What is your wish list for Delta Air Lines to change?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Every airline has issues. None of the majors are perfect or we would all fly them. I freely admit I am biased toward my airline. I am not hub captive. I have EZ access to AA and United regional jets but I know Delta is better.

The other day I got an e-mail stating –  “Are you on our side or what?!!!!” (and I know I liberally toss around exclamation points but four?) The reader wanted me to share this video about how hard it is to book award tickets on the Delta site (please turn your  VOLUME   down because while funny it is very loud).


To answer the reader’s question, Yes I am on “our” side. I would love to see Delta give us everything we want, but I am a realist too. Delta people do read the blog. They also read all the social media outlets for feedback about what we want.

So just what DO we want? Let’s make a list. I will put my picks and then you add yours. I will then add your ideas to the post as a record of what we would MOST want to see for 2013.

#1) With work we know we can find low level seats but if the award site SHOWS seats at low level let us book them. Whatever the cost, fix this FAST and we promise to whine ½ as much as we do now! For crying out loud, we are not even asking for more seats here, just that the IT booking system works.

#2) Next, well, we want more low level seats! If you give us more low level seats we promise to stop wining ever again ( at least much less then we do now anyway).

#3) Stop treating us like thieves and criminals regarding the ETV’s (electronic travel vouchers ). A $50 or $10 left over credit is just about worthless now and we may end up with a bunch of them in our accounts. Seriously Delta, how hard would it be allow combining ETV’s for the same family. This would stop theft since that is the publicized reason for the rule change!

#4) You promised to bring back PerkChoice (it is still here on the web site), the ability to use CASH one way and miles the other and earn RDM’s & MQM’s on the cash side of the trip. We are still waiting. It was a GREAT program from NWA and we want it back.

5) Stop beating up Silver Medallions. Even those who are low level elite’s should be shown some “love”. Sure reward GM, PM & DM with MORE, but don’t make FO’s feel like gate lice!

And now from readers:

6) Allow SWU upgrades to be used on any fare. These have become almost worthless compared to other airlines! – HT to NYBanker

7) One way awards. Oh we know Delta offers this but for the same miles as a round trip. HT t0 Steve

8) more on the way soon….

So there are my top gripes. What are yours? Be nice and please give this REAL thought before you start to type. I feel this is an important chance for us to let Delta know what is important to us who want “OUR” airline to “turn into the wind”, “keep climbing” and make flyers proud to look down their noses at anyone who chooses to fly another airline as ours is BEST! – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. In order of priority: 1) allow swus to be used on any fare (a la AA), 2) allow f redemptions on AF and KE (both ow and *A allow f redemptions, even when booked using miles from carriers that dont offer f), 3) go back to two-tier award pricing….regular and double miles….and have double miles be without capacity control (again, a la AA), 4) allow one way awards for half the miles of a round trip (again, a la AA).

  2. Hmmm….re-reading my prior post, I think I know which miles program I like the best! (and this is coming from a DL pm!)

  3. Rob Wayson Reply

    Working in LAS this week. Noticed you can buy zone 1 for $9…Pls don’t use the medallion award system as a revenue stream…

  4. Drop three tiers and back to two…let’s stop pretending. Make some of the most desired changes mentioned previously for Diamond/high rev customers even if not willing to do it across the board.

  5. Could not agree more with your Silver Medallion statement. I make Silver through segments so I pump a lot of money into Delta. Just let us have our 2 bags and Sky priority security line….That is all we ask!!!!

  6. Totally agree with the SWU upgrades and how they are worthless – each year I have many unused. This needs to be fixed.

    Would also love to see economy comfort improved into a wider seat.

  7. I was a strong NWA flyer and started out at Plat with Delta(never used the SWU for 2 years), went to Gold for 2 years and decided last year to carry over 20,000+ points(needed 1 short trip to remain Gold). I’m flying other airlines because I don’t feel wanted by Delta management. Gate agents and FA have been better but web site and management, NOT. Ps not a Amex fan and never got a MQM from them. Between my wife and I we have BIS of well over 1 million miles with NWA/Delta.

  8. Pointasaurus Reply

    Has someone sent this to the shirts at Delta, the whole way up the ivory tower to the top!!

  9. It is difficult to book a family trip when we are using different types of payments to ensure we all get all the same flight and itinerary. We usually set up 2 computers and one of us starts looking for flights using the fewest miles, then another uses a companion certificate on the same flight and then we hope that we can use miles to reduce the cost of the forth ticket and still get on the same flight. It would be great if we could select the number of passengers on a flight and then pay in any combination. I’m always worried that one of us will get stranded! Plus, it is such a hassle.

