sunny day on the SkyDeck Atlanta ATL airport F concorse Mileage Run Delta Points travel blog rene MKE to LAX (2)

Two weeks ago today as part of my visit to Delta I, with help from readers and my fellow blogger MJ on Travel & PM&M, setup a mini DeltaDO or get together. But how does one get that many folks into a Skyclub with many of them residing in ATL and not flying?

pass to get to skyclub via regus meeting room

The solution was hit upon by reader, Eric who said we could just rent a Regus conference room at a Skyclub and then all who were going to attend could get a gate pass to proceed through the TSA checkpoint.

The reason for this was many fold. First, we did not want to needlessly book fully refundable tickets on Delta that we had no intention to fly just to get past TSA (we do really like Delta after all). I was told that Delta could put our TSA Pre Check numbers or our Known Traveler Numbers into this gate pass and we could get TSA Pre for this. In reality it did not work at all. Ah well, not all that shocking that something from the TSA did not really work at all as stated.

Then we had to coordinate enough folks who were Diamonds to guest folks in; for now Diamonds still have the executive membership until 1FEB2015 so each could get two extra guests in. Many others had their own membership or got in some other way like via the Delta Reserve card or the non-Delta Platinum AMEX card. It did all work out believe it or not – much of it thanks to work from the group of readers (you all ROCK by the way)!

Dinner with Delta Points

Then we all meet-up at Malone’s for dinner and had a grand time sharing Delta bits and travel stories and got to know one another. For those of us who love our Delta it is great to be surrounded by fellow Delta fans! It was a truly a fun day and I look forward to next time. The group suggested next year a visit to the flight museum in Seattle. I think that sounds like a blast – anyone else game to join us? – René

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Posted by rene | 10 Comments

Delta drinks Yesterday, in just about everyone’s e-mails, you got a snazzy and colorful marketing bit about some new signature drinks you can request on Delta jets for $8.  Oh, and we can still get the 20% off if we pay with our Delta AMEX cards too! Sounds peachy right?

Not so much when you think about the fact that PRE August 1st drinks were just $7 each on Delta flights. Thus these new fruity concoctions cost  14.3% more  than they would have been last month.

Oh, and I do TRULY love and respect Delta FA’s. They do an amazing job with us picky flyers, but being bartenders is not their first line of work. I think many found out about these new drinks when they were pointed out to them. Maybe marketing and training should talk a little bit more.

buy delta drink coupons before your flight for 5 bucks each

Anyway, this does make the buying of drink coupons online before you fly at $5 each an even bigger bargain than before (until they realize this has not been updated and jump the price there too that is).

One more thing this does is make the value of spending Skybonus points for drink coupons worth just a tiny bit more! ;-) – René

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Posted by rene | 10 Comments

 

Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The planning & changes – Part 1
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: Outbound from South Bend – Part 2
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The Westin Chicago & UBER Black & SUV – Part 3
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: Outbound from Chicago & United Global 1st lounge Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Part 4
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The brand new and amazing Boeing 747-8 & 1st class seating & experience – Part 5
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The 1st class terminal in Frankfurt – Part 6
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: A Porsche ride & domestic business class – Part 7
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: Outbound from Gothenburg Sweden & business class to Munich Germany- Part 8
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: A Mercedes ride and the 1st class lounge in Munich – Part 9
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The Airbus A330 & 1st class experience – Part 10
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: An overnight in Toronto Canada at the SPG Four Points by Sheraton – Part 11
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge- Part 12
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: United business class back to Chicago & South Bend Indiana – Part 13
Lufthansa 1st class to Sweden: Final thoughts & Delta comparison – Part 14

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (1)

After a nice visit to the MUC 1st class lounge it was a very short walk (it was next door to the lounge) to the gate to fly part of the way home. I was almost as excited about this flight as I was about the outbound as this time I would not be sleeping for most of the ride.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (2)

The gate area was crowded and there was not much room to stand and wait to board as the boarding area was the main traffic area as well.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (3)

Plus, much like the outbound from ORD, the business and 1st class boarding was mixed.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (5)

Just as a reminder this was the DAY after Germany won the world cup. They were all still just a teeny, tiny bit excited about the victory, as you can imagine, and it included decking the 1st class out with a football jersey. Good for them!

