Delta YEAR END checklist – Things you should check off your list NOW!

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final notice

As I touched on yesterday in the month end Delta Points newsletter, there are some HUGE Delta changes about to be inflicted upon us. There are a number of things you simply MUST do before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st (as after that it will be too late) and some things that will happen even before the end of the month. Let’s look at this top 10 list I am thinking about.

1) Please, do Not Purchase MQM’s from Delta – This week, (that is very soon this week I have found out), Delta will again offer MQMs for sale. These MQMs were last year offered at ridiculous prices and if last year is any kind of pattern for Delta to follow, those who are the most valued elites will pay MORE than those who Delta values less. PLEASE do not do this. As a more cost-effective option, take a look at a Delta AMEX Reserve personal card or business cards as for the $450 non-waived free for one year you get 10,000 MQMs after your 1st purchase. Apply ASAP to make sure you are approved and the MQMs count on this year (if you need them this year that is, if not wait). Then you can also enjoy the other perks of the card for a year as well.

2) If you happen to have the non-Delta Platinum AMEX card, keep in mind the $200 per year travel credit that you must use before year end. If you select Delta at AMEX as your preferred provider and then you can, if you want to, buy 4x$50 Delta gift cards before the 31st and again after the 1st of January 2015 and get credit for all of them as your airline credit. Now this perk is once per calendar year so if you have already taken it, as some other credit, you must wait till 1JAN to go again. Also, if you don’t want Delta as your perk provider, you can pick a new one after 1JAN for the next year.

3) Booking RTW awards. Don’t forget that the Delta Round the World award tickets, both in coach for 180,000 and business for 280,000 will no longer be bookable after 1JAN2015. If you want one of these call the RTW desk (ask for them on the phone with Delta) and plan for many hours on the phone with them. Or, a better idea, just have  ADAM  do all the work for you ;-)

4) Booking stopover or open jaw award tickets. These also end in a few short weeks on 1JAN2015. We all know this was one of the best uses for Skymiles so book up now if you want to take advantage of this amazing value that will soon be lost!

5) Meeting spend to be MQD exempt or get bonus MQMs. If you have any of the 3 personal or business Delta AMEX cards, and you have POSTED charges on or before 31DEC2014 it will count on this year’s MQD exempt spend $25,000 number. Be sure you have that and the right number of MQMs for whatever medallion level you wanted to reach. Keep in mind all flights scheduled to take off by 23:59PM on 31DEC count on this year, that is 2014, even if they land in 2015.

6) If you do not have a Delta AMEX card, both your MQD number & MQMs are all important. Again, like the above, it is the scheduled departure time of your flight that matters when it comes to earning MQD’s and MQM’s. For example, if you have a trip that spans New Years and the return flight is in 2015, you WILL NOT get 2014 credit for the return portion.

7) Expiring bump vouchers. This is not year end specific, however consider this good to peek at your vouchers and see if now is a good time to book a ticket before they expire. You have one year to spend them once you get them, but one further year to fly on them beyond that so check if you need to book something. You will earn points i.e. Skymiles and MQMs under whatever year you fly them, NOT under whatever year you book them. Clear?

8) HOOU & Skybonus points & a warning. I have had at least one reader e-mail me just furious as he redeemed Skybonus points for HOOUs last month and they expire on 31DEC2014 yes THIS YEAR. If you want HOOUs that are good for a year you must wait till 1JAN2015. But keep in mind Skybonus points do expire every 3 years EVEN when you earn more points so check if you have any going away at the end of 2014. If you have points going away this year and do want HOOUs for them I would request them on 31DEC as I cannot see they would send you pre-expired ones in January 2015!

9) Check your spending on all your travel cards. This one is twofold. First, look at your quarterly bonus categories for cards like the Discover IT or Chase Freedom cards, but another important thing to consider are your new cards that you are trying to meet minimum spend for. Believe it or not once (and yes I am still upset about it) I made a mistake and missed the spend on a new travel card and missed out on the bonus points. Talk about a stupid move on my part. Nowadays I just go to Kroger and get VDGCs and meet the spend on new cards in the 1st week to be safe.