  10. Best in class [edit]…They are deliberately not fixing the broken award search engine because they find [edit] who pay 230k miles for a round trip to Omaha! Last year as Platinum, I am sick of how they insult my intelligence. ‘Nough said!

  11. Stop making a visit to any travel blog an unpleasant experience…since it always seems Delta is taking away something and almost everytime with no notice. When is this airline going to figure it out that they can never thrive when your many of your best customers cannot stand the way you take, take, take without any give. The company should be ashamed of it’s award availability but it smiles as everyone seethes, short term good for Delta, long term let’s see.

  12. Please move your HQ to another city, so we, Atlantans get the deals you give to other cities, but not to Atlanta.

  13. Besides fixing the award site/availability that everyone gripes about, I would like to see closer cross-alliance programs, more like Star Alliance. I’m a Diamond since inception. The increased visibility of the Sky Priority lanes across Sky Team is a nice start (although, admittedly, that was probably very easy to do). Why not make the MQMs earned the same across all SkyTeam partners? If I book an int’l biz class ticket on any SkyTeam airline, give me 150% MQMs like DL, not 135, 125, 100, whatever.

    In addition to being able to actually book international F or premium economy awards on the airlines that have it, it would be nice to have the ability to book an upgrade award from biz to first or even from economy to premium economy.

    Free in-flight internet would be a nice benefit for Diamond and Platinum.

    Instead of just moving the seats back a few inches, invest in a real premium economy product like AF which has it’s own shell so you don’t have to worry about the dolt in front of you reclining back onto your laptop.

  14. @All – some very good comments so far and ideas. I love Brian’s idea about a “real” EC product but many ideas so far will cost to much money. I understand any choice Delta makes to make money but at the same time need to balance that with what the competition is doing. So keep the ideas coming – just great! – Rene

  15. I agree with Kath that booking a family trip is outright frustrating. I usually go through and pretend that one account is going to have enough points to get the seats required (so I know we can all be on the same flight) and then go in individually to buy the tickets. Last time I booked, I had to put my minor child on a separate booking and Delta changed the itinerary FOUR times and I was scrambling to get our seats together. By the way, there was actually no itinerary change — times/dates stayed the same so why inconvenience the customer with the change emails? and if you have to send the emails — how about moving seat to seat in the plane.

  16. BTW, if DL had a real premium economy seat like AF for medium and long haul flights, I would actually *pay* for it. And I also would not have an issue if Medallions who paid for such premium economy seats would be higher on the complimentary upgrade list than those who purchased regular economy. I think it is only fair. If structured in this way, DL could get some extra revenue and also offer a better product. The key here is real premium economy – I’m not willing to pay extra for a normal coach seat that has a few extra inches of legroom. But if I get the added value of legroom plus the guaranteed personal space of a shell-type seat, that is worth it.

  17. More fixes to Delta.dum: Let me store companion info. Every time I search for flights for myself and my wife I have to re-enter her info. The site should be able to remember my most-likely companion when I ask for two seats.

  18. I agree with your #1. Fix the award booking system so that low-level seats on the calendar actually reflect available low-level seats. It is completely absurd that this doesn’t work. Fix this and I won’t complain about anything else.

  19. More low level award seats. I would love to be able to not call them Skypesos anymore. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap

  20. Peter Starck Reply

    I want Delta to bring a printed timetable.
    They could easily put it in their inflight magazine. SAA, Qantas and India’s Jet Airways to name a few of the larger airlines that do.

  21. @NYBanker: The “No SkyPesos for First” thing isn’t because DL doesn’t offer IFC. You can’t spend KE miles for AF First and you can’t spend FlyingBlue miles for KE First either. There’s no partner First redemptions within SkyTeam as far as I can tell. Thus, it’s less of a DL issue and more of a SkyTeam issue.

    @Kath: Sounds like it’d be worth calling an agent for your multi-payment scheme bookings, as they can work on multiple bookings at one time, finding flights that have all the availability you need.

    @Brian: Partners determine how many miles you earn when flying flights they market. (Yes, DL publishes the list, but it’s a contract between the marketing carrier and DL.) That said, I’m not sure the partners pay for MQMs like they pay for RDMs, so maybe there could be a different standard applied to uniformize MQM earning.

    @Peter Starck: It’s 193 pages, so go ahead and print it out if you want to:

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