What’s worse than #Skymiles2015 – Delta e-mail marketing (AVOID at ALL COST)!

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delta want me to use my skymiles for lift tickets

There is so much Delta is doing, marketing wise, that would make an undertaker reach for an air sickness bag. For example, the ridiculous ads about Skymiles2015 (take your pick of them in your seat back) or the fact that the program makes the TV ads from just a few years back look like a complete farce. But that is not my point of today’s post.

What I am talking about today is the latest “Need a break” e-mail ad blitz from the mothership that suggests you should spend your hard earned Skymiles, even MORE hard to earn under the 2015 program, for things like lift tickets. Please don’t EVER EVER EVER do this – EVER!

First off, some SIMPLE MATH as Delta loves to mention. As long as you have ANY of the Delta AMEX cards, you can spend your Delta points at 1 cent each, so they are, in simple math terms, worth at least 1 cent each. Clear? Oh, that is not quite right, since after the change as of 1JAN15, you can now with PWM or Pay With Miles EARN Skymiles and other points for spending your points so you get a nice rebate back on your points when you use points to fly and spend your points. So they are really worth MORE than 1 cent each – minimum.

Now just what does the Delta marketing spin, something we are VERY familiar with, tell us to do? It says:

“GIVE YOURSELF A LIFT. – Treat yourself to a winter getaway. Use your miles for lift tickets to popular ski resorts.”

Well that sounds just amazing – does it not? I mean, I love to KeepClimbing up a lift ride to ski on the Greatest Snow On Earth and at a Delta Air Lines HUB city like Salt Lake. Then go to somewhere like ALTA that is, in my opinion, one of the best skiers only mountains on the planet! Can I get a “treat” there from Delta?

worthless way to use skymiles skymiles marketplace

Goodie – you BET I can! Look at the SHOCKING AMAZING TREMENDOUS crummy value I can get for my hard earned Skymiles2015 points. I can pay just 22,000 Skymiles for a lift ticket. Is this a “TREAT” and a good choice to give myself a lift up the mountain like Delta marketing seems to imply it is? Let’s take a look

price to buy direct

Oh, well, humm, it costs just $84 to just walk up and RETAIL BUY a ticket at the window. So when you think about it, at a minimum penny per Delta point in value, should not this lift ticket cost me just 8,400 Skymiles? In other words the Delta e-mail is telling me that spending almost TRIPLE what it should cost me is a treat? Seriously? Now I think I need a puke bag! We already know paying for hotels with Skymiles is a joke, cars are RARELY ever a good value.

discount for boarding pass alta

Oh and we can take it even a step further. If you do not want to pay retail, and you happen to sign up online before you go, and bring your Delta boarding pass from your inbound flight the day before (or other airlines too), you can get a full day ALTA lift ticket for just $54.00. So, in this case, with the Delta e-mail TREAT, we are paying FOUR TIMES what we could pay with this promo! Lastly we should check other local places for discounted ticket prices like Canyon Sports or online spots like Liftopia.

I don’t know about you, but if I came to you, and offered you a quarter for a dollar bill in your wallet, would you go along with that trade? Delta wants you to do just that with their marketing e-mail! Something to think about next time Delta tells us something about a new “enhancement” and how great it is.

Bottom line is just this – Delta is doing all they can to spin Skymiles2015 like a good thing when we know it is NOT. Each time you see a glossy ad in your seat back, or on a jet bridge at an airport, just know the only one who “has your back” is YOU (well and maybe your DeltaPoints.com blogger)! – René
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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  1. Using miles for anything other than flights has always been a terrible value, at Delta or at any other airline, so this is nothing new.

  2. @augias – You would be shocked how many folks DO spend points on things like this. Oh, and believe other spin Delta puts out too. BTW, did you know about the 50% ALTA discount with your boarding pass?

  3. Has there been any truth in Delta advertising in the past few years.

    Take example the fare sale ad that went out yesterday. PDX/SEA fare of 109 each way. Don’t do me any favors delta. Give me a sale on someplace I can’t drive to in 2 hours.

  4. Delta is doing all it can to get rid of all those outstanding miles so that when they do shut down the program completely there won’t be any miles left for anyone to complain about losing.

  5. I think you’re confused about the definition of “spin.” I, for one, don’t detect any in this particular Delta mailing.

    As Augias has already mentioned, redeeming miles for merchandise or services has never been a particularly lucrative value. Nevertheless, these redemptions are a legitimate option for members who won’t otherwise spend cash for the goods on offer, or who have more miles than they know what to do with. Not the best option, perhaps, but an option. And Delta doesn’t claim anything more or less.

  6. @Mark S – there is nothing “legitimate” about burning Skymiles at a fraction of their value for anyone. IMO Delta is at best spinning to uneducated flyers and at worst negligent for misleading them to burn their points this way. 🙁

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