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (6)

The cabin layout was 1 – 2 – 1 with the two gentlemen in row 1 A&D leaving row two for Lisa & I. Nice. We picked the middle seats next to each other.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (7)

The Head purser on this flight, unlike the outbound, was attentive and helped us most of the trip. She let us know that they could make up the extra seats as beds should we want to take a nap during the trip – just let them know. Sweet.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (4)

We got busy and changed into our flying jammies, similar to the outbound ones, and the FA was even waiting for me to exit the bathroom to hang up my clothes for me as it was a shared locker this time. Impressive!

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (8)

Time for pre-flight bubbly and to look over the lunch menu. I decide on the steak again as it was so good on the outbound. But first, after takeoff, appetizers.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (9)

Well that is pre-appetizer and then appetizer that is.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (10)

Oh, and then the caviar service again. How nice. Since there were only 4 of us upfront we got a very nice helping. I would really like to know what brand of caviar they serve, but did not ask and I even asked Boarding Area’s own resident Lufthansa pro Ben from OneMileataTime but he did not know. Lufthansa Flyer said he will get back to me and said he thinks they have several types they serve. This months was one of the best I have had (not that I have had much on Delta mind you)! ;-)

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (11)

Then on to the appetizer and similar to last time they were good, but the pre-thing was meh but just one bite so why not.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (12)

Dinner was let’s just say OK. Nothing like the outstanding outbound one and I wish I had tried something else I hate to say.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (13)

Sorry about the poor and fuzzy shot of dessert but it was also not very special.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (14)

But some chocolates and a cognac made up for that a bit.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (15)

Time to settle in and relax for the flight over the water.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review world map

The IFE works well. There were ample selections of movies and such to watch and the screen is large and easy to watch (that is good as it is a LONG way away from you). I did not test out the internet as to me I am still desperately clinging to international flight time as my time off the web. I know with Delta’s upgrades for this having already begun these days are numbered. Ah well.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (16)

Pre-landing meal was a nice salad with a veal Saltimbocca. I have to say I really like the idea of a salad over say a limp sandwich or something similar that Delta often serves pre-landing in BE or business elite.

Lufthansa 1st class munich to Toronto A330 DeltaPoints blog review (17)

Dessert was a small cake and fruit and much better than the dessert with the lunch course. Most acceptable.

We landed just about on time in YYZ and headed right to the Four Points by Sheraton YYZ as I was ready for a shower and bed as we had an early morning flight and had to clear US customs in Canada (yes, that was strange to me but I have been told this is normal).

Next up the hotel review as well as Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge in YYZ (as well as a 3rd party lounge just down stairs worth checking out).- René

Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.

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Posted by rene | 7 Comments

 

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour

Last weekend I had the privilege of taking a tour of the OCC at Delta Corp. The following day, with a fun group of readers I had time to visit the Delta Flight Museum. Delta really has done an amazing job and it is only a short taxi or UBER ride from the airport. If you have a long enough layover I would encourage you to make the trek over to the hangars.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (3)

The first room contains a DC-3, tons of history from the very start of Delta in the crop dusting days to concrete from the propeller age to a tribute to many years of Chairman’s Award winners (the best of the best of Delta)! Let me just share a bunch of photos from that first room.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (2)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (12)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (6)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (4)

You then proceed through a tunnel that joins the hangars that has speakers that give you the sensation of progressing from the propeller age to the jet age. A neat little step that shows the attention to detail they have put into this project.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (5)

Then you have the historic Spirit of Delta that employees saved up money to buy, via payroll deductions, and gave to the company. Talk about dedication to the airline by those who work for and love Delta.

In this next hangar, so old the doors were not big enough to get this big bird in (they cut out an opening to get it in) you have a tour though the modern age of Delta. Let me show you what I mean.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (8)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (7)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (9)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (1)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (10)

Then next you have something you just cannot find anywhere else, a fully functional jet simulator. This has a hefty up-charge ($395 for up to 4 for an hour) but is the real deal. I did not take the flight, but plan to one day with a group.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (11)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (16)

Upstairs you have a conference room that is part of an old L-1011. You can even rent this for meetings and have it catered as well.