10) This last one, is again sorta not year end specific, but you should take the time to check when you need to do your retention calls for your cards. Do you have an annual fee coming up in the next few months? It could be worth a call to see what they are willing to offer to keep you (that is if you have been using the card and not just used it for the bonus points)!

So there you are. I think I have hit on the most important ones we need to think about, but if I have missed any please comment below on the blog. I know it is Monday and you have a lot going on after the holiday weekend but take the time please to check these one by one as I want to make sure you don’t miss out on all the perks and points that are coming your way! – René
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UNADVERTISED $20 off $300 in Mastercard Debit Gift cards at OM!

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20 off OM gift cards

EDIT: Deal is good Saturday too! I got 24x$200 today and will try for same tomorrow! :-)

Thanks to a great reader I have some amazingly good news. The Black Friday deal from last year is BACK, that is you can buy (limit 2 / per person it seems but YMMV depending on the folks in your local store) $300+ in Master Card Debit Gift cards and get $20 off.

200 om mc dgs

All you need to do is have one of the Chase INK cards that gives you 5x points at office supply stores to really clean up on this as you are basically getting the points, not just for free, but even making a little money as well for buying these cards!

XoIkS7dcrC

You can load these to BlueBird at WM but you have to call to set the pin (see back of cards). Worst case you can just spend them as the deal is so good why not!- René
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Tomorrow AMEX will pay me back over $200 – Are you all set for Small Business Saturday?

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sbs3

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day! There is a Mexican, Chinese & Wings place Lisa & I tend to go to on a regular basis. All 3 of them sell gift cards and that is a good thing. You see, tomorrow is the AMEX Small Business Saturday (SBS) that will give you a $10 credit when you charge at least $10 on a registered card at participating locations. I now have from AMEX:

1) Delta AMEX Reserve personal card

2) Delta AMEX Reserve business card

3) Non-Delta AMEX Platinum card

4) SPG AMEX business card

5) AMEX BlueBird card

Lisa has:

1) Non-Delta AMEX Business GOLD card

2) AMEX BlueBird card

sbs

That is a nice list of AMEX cards both personal and business. Now when we looked, by logging in to AMEX, only one of the cards on this list showed that it was targeted for the promo and it was simple to click on it and be done. What about the rest?

sbs 2

My other cards did not list the SBS as a quick click choice to register. Not a problem at all. All I had to do was go HERE and enter my name, my card number, the same e-mail address for each card I put in and then I was done.

sbs4

Then when I went back to my AMEX account online I could now see I was indeed registered for the SBS event for each card plus I got an e-mail confirming I was all set and good to go. Most AMEX cards will work but not all. Gift cards will not nor some from other banks that simply have the AMEX logo on them.

Then what to do. We will simply buy 7 – $10 gift cards at each location of our 3 favorite locations, that is one $10 gift card with each of our 7 cards. Does that work? It has in past years so I would not see why it would not this round too and then just spend them over the coming months. Simple, quick and a net $210 in free food for us. #Winning!- René
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Announcing two Delta Points dinners with readers in 2015 – MSP & ATL!

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table

I really enjoyed the first dinner with readers in Atlanta this year as well as the tour of the Delta Flight Museum and the in and out of the Skyclub the day before our get together. Now it is time to work on the next few dinners scheduled for 2015.

The first one will be just before one of my amazing MSP-EAT mileage runs from Minneapolis. Where will the dinner be? I have no idea yet and will be working with MSP readers to find a great spot for us to get together near the airport. The date, however, I do know as it will be on Wednesday April 22nd, 2015.

As for the one in Atlanta, I will work with MJ on Travel to find a spot that will be fun. The date for that one will be right after the Freddie awards so plan for Friday May 1st 2015.

Just like last time, once we know all the final details, I will put up a PVT post that is password locked and those who will be attending will get access to that post with the final details. Also, we will find a place that will allow us to do split checks despite the size of our group so don’t worry, you will be earning points for your meal :-) !

