Tag Archives for Delta.

Surviving (and thriving) Delta 2015

Delta 2015

As of January 1, 2015, Delta has been awarding miles based on the ticket price rather than the distance flown.  Under the new program, long distance heavily discounted flights result in far fewer earned miles than before.  For example, as shown in the image below, a $320 flight between Detroit and Los Angeles used to result in 7,916 earned SkyMiles for those with Platinum elite status.  Today, the same flight will earn only 2,880 miles. …

Continue Reading »

Are Delta’s upgrade certificates as good as they sound?

Late in 2013, I posted “Why Delta’s great new Choice Benefits irk me.”  Delta had just announced that they would be introducing regional and global upgrade certificates as choice benefits for high level elites.  Here is a summary of the new benefits: Regional Upgrade certificates: Platinum Medallions have a Choice Benefit of 4 Regional Upgrade certificates that can be applied on any paid flight that qualifies for free Medallion upgrades.  Certificates may be used only…

Continue Reading »

HOT: Amazing award availability on partner airlines using Delta SkyMiles!

This won’t last long! The blog “don’t call the airline!” has found that when searching for partner awards (e.g. Air France, Virgin Atlantic), the system is often showing extra award space when you search for flexible days.  And, amazingly, the tickets are bookable!  For example, DCTA was able to find 9 business class seats available at saver level (all partner awards should book at saver level) for flights from London to JFK!  And DCTA…

Continue Reading »

Bet You Didn’t Know: Tricks to using Virgin Atlantic miles to fly Delta

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Delta

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate…   It’s fascinating to me that so many airlines have decided it’s fair to promote a “free” ticket loyalty program and then turn around and charge several hundred dollars in fuel surcharges for one of those “free” tickets. It almost seems like… well, lying. Is that too harsh? How about we’ll call it an “inadvertently fortuitous untruth?” Here’s a case in point: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles are practically worthless thanks…

Continue Reading »

Delta award stop-overs only partially broken

Delta Award stop-overs

Delta has long allowed both a stop-over and an open-jaw on round trip awards.  This meant that it was possible to stop in multiple cities for the price of a single award.  For example, you could fly from the US to London, stop over for days or weeks, then continue on to your destination, let’s say Rome, hang out for a while, then make your own way perhaps to Madrid by train (this part is…

Continue Reading »

How to manufacture Delta elite status


Most airlines offer extra benefits to their most valuable customers. This is usually handled through elite status.  If you fly enough with an airline, you can become “elite”.  Of course, not all elites are equal.  Most airlines have multiple elite tiers to differentiate their valuable customers from their really valuable customers.  And, of course, airlines offer the best perks to their highest tier elites. Delta is no different.  They offer elite tiers ranging from Silver…

Continue Reading »

A point hoarder’s approach to booking domestic flights

In the post “Opportunistic hoarding vs. earning and burning,” I described my approach to earning points, miles, and cash back.  I earn opportunistically based on the best available deals at the time.  I wrote: 100,000 AA miles for signing up for a credit card?  Yep, sign me up.  Over 20 points per dollar by shopping at Sears through the Southwest Rapid Rewards portal?  Cool, I’ll do my online shopping there.  3000 Club Carlson points for…

Continue Reading »

Buying low, flying high

In recent years, Delta has improved their flying experience quite a bit.  They’ve upgraded to newer and bigger planes, they’ve improved their on time performance and baggage handling, they’ve upgraded their onboard catering, and they’ve even produced some of the most entertaining safety videos around, such as this 80’s themed video:   Unfortunately, along the way, Delta has also done a lot to tick off frequent flyers.  Here are some examples: They raised prices in…

Continue Reading »

Upgrading to Reserve, striving for Diamond

Last Friday, I upgraded one of my wife’s two Delta cards to a $450 Delta Reserve card.  Am I insane?  Probably, but that’s besides the point.  Let me explain… American Express offers three different Delta branded cards.  The links below will take you to my analysis of each card: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card ($0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year) Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card ($195 annual fee) Delta…

Continue Reading »

An Analysis of the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card

American Express offers three different Delta branded credit cards: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card ($0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year) Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card ($195 annual fee as of May 1 2014) Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express ($450 annual fee) I previously reviewed the Reserve card here, and the Platinum card here.  Both, in my opinion, are excellent cards for regular Delta flyers who can make…

Continue Reading »