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (15)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (14)

Delta Flight Museum Delta Points blog tour (13)

Just neat. If you want to impress a client, this would be a way to do just that. Our group seemed to enjoy checking it out and I would fly with any of these folks on a Delta jet anytime (in the back – maybe not so much if in 0A or 0B ;-) )!

Lastly you have a fully stocked gift shop so you can geek yourself out in as much Delta branded swag as you can stand. Have a man cave? You could make it a Delta man cave with all you behold in this place!

delta points group at DFM tour

You can really spend all day in here if you have the time. This post was just a quick overview of the place. There are interactive bits you can play with and test just how much you know about Delta. Lastly you can pay to have a guided tour as we did just that ($100). It was well worth it and Silvester was kind, fun and gave us a great tour of the facility. I encourage you to consider this if you have a group as it will add to the experience (be sure to pay not with your Delta card but with your FlexPerks as the museum is a charity and you can get 3x points that way)! – René

 

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Posted by rene | 6 Comments

mark donovan linkedin page

This is an interesting post directed at Delta by a distraught father. Let me first say I have fellow feeling for Mr. Donovan and there are few terrors in the world worse than thinking your child has gone missing. Without question, Delta dropped the ball in giving him bad information and apparently repeatedly so by several Delta representatives. It certainly, at a minimum, sounds like the PDX GA’s are in sore need of some training, and Delta should have responded to the complaints by Mr. Donovan.

But this story has me perplexed. You see the Delta Unaccompanied Minor program is amazingly tight to make sure a child is never ever lost. You can read about it HERE. In part it says:

“Gate Procedures
Unaccompanied Minor – Departure gate procedures

Upon arrival at the gate, check-in with the gate agent for verification purposes.
Unaccompanied minor will board at the beginning of the boarding process.

Please note: The child will not be permitted to board the aircraft if the adult escorting them is not present at time of boarding.

Once the plane is off the ground the adult who has escorted the unaccompanied minor will be permitted to depart the gate area – this ensures that, if an irregular operation occurs, the child is escorted at all times.

Unaccompanied Minor – Arrival gate procedures

Upon arrival at the airport, the adult picking up the unaccompanied minor will be required to check-in at the ticket counter to obtain a gate pass.
Gate pass can only be issued by seeing an agent (Special Services line).
Arrive at the gate prior to aircraft arrival.
A Delta representative will bring the child from the aircraft to the gate.
Provide identification for verification purposes to the Delta representative.
Once the ID has been verified the adult will be required to sign a release form.
The child will be released and the adult will be given any documents such as passport, boarding cards, receipts, baggage claim, etc.”

Now with all this in place, how can you ever lose a child? Ever? I am sure most of us who fly know one of the first things the GA meeting the plane always always always asks is: “How many UMs and wheelchairs do you have”.

In the LinkedIN post Mr. Donovan says his sister went to the gate to meet his daughter and she was not there. Then tells us the Delta rep says:

“DELTA GUY: Uh, yes…hello sir…we show your daughter was on this flight, we checked with the onboard crew and they confirmed they had two unaccompanied minors on the plane from Minneapolis, however, they say, both minors left the plane unescorted.”

If you look at the comments on the post they are all resoundingly appalled at what Delta did and did not do. In the end, his daughter was on another flight that landed during the frantic search for where she was in the airport.

Mr. Donovan is very critical of Delta for the “paperwork” mistake of losing his daughter since she was never really lost at all. I have a bunch of my own concerns over this, but not for what Delta did so much as for what Mr. Donovan did not do and maybe we can learn from this. See if you agree with me or tell me if you think I am in left field on this.

First, Mr. Donovan is in technology. Not just in it, he is COO of a tech company. Has he never heard about GoGo? He says he is loyal to Delta. They announce all the time all over the place about GoGo. He already paid the $200 round trip unaccompanied minor fee, why not pay the $16 more for two days of unlimited mobile phone use so he could know where his young one was throughout the trip. GoGo would have ended his stress before it began.