I cannot wait to spend some time with readers at both locations and please keep in mind this is just a dinner. There will be no official talks by myself, as well as others bloggers attending with me, but I may just share some little things you will never see on the blog so I hope you can join us at either or both locations! – René
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What days this year did Delta visit the blog the most? Just what do “they” care about?

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visits to Delta Points from Delta CORP computers

Data is fun. I love looking at numbers. I really love looking at my seat number going from say row 26 middle to row 1B, but that is not what this is all about. This is about, so far this year, the top 10 most visited dates that folks who are using Delta CORP computers have visited Delta Points blog (yeah I can track that too).

This list is in month order just to keep things simple and for the progression of what has been going on with the steady march to Skymiles2015 now just about a month away. Let’s dig in!

  • Feb 26, 2014 – Skymiles 2015 announcement day. Not shocking that this is one of the biggest visited days of the year. Our mothership was VERY interested in what all the bloggers were saying about the new program. The fact that they did not release the award chart made national news over and over again until they at last relented and let it go (we now look forward to 5 levels of awards in 2015 – #TIP – we redeem at low level 1 only)!
  • March 14, 2014 – As a Diamond my Skymiles 2015 survey arrives. I do what all good bloggers do and take screen shots of the Q&A each step of the way and then POST IT! Some very interesting questions from Delta, but I think they just about ignored all of the responses considering what we have seen since then. Really a shame.
  • April 29, 2014 – This was a popular day and I don’t think it was me talking about everyone being able to get the digital version of SKY magazine (but that is kinda neat I think). No, the next post about never hitting CHANGE was well looked and rightly so. I have had nothing but bad experiences using this “feature” of Delta.dumb and always call so my reservations don’t go VERY wrong.
  • June 16, 2014 – Would you believe “HOOUgate” was VERY well looked at? I know, HOOUs! I mean I think it is very sad that those who don’t drink, or medallions under 21, are not given the option to get a snack box or something like that. The often suggested option of giving it away to another flyer is just lovely. How about you stop “enhancing” the program and give us a snack option back in 2015?
  • Sept 9, 2014 – Readers really like reading about reviews of big mileage runs and it seems Delta does too. And why not when we can enjoy such great rewards for a little effort. Especially when redeeming RU & GU certs for the trip.
  • Sept 26, 2014 - My guess is (no I know) that Delta people spend most of their time in Skyclubs. So, a review of their arch rival (and partner) Alaska and how good their clubs are is worth checking out. Here is a tip Delta – their clubs are better. Better food and no $kunkyBeer!
  • Oct 10th, 2014 – You can see why this was THE most visited day all year. The first post talked about #KeepDescending and I am sure those who are the award winners at the mothership wanted to print the list to brag about how well they have done at cutting perks for medallions. The next post, my thoughts on higher MQDs. I like them, for me, as there will be even less elites next year competing for my upgrades. Then again maybe not so good for everyone else who can not meet the MQD exempt spend on a Delta AMEX!
  • Oct 21, 2014 – Once again Delta cares about other lounges like the VIP one in MIA. Oh yeah, as all other PVT lounges it seems (like the Club at ATL across from the F Skyclub), this one has better food, better drinks and all the other same perks of the Skyclubs. Delta folks should go visit it – it is nice.
  • Oct 29th, 2014 – Gosh October was a HOT month for visits. The end of Stopovers and the 3 for 2 awards got a bunch of traffic. Why not – these were some of the best values from Skymiles HANDS DOWN and they will end on 1JAN2015. Most folks have no idea just how much value was lost this day but Delta does!
  • Nov 20th, 2014 – You would not think that simply updating the GIDS display would warrant this much traffic from the home team but it did. I like the new graphics and they are simpler to read. Not that big a deal, but it was I guess to Delta.

So that is the top ten list for visits so far in 2014 by Delta. What can we take away from this list? They are concerned about the changes to Skymiles and what we think or at least they want to know what we think as they are making changes good for Delta not changes good for us. They also care about lounges and they should as the Skyclubs are nowhere near providing the level of perks the competition is and compared to the Centurion lounges the Skyclubs are Ryan Air-like in quality. Lastly they are interested in mileage runners. That is good as we will still be running in 2015 since the MQMs we earn will be just the same next year as this year! – René
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The 2015 Alaska Air awards chart – IN YOUR FACE DELTA!

