juxtaposed old and new in a “that was then — this is now” fashion, the very first front cabin amenity kit (used on the Atlanta > London route) was on display with the current Tumi BusinessElite kit.  By the way, a selection of Tumi products are for sale in the gift shop.

DFM_Displays

​Left: Terminals used for boarding have changed.  Does anyone remember the stickers that were used for seat assignments? Middle: The original Red Coat uniform, and today’s stylish edition. Frequent flyer material is also shown. Right: Famous film and theatrical costume designer Edith Head designed this uniform in 1959. The nose cone and cockpit from the Convair 880 that was used as a prop in this photo with all the stewardesses is ​on display in the museum.

Thank you so much Lars-Erik for sharing with us. I know it was a HUGE day for Delta and for #AVgeeks like me. I cannot wait to visit the Museum and I am sure many readers are just as excited as me! – René

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uber a lyft driver 1

Oh this is some really sneaky marketing by UBER. Check this one out if you happen to live in Atlanta, Chicago or Nashville. UBER wants you to take a ride on Lyft and then sell the driver to come and work for UBER instead.

uber a lyft driver 2

If you can do that, and the Lyft driver has had at least 5 fares in May, and then joins UBER and takes a ride before the end of June, you get $250 bucks in UBER credit to spend. I have not tested Lyft yet but do like UBER. Their rates are not always the best but I have used them both in the states and in Europe and love their customer service when you do need them.

This latest “drive” to get drivers is fascinating to me. It seems anyone can get in on the recruit Lyft drivers game and the link is HERE if you want to sign up and try to get some $250 UBER credits for yourself. Do notice if you refer more than two of these UBER will 1099 you so maybe stop at two. What do you think – great hiring idea or sneaky way to get new drivers? – René

PS – you can still get $25 UBER credit 1st time riders!

EDIT: The $30 credit offer is currently the best!

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SEA is a hub for delta

There have been a plethora of PR statements from Delta today not least of which is that SEA-HKG is part of the solidifying of the airport as an official Delta HUB airport. Alaska had better just get out of the way as big brother Delta is taking over. Let the speculation of about just how much longer they can hang on begin!

media day at delta from twitter

On to the second big deal about today. Delta is doing a media tour day with a bunch of bloggers including Atlanta’s very own MJ on Travel who is tweeting up #InsideDelta along with the rest of the group. Fun to see the inside workings of Delta. I will be sharing my experience later on when I visit and have dinner with readers in ATL in July (now fully booked up btw).

But back to Seattle. What do you think? Do you think Delta’s plan is to beat up Alaska so much that they just move out of the way or is it a setup for a buy out / merger of the two airlines?- René

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airfrance tweets back they do their best to give ff seats to skymiles

As we continue to march toward Skymiles2015 we are also looking forward to Delta living up to the promise to offer more award seats at low levels. Now I have not had much problem under the old Skymiles but with the improvements I hope for nothing but home runs! But that is with Delta award space.

AF new business class seats

What I am really looking forward to, and hoping for, is Delta working with their Skyteam partners to claw back some of the award space they once had, both Delta as well as in the outstanding NWA days.

new klm business seats

I mean both the AF & KLM new full flat products that are slowly starting to roll out look very nice and worth a try. But if Delta will not open up any award space it will be hard for us to enjoy them (yes I know I could pay for a ticket but that is not what I do and neither should you)!

va space open 1

What we are slowly seeing is some more award space, even at low level, on Virgin Atlantic. It has been fun reading the reviews about how good this experience has been for them. Most are saying it is nice and on par with Delta.

va seatmap of 747 on delta-com

They are saying some things are better than Delta while others they prefer the choices Delta has made. Bottom line is it is a good option if we can find low level space to use our Skymiles.

Now I don’t see Delta investing 49% in KLM/AF and I sure hope that is not what it’s going to take for them to give us a seat or two; I mean if you search for a flight to CDG in Paris you are going to be hard pressed to find a single seat over the water any day at ANY award price on Delta.com – that is an issue Delta NEEDS to fix in 2015! – René

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