Next, why was his child not flying NONSTOP from NYC to PDX? If it were my little one I would have picked one of the two nonstop flights and only them. Why risk a connection? Mr. Donovan says there was weather that day in the NYC area. OK, why not reschedule for the next day (most times free under weather waivers).

non stop jfk to pdx delta-com

Those are the major questions that matter. The ones that doesn’t really matter for safety but matter to me are the other “disturbing” facts. He spent 65,000 membership rewards points for the trip. WHAT? Why? Yes he could pay for the ticket with membership rewards points and earn Skymiles for his daughter’s ticket this way (assuming she has a Skymiles account) but look at this:

low level biz seats jfk to pdx

I don’t know how long ago he booked these tickets for the trip over the 4th of July but if I look at September award seats today for someone with NO status coach tickets are wide open and the non stop has plenty of availability at the 40,000 point level round trip (you can send membership rewards MR points to Delta 1:1 and they move over almost instantly). Why did he spend over 50% more points than he had to for the ticket?

So what do you think. Is Delta completely at fault and this is a horrible failure on Delta’s part or could Mr. Donovan have done things differently and this would have never been an issue. You tell me! – René
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Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.

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Posted by rene | 16 Comments

firstworldproblems

There is just about no way for this to come across not sounding arrogant, thus my choice of the photo above. And once again, before the comments roll in about donating my points, giving away points is a really dumb idea as I donate “cash” that is I use my FlexPerks card as I earn 3x or a net 6% back vs. dumping my miles to charity.

Back on point; when one has so many points what points does one choose for a trip? Well this post is what I do and not necessarily what you should do. This is my thinking and my issues and you can glean what you will and perhaps consider some of the info to make your booking choices.

The advantage of having so many points is when you want to go from A to B you can look at all the different airlines that will get you there (yes, not just Delta). Also, there are other choices and issues. Let me break them down.

If I book with Delta or Alaska points I can book coach seats and as a Diamond expect with a great deal of probability to upgrade from coach. So, this gives me the best choice for least points, but perhaps not the best routes or airports to transition through. However, in case of IROPS my best chance to get where I need to be when I need to be there. Also, to score the coveted low level I may have to overnight, losing a day of my life plus the cost of a hotel for more points or cash.

The other choices, AA, US Air & BA points all have their perks and problems. For example, the airports these serve could be a longer drive than SBN or South Bend, my home town airport. Or, to get the lowest point cost, I may have to drive to other airports. Or, since I have no chance for upgrade booking in biz may just be the best choice – I do have a ton of points after all.

Now I warned you this post will sound arrogant, but these are the things I think about. If I book with DL or DL partners I have a good shot at upgrades that could include food on the flights. I will be connecting via airports I spend a ton of time in. I could enjoy Skydecks, but the SkyPubs have yet to implement the promised “enhancements” let alone just what those will be one day. The REV MGT folks may decide the best bits we tested are way to much money. Yes, all these things go into my thinking about what airline to fly.

With other airlines, coach is just not an option I am willing to go with. I have enough points that I can book biz as long as the price is worth it, that is, finding low level biz. Plus, with some of these other choices it could mean a better airport with say a Centurion Lounge. Yes, since SkyPubs are just a shadow of the AMEX (or The Club lounges) it is a consideration for layovers as a lounge that can provide good FREE food and drinks (and even a spa) makes the choice of airline a big factor.

Oh, and then there is the even larger MQM factor. I took a peek at buying a ticket to fly from SBN to where I want to go (a small-ish airport btw) and the price, get this almost 3 months out, is over $1000 in coach. This for a domestic flight. You have got to be kidding me; to have to start on a 50 seat CRJ for that kind of money? Yeah, RIGHT Delta – not gonna happen EVER! But I do live in the best part of the USA as I have a bunch of airport choices if I am willing to drive a few hours. I found from GRR or Grand Rapids I could buy a coach Delta ticket for just under $400 so I could use my FlexPerks points and expect an upgrade and earn MQMs and RDMs.

Choices choices choices. Crazy to think that a simple trip can include so many options! But all of this does come into play. Do I go for earning points and a shot at an upgrade or do I pick better routes and lounges. So many #firstworldproblems to consider, but all important to me.