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new earnings flying dl credit to as

Gosh I love Alaska airlines. I love it that they are doing such a “knock down drag out fight” with their “partner” (well sorta partner anyway) Delta Air Lines. Delta clearly is doing everything they can to expand Seattle as a major hub as quickly as possible, offering those who live there elite status via double elite miles and so much more!

Airlines are truly in a world of their own right now. We see United, who seems to think their customers are their major problem, and Delta who seems to think about cutting every elite benefit possible and treating everyone but those who spend the most amout of money with the airline as second-class citizens is the best way to earn your loyalty!

dos clock 26nov

I have often blogged about how crushing SkyMiles 2015 will be next year for the bulk of flyers. Delta has taken the stand that the only way to offer a few more low level seats is to greatly reduce the amount of SkyMiles in circulation. This may be a winning scenario on paper for bean counters, but I’m not sure how an unrewarding rewards program is a way to entice flyers to pick your airline.

Now today we have the announcement from Alaska that rather than awarding less miles next year, and going revenue based like DL & UA, they are staying distance-based and awarding the same or even MORE miles to flyers next year. How is that as an “in your face” directly at Delta, their partner (who will get less miles depending on fare class).

Interestingly, Alaska also partners with American Airlines that also has decided not to go revenue based for 2015. So we have United, one of the worst airlines in the USA that has simply carbon copied everything Delta has done with their program (and worse), and Delta who is trying the grand experiment to un-reward most customers for flying their airline next year.

Those of us who are points enthusiasts are really going to have some interesting choices next year. Where we decide to buy our tickets and who we decide to fly (i.e. think CODE SHARE a bunch) and if we shift away from one airline to another airline or even one type of reward card to another reward card that more closely aligns with our travel goals. I find all this so fascinating because for years, with the current Delta program, it was a simple choice and many people, as I talked about this morning, just poured all their eggs into one “points” basket, that is they saved everything toward Delta as far as rewards, flights, credit cards, you name it, was all Delta because there was value in SkyMiles. Next year it is not at all as clear cut a choice and the declining value of Skymiles with the end of stopovers and more. Plus, all those who were hoping to just fly Delta and credit to Alaska are not going to be able to eke by under the new award chart from Alaska.

This also touches on what I spoke about this past Sunday. I am never trying to alienate any readers ever but there are many who do overspend for Delta tickets, both now, and will next year. This may be necessary due to their travels or being required to buy last minute tickets plus all the other airlines may have equally inflated prices for these last minute tickets. This does not change the fact that overpriced tickets are overpriced tickets. It is nice that Delta is rewarding you for overpaying, but you are still overpaying compared to many others flying with you on the same jet. The most important point of the story is if Delta keeps cutting the perks and benefits and value of SkyMiles even those overpaying and getting boatloads of SkyMiles will see lower rewards for all of us.

Once again, I love you, Alaska. The company is making lots of money (even lots for investors). It is a well run airline. They are PROVING you can make money and still be a distance based airline rewards program and you cannot say it is just because they are small because American is doing it too. I also still just love the fact that I can apply every few months over and over and over for AS BofA travel cards and get free points to fly AS or DL or even AA. Good times!

If you are still reading all this – what do you think? Happy? Sad? Indifferent? Let me know! – René
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Rookie Wednesday: Yes, they all add up! Diversify points for lowest travel costs.

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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.

points in all programs

This may seem like a simple and basic idea, but then again this is rookie Wednesday right? I talk to so many travelers who “put all their points into one basket” that is they are all one program focused. This can be OK if you are working on some big goal, but if you can it really is better to look at all the choices open to you.

Let me take my recent booking for a cruise for my 27th anniversary for an example and my thinking. When a really good price popped up for a suite I looked at when I could make it work. Once I found some days, before booking, I looked at all the bits:

  • Air
  • Lodging pre & post if needed.
  • Transfers
  • On-board

Again sounds simple right? But the cruise deal is only a deal if I don’t have to pay much for it. Can I book via say Ultimate rewards points and get it all paid for with points?

