Delta Rant – Why Delta is it always the Bad with the Good?

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Delta good with the bad
There are days I dread to open my “in-box”. There are days where the flood of upset Delta flyers just VENT for all the negative changes Delta has made and continues to make this year. I mean just look at this year’s “bad”.

  • It started early on with MQDs being announced last January
  • Then SDC ver 1.0 & then the slightly better 2.0 weeks later
  • Next there were TWO Skymiles chart devaluations this year
  • Oh, and Delta DieMiles i.e. your miles gone when you are!
  • Lastly no more Medallion upgrades JFK – LAX/SFO/SEA

This last one really stinks and I think long run will cost “our” airline money and I think, just maybe, if “you all” complain enough that one could become like the SDC, that is a 2.0 version of NO FREE UPGRADES. If Delta had done, say a min fare class, say K class for upgrade on this route, I think the uproar would have been much less. Or, even, if they had allowed the use of the Regional upgrade certs to be used, regionally, since last time I checked, staying inside the USA is not a global flight – or am I really missing something here? Would either of these two changes keep you from say moving to AA or UA (if you are in these markets)?

What other irritations have hit us this year? There have been a bunch of little tiny ones that just have irked me and continue to irk me. See if you agree and if you have more you want to add to this list.

  • No advance warnings (most Delta changes)
  • Using FlyerTalk as the new PR release point
  • 99.99% of all offers are targeted offers
  • Still not fixing award page and partner issues
  • Worthless Twitter presence other than @DeltaAssist

These to be are the smaller nagging things I would love for Delta to improve in 2014. Delta “hides” behind legaleze gibberish about advanced warnings, but no other airline does this so that just does not hold water. And next don’t get me wrong. I like FlyerTalk, but is this really the point where Delta CORP news should come out? Then targeted offers – get over the notion we will gripe when we have a chance at a promo – we like to feel appreciated even if we don’t use the promo! Lastly get with it on Twitter. AA does it right – just copy what they are doing!

But have the good outweighed the bad this year? Well what good changes have happened? Let’s break those down.

  • Full flat seats for INT flight (but cost 25% more Skymiles)
  • Usable SWUs (but less than other airline and must pick Global or Regional)
  • Free Hawaii upgrades (but none from Atlanta)

You see my point for this rant today and this year. Each time Delta does something good for us, they do something bad as well. I racked my brain for the year and can not think of ONE TIME it has been all just good. Also, there have been many other little things that are frustrations like the fact that they are adding some 1st class rows back to the A319s like NWA had, but the net result across ALL the jets in the fleet is a REDUCTION in 1st class seats. Grrrr. Again bad with the good. Or, say the new usable SWUs, good, but if you have already picked your 2014 Choice Benefit you are left out in the cold, bad. Again same thing. Or, the Korean issue, a Skyteam founding member, but you get no Skymiles unless code share so, well, you can pay more and book this way, and this one is just all bad!

Here is the thing kids – Delta is making a TON of money right now. There looks to be no stopping them and the DAL stock price going up up up. Just look what said:

“Thanks to the strong industry outlook and the pressure that is currently on oil prices, many analysts are looking for DAL to continue to grow earnings in the months ahead. Current estimates peg this quarter’s earnings growth (yoy) at 121%, while current year growth is expected to be in the high double digits, hitting 70% year-over-year.”  –

The only thing that is going to stop Delta from continuing to give us bad with the good is that we either complain enough to roll back the bad or vote with our wallets and change to another airline and thus impact the bottom line. Neither seems to be happening. What does that say for 2014?- René

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  1. As long as they are making plenty of money, they don’t care. They’ll just concentrate on making more. They simply don’t care, except about their bottom line. Not saying the other airlines aren’t similar, it’s just that Delta seems to want to push it in a flyer’s face.

    I have virtually no Delta points left. I’ve voted.

  2. You failed to mention that all the reconfigured DL FC cabins have significantly less personal space. Case in point…. 739 vs 752/753 and 717 vs DC95.

  3. I fly to Central America (MGA) more than any other destination, and DL offers the only direct flight from ATL. I saw a notice that DL will no longer offer Medallion Upgrades on routes with “Business Elite” service – just another name for “up front”. This is enough to push me over to AAL or UAL, even with stops. I find it particularly annoying that after I have worked so hard and shown singular loyalty to my hometown airline, that they are taking away the one perk I value most.

  4. Rene, as I have said before Delta is boiling the frog. It is a common practice that large corporations use against their customers and employees. A relentless but incremental turning up the heat with the expectation that the frog will not jump out. As a former exec at a large corporation, it is a strategy I have seen implemented over and over. In this case, Delta has little to fear about their customers jumping ship because, thanks to airline mergers which were ostensibly for the benefit of the consumer, there are only two other viable options. And those airlines are doing similar things to their customers.

  5. And, if delta won’t listen to people like you, Rene, someone who has a larger than usual forum, why would they listen to someone like me who is just a single individual albeit a million miler. I’ve said it before: I sometimes wish loyalty programs had never been started (and I have benefitted from them at little cost to myself because the majority of the miles have been earned through business trips) then I wouldn’t have reason to be so disappointed when the rules change. I surely wish loyalty cards component had never been started because my husband’s butt-in-seat miles have to compete with big charge card spenders. It will be interesting to see how mqd’s will change that.

    I will say that I cuss delta every single time I try to book an award ticket after having looked at the award calendar! It is the ultimate “I don’t care about you as a loyal member” statement delta could, and still does, make.

  6. Sadly even the “improvements” are unproven. Only time will tell how useful the regional and global upgrades will be. If they turn out to be red herrings, there won’t be much purpose to top tier status.

  7. The decision on Medallion TransCon upgrades from JFK must have been made in a vacuum. Does the bonehead who advocated for this greedy move not know that jetBlue is about to launch an even better product than Delta’s on 2 of the 3 devalued routes (and probably with lower fares)?

  8. @All – I really really appreciate all your feedback and Delta DOES read this blog. I hope they take your comments to heart. Oh I forgot to mention #SkunkyGate 😉

  9. Rene been a loyal delta forever but I do believe we should keep posting use a forum to find a rewards program that is the best for the greatest majority. As a collective unit delta will either have to finally pay attention or another airlines gets a huge boost. Ual maybe a great alternative.

  10. I don’t understand the DieMiles comment. Does that mean you can’t leave your SkyMiles to someone in your will any more?

  11. Well that really stinks. I see this DL ship steering in a very bad direction. I also see a day when we will just go on Expedia or Kayak and simply choose the cheapest ticket to where we want to go, instead of going to When you boil the frog, the frog eventually dies.

  12. Nice piece. I think if they had said only “K” fare and above on the NY-SF routes were upgradable, I would have held my nose and gone with it.

    The other changes niggle, but aren’t really enough for me to move my allegiance. The lack of upgrades on SFOJFK is the last straw for me though. I’m currently in dialog with both UA and AA to see if it makes sense to move my Diamond status (and million miler loyalty) to them.

    And that’s the problem with all the negative changes. In the end they all add up – and for each person one of them will be the “straw” that breaks the camel’s back and leads former net-promoters, brand-ambassadors and brand-loyalists to move allegiance.

    I don’t want to. But the lack of upgrades on a domestic flight that I take 12-15 times a year is the one pushing me over the edge.

    Sorry Delta. But my dollars and my vocal brand affinity are going elsewhere next year.

  13. Just more of the same from Delta’s bean counting management. I have been [edit] – I and my ~105k+ miles a year are through.

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