Lastly even my scarce hotel points do come into play. Now sure I can use Arrival+ points to pay for a hotel so that does not really cost me anything out of pocket. Then again, I can choose to use those point to say pay for a mileage run or another trip!

So what did I choose? I can, due to my status with Delta, pick the less than favorable flight choices with Delta and dump them if they don’t improve. I have done that as a fall back. I have booked with another airline the perfect flights and airports along the way. I have a hotel room on points, not at my favorite choice, but one near my target airport and at a good rate on points vs. paying for the room with say Arrival+ points.

I hope you can see, with a good “bank” of points, your choice is not just the free option, but the one that will make the trip the best or most lucrative along the way! – René

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Posted by rene | 5 Comments

main entrance to Delta CORP ATL delta points blog (1)

I was so looking forward to this visit to Delta’s corporate office located right next door to the Delta Museum (more on that later this week btw) and the airport.

main entrance to Delta CORP ATL delta points blog (2)

I had missed an earlier invite that did not quite work out due to some weather issues and missed flights. Also, as a bit of a disclaimer and so it is clear, none of my trip was comp’ed by Delta CORP. I used Lisa’s Skymiles (low level award, naturally) to fly down to ATL and stayed at the Westin on my own SPG points (net 2500 after 500 back as a Platinum). However, I do deeply appreciate the private guided tour from two outstanding Delta PR reps who I have known for years and very much respect and appreciate.

We started the tour at the PR department and I was shown their work area and got to say hello to a few of the folks I had not yet had the privilege of meeting. I will say this about Delta folks, they are all really good people and I would expect nothing else. But at the same time I was teased with some bits from the work behind Skymiles 2015. :-)

twitter - facebook and more socal space at Delta CORP Delta Points blog (2)

The next stop was the social media lab or the home of the amazing @DeltaAssist team. There are few months that go by that I don’t tout how great this team is when you need them.

twitter - facebook and more socal space at Delta CORP Delta Points blog (1)

This team does much more than just Twitter as Facebook, Pinterest and others are all covered here. Still, for most of us, Twitter is what affects us most (maybe I am just biased – nahhh)!

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (1)

Then on to the OCC or the Operations / Customer Center. Let me just tell you this place is amazing. Not just the overwhelming technology there but the people and what they do.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (2)

They are real time tracking and working to get 100% of all flights completed each and every day. Clearly that is impossible depending on the goal. For the day I visited, after a rough weather day the day before, was 99.5% of all flights and they were beating that goal mainline! Translation into normal English – we flyers are getting to where we want to be thanks to these folks’ hard work!

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (3)

They are tracking everything. From news, to all the many regional partners that all have their own control centers that then communicate with our mothership – this is an amazing amount of data flowing into one place to be sorted out. The dance to make this all work is impressive.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (4)

Then there are the weather folks that are a major part of the daily operations as you can guess. Not just for the day, but for days ahead and they can even share the data they find with all the other bits of Delta, even Trainer Oil, if it can have an impact on operations. Brilliant and a great use of valuable data that can help us and the company.

Next what I simply call parts (yeah that sounds dumb, but for us, bits that keep jets running are just parts, right). Seriously, when something breaks on a jet you have to get a replacement. That may mean flying a jet to a hub or location that has the part or in some other way getting the part to where the broken jet is. Many of these folks have been on the front line of repairing jets so they know not just logistics but often the part they are working with. This all just cooks my brain and so builds my appreciation for all that goes in to making all 1000+ takeoffs and landings work each and every day. Humbling to say the very least.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (5)

Then there is stuff that just makes me giggle. They, like every company on the planet, have break room, but a toaster out in tech room – really? – too funny to me.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (6)

Lastly there was the situation room. Not just for meetings but if things go wrong you are going to see the people that matter all in this room.

So what to take away from all of this? One is there will just about never be a time Delta is not “up and running”. They have a fully TESTED backup in case “whatever” happens. The airline’s operations is truly overwhelming and stunning. I have always been uber impressed how just about perfect Delta “works” and now I see why they truly are THIS good. Wow factor is off the charts.