Since Delta can be hard to find low level awards, are there seats either in coach or 1st class at low level at an airport inside my driving toleration level to get to the ship a day early and get me home the day we dock or even the day after if I want to extend the trip on land. Or, do I want to say use FlexPerks points and earn points for the trip and hope for an upgrade based on my wife’s lower medallion status (or split the ticket so at least one of us is likely to upgrade). Or, is this a good place to spend my RU or regional upgrade certificates if there is space?

Speaking of land, do I use hotel points or say my Arrival+ card to book a room, that is burn points or earn points and maybe pay off the room with those points or just earn points and have a higher cost for the room needed.

Same goes for all the other little bits and costs; do I want to use a card that will allow for credit back for paying for those expenses and then burn points to pay myself back.

I ended up personally on this one with a mix of much of the above and then, since the cruise was such an amazingly good deal, just paying for it with one of my latest round of cards I was working on meeting spend on so I get a win there and don’t mind a few bucks out of my pocket this time. The rest however, I want to be as close to FREE as I can get them so points rule!

I hope you are seeing the point of this rookie post. If you are wanting to get a trip as discounted as possible you have to have point balances across the spectrum to have the flexibility to pick and choose and also to be willing to adjust where, when and how to lower the final tab. And all these can really add up. I mean if you take a cab or uber vs a free shuttle, or end up having to pay for a night here and there along the way, or end up having to redeem points at a higher rate than LOW to get the exact flights you need – all can flip a trip from a great deal to just a so-so redemption.

All of this is also a reason to look at the 91+ day time table I talk about in the ROOKIE tab on the top of the blog. Every 91+ days a new flood of points pour in. Then, to make spend simpler, my wife goes for her 91+ day round the following month after mine. Another flood of points. I mean it doesn’t matter if we spend her points for a room or a flight or even if she ends up buying a ticket or room just for me – all points spend the same for us two.

Bottom line is flexibility. Plus, with all the changes going on over at Delta, having choice is a beautiful thing going forward!- René
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FCM or First Class Monetization – now on your Fly Delta APP as well!

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fcm app upgrade

I blogged back in July about how excited Delta was about the rise in 1st class conversion or up sales. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for Delta making boat loads of money. I have touched on this before that I would love for Delta to sell every single 1st class seat they have at really big numbers for those to whom money is not an issue.

However, the downside of this is that there are less and less seats for upgrades and we medallions do seem just a teeny tiny bit obsessed about getting those upgrades.

delta want to upsell me biz for 213 no thanks no way

So far these up-sales have simply been the difference between what we have paid for our tickets and the current price for a 1st class seat. For my last trip I was not about to pay twice the price I paid for my ticket and, by the way, all of my upgrades did clear for that trip anyway!

But now, with a thanks to a reader for the tip and screen shot, we can pick a CASH upgrade via the Fly Delta APP as well as on Delta.com even as late as check-in (here is another answer to all those who keep asking me why Delta is holding SO many seats for upgrade).

Once again I don’t have an issue with this and think it is great. If some are willing to pay for a 1st class seat, at the current rate, great for Delta.

However, what I am and continue to be concerned about is the “what if” and what could happen. We all know even small improvements in yields per ticket results in much improved numbers when you look fleet wide for Delta. What we, medallions, don’t want to see is an up-sell at a greatly reduced rate as that would have a HUGE impact on seats available for complimentary upgrades for medallions.

So thanks readers for keeping an eagle eye on what the mothership is doing and if you happen to see an “el-Cheap-O” first class upgrade be sure to let me know ASAP! – René
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SWAG Saturday: The points that everyone just should go for (because they are so EZ)!