I brag on Delta a bunch. I fly Delta just about exclusively year after year. I have history with Delta / NWA for a reason and this day showed me why I made the right choice! – René
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Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.

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Posted by rene | 12 Comments

 

delta president Ed Bastian talking about first class upsell

From seekingalpha.com

There is a full copy of the transcript of the Q2 earnings call from Delta on seekingalpha.com and clearly Delta continues to do well, but the part that really got my attention was the above. That is, the up-selling of first class seats.

I have talked about this before, then re-evaluated my stand and posted again a sequel, and this also seems to be working for Delta and this “could” be bad for us. Here is why.

I am most happy Delta is making a ton of money. I am thrilled they are making staggering cash from bag and other fees (as long as Delta Points readers are not part of that). But to see the amount of open seats available for upgrade for elite’s shrinking is worrying.

Now before you pile on the WFBF that is “want first buy first” bandwagon, or as a reader commented once (who’s husband is a DL pilot) that us over-entitled elites should basically never ever get upgrades and are just whiny to begin with, understand that medallion upgrades are one of the BIG reasons a flyer stays loyal to Delta. I mean, it sure will not be for the frequent flyer program in 2015 as there will be few rewards there after 1JAN2015. Upgrades are still one of THE top perks and a major reason to shoot for top status with the airline.

Also understand I really am fine with the current system Delta has put in place. After all, anyone paying for these upgrades are overpaying IMO. They are basically paying close to retail for the upgrade either with cash or points. Even I sometimes buy and recommend 1st class tickets including mileage runs in 1st class when the price is right.

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

However, what I can see happening is the prices for these upgrade going lower and lower to the point where medallion upgrades become almost impossible to get.

For example, I am on a one day mileage run later this year and paid $196 for the ticket (less a $50 voucher). Now the current price to buy 1st class for the round trip is just $409. So, the up-charge they are offering me is simply the price difference between what the 1st class ticket “buy price” would be and what I paid. I love this. Not that I would ever do it, but I love the math. I love that Delta can make more money selling a seat at the current first class price.

But what if? What if they decide 10 days out to send me an email that I can upgrade to 1st for say $50 or even $100 round trip? I would personally still not do it as I expect the upgrade as a Diamond (currently running about 90% for me this year) but I bet a TON of folks would buy an upgrade in a heartbeat at that kind of price.

At this point this is just speculation. We will have to watch very closely to see if REV MGT decides it is worth taking the next step in decimating the value of being an elite Delta flyer. I sure hope not! – René

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PS – be sure and follow along today
and this weekend
as I travel to Atlanta &
visit with readers!
#DeltaPointsATL

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Posted by rene | 8 Comments

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value definition from websters new collegiate dictionary

I am really looking forward to this coming weekend. Not only am I going to get to spend time with a few of my fellow BoardingArea bloggers but I’m also going to have the chance to get to know some 20 readers of the blog and chat about all things points. Plus, before the dinner spending some quality time on the SkyDeck. Not just all this but to round out the day I will be tweeting from Delta headquarters enjoying some time with the folks from Delta! (#DeltaPointsATL)

Plus talk about the VALUE of my Skymiles. Some disparagingly call them SkyPesos; I call them Delta GOLD and see my Delta points as valuable and desirable. I was able to find low level award seats to fly down, even using my wife’s Gold account, intentionally routing through Detroit on the way down. My upgrade to 1st class cleared 6 days in advance and I have a direct flight home on Saturday. When you look at what a ticket from SBN would cost to ATL, normally around $400-600 or more, I am getting a great benefit for my Skymiles. I will be staying at an SPG hotel for just 3k points and as a Starwood Platinum should get a nice upgrade and breakfast included.

Saturday will also be a ball as many of the group are going to tour the brand new Delta museum that looks just spectacular according to Lars-Eric’s post from opening day.

The only thing I can possibly find to complain about, and some readers love to point out, is that I will have to endure a CRJ on the way home from Atlanta to South Bend. I guess it is good to have some #FirstWorldProblems in life!

Have you had some good success redeeming your Skymiles at low level this year? – René
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.