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swag saturdays delta points blog

There are some points that are so simple even the somewhat lazy and busy me always always always goes for. One of them is holding the Discover IT card because it has NO annual fee and having and holding it long term makes my credit score go up. This helps me when I want to get other cards. Oh, and when the 5% reward category is simple, say like a gas station, that happens to sell things like gift cards, I max out the bonus in one or two visits and am done.

chase freedom offer

Then we have another card that I will always till the day I die hold and use that is the Chase Freedom card. Plus, right now it includes 20,000 bonus after just $500 spend. Anyway, just why not. It has no fee. It has great rotating 5% back perk categories each year that change each quarter and guess what – in January 2015 grocery stores are 5% back. Hello! #Winning!

chase 2014 bonus deals

Bottom line, if you do not hold a Chase Freedom card you are missing out on some amazing point deals and considering all the massively BAD changes Delta is making to the Skymiles program having a diversity of points is not just a smart move but a NECESSITY (yeah expect even MORE bad news from Delta coming soon)!

20141113_112044

So now on to this week’s SWAG Saturday (as you see above ie $50, Tumi kit, Delta Points Polo, Delft house & more). First, as I always have to say, the rules are HERE and by commenting you are agreeing you have reviewed them. Then, since once again I am giving away a prize with GIN in it, you must prove you are over 21 to get it full (if not you get the Delft house empty).

Then on to my question. Have you added the Discover IT card and or the Chase Freedom cards to your portfolio of cards yet? If not, why not? Give me your answer for a shot via Random.org for another great bit of Delta Points SWAG this week! – René
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Things that strike me as funny when I travel & search for Delta travel “stuff”!

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old dvd player

I fly a lot. Maybe not as much as some but to me anyone who flies 100+ segments a year flies a lot. Something I hear over 100 times a year then is to put away our laptops (I’m ok with that) and also to put away our DVD players. Now kids, by a show of hands, how many of you over the past 5 years have brought a DVD player on a Delta jet. Folks if your hand just shot up, it is time to upgrade and to LET GO! Then maybe Delta can stop reminding us about 90’s tech before each flight (and yes if you have Zune you need to upgrade too)!

upgrade list on a cjr200

The next one comes to you courtesy of Delta.duhhhhh! I mean I love my upgrade. Maybe a little too much. In fact today I am on a mileage run to the same city I started from (after a week of flying) ! I always make sure I get all my upgrades I can get and don’t do ANYTHING to sabotage my upgrade chances. But I don’t think Delta could upgrade me on CRJ200 from DTW-SBN – do you? ;-)

non2

Speaking of seats, this next one is from the Non-Rev Delta folks. That is those who can basically fly for almost free on Delta. That is not funny at all but a Delta international jet with almost 2000 seats would be AMAZING. I mean, for a Non-Rev your upgrade shot should always be 100% right (well other than this one flight I guess)? Then again, can you even think about a plane that could hold 2000 people? Hummm…

photo

A reader sent me this shot of 3 Dreamlifters. I don’t know, I just think this is a funny looking aircraft. Maybe it is just me. Do you think it is ugly or fun?

ft fa on flyertalk

This next one from a thread at the Delta FlyerTalk thread just hit me as a REALLY moment! First, that it was put up in public and next what was said. Don’t know if any of it is really true but wow was it a funny read! Agree?

united tweet

This last one made me howl out loud. I mean I get companies have to dance such a thin line when it comes to social media. Try to be funny and if not work and you get crushed. Do nothing and you get called out for being a hard-hearted corporate beast. So here, my fellow blogger Summer tweets and United decided to jump in and see what they can do to help. Errr, uh, United, I don’t think you own any SPG hotels. And if you did, I am sure they would be broken (I think I should ask Fake Jeff about this one)!

So there you are. I hope these made you giggle a little today (we sure need it this week after all the Delta news). Got any fun travel ones you have found? Please comment on the blog and include a link so we can all enjoy them too! – René

ALERT: A call to action about the end of award STOPOVERS!

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Delta upgrades graphics on the GIDS in Atlanta

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upgraded GIDS displays with Delta graphics in ATL Delta Points blog (1)

Coming off a redeye this morning from San Francisco I though my eyes were playing tricks on me. I looked up and said to the gate agent, “Oh they have updated the GIDS” or Gate Information Display Screens.

upgraded GIDS displays with Delta graphics in ATL Delta Points blog (2)

He then looked up and did a double-take and was surprised to see the new graphics as well. We have seen lots of updates over the past year to Delta.com HERE and HERE.

upgraded GIDS displays with Delta graphics in ATL Delta Points blog (3)

I really like this new one to match the MAC-ish look Delta is going for (especially the part where I am on the cleared list for upgrade). It seems much crisper and simpler to read. What do you think of the new look? – René

UPDATE: I just got this from my Delta REP today:

  • 1,270 GIDS are located at airports throughout the Delta system.
  • 34 airport locations are equipped with GIDS in gate hold areas.
  • 90 – Average number of seconds that it takes for one complete cycle of information during boarding, with 1 standby list screen, 1 upgrade list screen and 2 pages of cleared list displays.
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Boeing gets snubbed – Airbus wins big order for new wide body jets! A350 & A330’s!

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airbus wins delta contract

Just a quick update that we will be, when flying internationally (and not doing any more stopovers), spending more time on A350 & A330 jets according to these two sources:

Leeham News  &   Yahoo News

Reports are that this news was supposed to be held until the investors day announcement that will include other news including many more ancillary revenue sources Delta is just giddy about. Translation for you and me is more fees and less perks.

I understand those who are passionate about Boeing and the loss of orders and maybe jobs for the company. I am very sad to see the 747 the QueenOfTheSkys going away from Delta’s inventory soon and not having 787s on the way is sad as well. At least to me.

Then at the same time I truly love the seats on the A330 (ie the new ones in BE) vs the herringbone ones one the 777 that to me are some of the worst BE seats that Delta has in the fleet.

What do you think. Like the call by Delta? – René
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GoGo TEXT Beta works perfect with Delta & my Sprint phone!

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gogo text android sprint delta points blog

Oh how good it is to use an Android phone. Not only can I save a ton on a day pass by using this nice trick to use my phone as my GoGo “hot spot” but I can also play with the GoGo text beta app and it works perfect and is really fast.

screenshots of texting from gogo with sprint delta points blog (3)

After setting up my phone to be used with the GoGo Text Beta APP I did something that seems a little odd. As you can see from the screen shot you have to use​ your finger to “fly” the little plane along the path to get the software going. Go outside the lines and you have to start over. Yeah, strange.

screenshots of texting from gogo with sprint delta points blog (1)

Once done ​however it was impressive and very responsive. I was able to text my wife and the response was just about instant. I even tweeted about how nice it seemed to be working and got another text from a reader and it was just as responsive replying to him.

screenshots of texting from gogo with sprint delta points blog (2)

While this service is officially beta stage per the APP it really does quite well. If you find you need to stay in touch via Text when flying this could be yet one more reason to make a GoGo pass or subscription worth it.

Is the addition of GoGo text one that will move you to see more value with GoGo? – René
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Delta #KeepDescending update – NO MORE STOPOVERS or OPEN JAWS #SkyMiles2015

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keepdescending

After I was one of the first to post about the upgrades to Delta.com to find awards (but kinda buggy) Delta today has announced the following “enhancements” to the Skymiles2015 program:

Stopovers
For Award Travel booked prior to January 1, 2015, one stopover is allowed per roundtrip Award Ticket under certain circumstances. A stopover is defined as a stay of more than 4 hours between domestic flights and more than 24 hours between domestic and international or all international flights. The destination city is not considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed, provided there are no more than two connections between the origin and destination including any connections that are made while traveling to/from the stopover point. The stopover city must be located on a valid routing.

Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.

Open Jaw
Open jaw Award Travel is permitted for Awards booked prior to January 1, 2015. To be eligible, the mileage between the open jaw points must be less than or equal to the total mileage flown between any other trip in the itinerary (origin to destination). A double open jaw is not permitted.

For Award Travel ticketed on or after January 1, 2015, all open jaw itineraries will be priced based on One-way Award Travel pricing rules.

So two of the most valuable features of Skymiles will be trashed next year – thanks Delta! I see you have our backs! Want to spend a few days in Amsterdam or London or Paris on the way to your final city (or on the way home)? Not if you book next year! Want to enjoy a free one-way ticket tacked on the end of your award ticket? Not if you book next year! – GONE!

I am almost physically ill. No more RTW or Round The World award tickets after 1JAN2015. The list just goes on and on. The #DOS or Destruction of Skymiles truly is on the way and all you have to do is look at the clock on the right hand side of the blog! (I think ADAM is going to be VERY busy before 2014 ends!) – René

PS – So anyone voting for Delta to win at Freddie awards this year?
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Reflection of where we have been and where we are going after 3 years of blogging.

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reflection airplane

It is somewhat fitting that today I am starting a 5 day mileage run. After all, so much has changed and is continuing to change going forward. And yet some things are staying the same as I have just the other day booked my first two mileage runs under Skymiles2015!

I mean when I was a “young lad” flying NWA and thrilled to get a free ride now and then I had no idea what was to come. I clearly remember the ridiculous thrill of getting a bump in CVG and getting $800 each and sitting in a hotel room just giddy with joy and watching Lisa smile when I said “we just got $1600 and dinner and a hotel to go the next day“! I was ecstatic. Then, the next day, it got better. They were over sold again. I almost had an accident I was so happy. But then it all went south. A connecting flight did not make it and the plane was almost empty. Sadness. But then, I asked for an upgrade after being so willing to help. Granted. I stayed up all night long and enjoyed my first adult business class ride to Europe. I was hooked.

Then my life REALLY changed. I found Rick Ingersol. Yeah, I know he has changed a great many lives. Oh my. I then ran a few hundred thousand in mint coins (Hey, many ran millions! I was small time)! I got on two Delta Reserve cards 60k MQMs in a few months (EZ when you are buying $29,000 in coins per order). Oh those were the days. Then the flood of travel cards of every flavor. I was applying for more cards than I could have dreamed of and they were all approved. Points were pouring in faster than I could spend. This had to end – then it didn’t!

Then I stumbled onto the Skymall deal. For you who missed that, ah hem, they HAD to get rid of millions upon millions of miles because Delta told them to (ask me some time if you want to know even more). The result was me being the point portal for the promotion only a few weeks into my blogging life. I helped Skymall to unload HUNDREDS of millions of Delta points in about 6 hours and my blog exploded and has not slowed down since.

It has been really fun to be a part of Boarding Area. I wish you readers could know how amazing these folks are. I mean Randy is just a force on his own but those who work for him are some of the best folks I have ever worked with – EVER. Then there are my fellow bloggers like MJ, Michael, PM&M, Jen, Adam, Greg, Gary, Ben, Stefan, Summer, BG Glenn & the rest of the gang of many. Others who are new but I’ve known for years like KathyJamie and Chris. So many outstanding people and stunningly good bloggers with so much knowledge it makes my head spin. I wish you could all know them like I do. I hope you go to a DO or an FTU and meet them. Then many of the folks at Delta – you folks know who you are and a treasure knowing you all.

Back to history. I remember the shock at 1000 e-mail subscribers. Then 2k. Then breaking 50k in pageviews for a month. Then hitting 1 million pageveiws for the year. Now, between the two blogs (oh yeah starting another big blog), soon hitting ¼ million pageviews each month boggles the mind. Numbers get crazy but it is so fun to have so many along for the entire ride and so many new folks just finding the blog and enjoying sharing all things Delta good and bad (gosh I hope we get more good than bad next year)!

Lastly we have my ride with Delta. Delta, as a traveler, treats me VERY well. I would not have stayed this loyal to Delta had the program been a challenge to get value out of if the airline had not been just THAT GOOD! I, since I do take the time it takes, have always seen value. I think for me, and for readers, 2015 will be amazing. We can with many tricks and efforts, collect insane amounts of points and Delta will at the same time reward us with more open low level seats than ever before. If I did not believe this I would not have banked nearly 1 million Skymiles by this point in the year! I think I have made the right call and will really enjoy spending all those SkyGOLD points very soon.

I really could make this a book. I am so happy that today I am starting a full week of flying my Delta. I will be in ATL, CVG, DTW, DFW, DEN, SFO & SBN. I hope if you see me along the way you will stop and say HI. I love what I do and thank you all for taking the time to read the blog each day! – René
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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.
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