Hey, Delta Medallions, are you too smart for your own good and missing a free drink on Delta?

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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.

One of the nice perks from Delta when you are a GOLD Medallion or higher flyer is that you get free upgrades on award tickets. Now most of us are aware that if we do not get the upgrade, Delta will give us a “HOOU” coupon. But are you missing out on yours to save some ink or toner in your printer? What am I going on about?

Well check this out (TIP USE IE over other browser if you can). When you go to print your boarding pass, you have the chance to choose all the “FUN” stuff like weather, sudoku etc. You may say, “I am a Medallion, I don’t need all that junk!” Ah, but yes you do!

This is because if you simply select the skip all these and pick print boarding pass ONLY, that is just what you will get – boarding pass ONLY!

You will then miss out on the free drink coupon, the HOOU or “have one on us”, that would have been printed had you selected print all the junk stuff

“So do I have to trash the planet and use extra paper, ink & toner?” No you don’t! But this is a good step for many reasons as you will see. Do this; first install PDF Creator on your computer. This will add a “virtual printer” that lets you print ANYTHING to a PDF. You can then print to a PDF your Delta full boarding pass and send that PDF to your email (always good to have a copy sitting in email inbox). Last step is open the email on your phone, save the PDF and have a copy of all your stuff with you. You can then pull up the bar code in the PDF and use it to board your flight or to get into the Skyclubs. You could even have Delta scan or manually enter the code from your phone to spend the HOOU inflight! (a tech tip, turn your “brightness” on your phone on high and lock screen rotation for best results).

The only other thing to keep in mind is some browsers are reporting a blank spot where the HOOU should be. If this happens, try to check-in again with Google Chrome or  Internet Explorer or some other one till you see it pop up where it should be.

So there you are. Not only do you do the smart thing by having an electronic backup of all your boarding passes in your phone, that are not internet access reliant, but you will also enjoy your free drink on Delta when stuck back in coach 🙂 ! – 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. williamfinger Reply

    Tried to reserve a seat yesterday for a September 24 flight from Rome to Amsterdam on KLM using your blog tip. Got my KLM record number from Delta and logged on KLM, “Manage My Booking.” No dice, would not let me pick my seat for an intra-Eurpoe flight. You might be able to do it with a telephone call, but not on-line by yourself. I have seats from Amsterdam to Atlanta later the same day. Just wanted you to know.

    • @williamfinger – I should have been more clear and will update, less than 90 days intra-europe you must be BIZ class to pick the seats. I will fix the post. Thanks! Rene

  2. i’ve tried this before and for the most part I don’t get this coupon. I’m a platinum member. Is there some rule where if you are upgraded for one part of your flight, but not the other that you don’t get it? (e.g. flying SMF to MSP upgraded but not from MSP to BOS)

  3. @Danielle – I almost always get one but there have been times in the past no. I think if you get any kind of upgrade, any part of the trip, the computer says NO for a HOOU. But I do not know the “facts” 100% when you DO and DO NOT get one.

  4. Always print my boarding passes and get the free drink, printed out 2 by mistake and received 2 drinks, some attendants do not even look at bar code, just give them my order and a thank-you. It’s always nice to have a cocktail if you want one while in coach…..

  5. Had no idea about this, as I usually just walk up to the counter from the Sky Priority line for check in. Not any more! Although fortunately my upgrade percentage is pretty good for the routes I normally fly, so I likely won’t be eligible most of the time 🙂

  6. I get one almost all the time, even when I get upgraded. I believe the secret is if you have been upgraded on your first flight. Delta mainline does not service my airport, so I get a lot of single-class aircraft out of here. Works fine for me to get the coupon for the next flight (or for some person that looks like they could use it more than I!)

  7. Are you referring to when you check-in at one of Delta’s self-service kiosks? Or are you referring to when you check-in online and choose to print at home? Or both?

  8. Wow — I had no clue about this! I’m a GM, and I always do cell phone boarding pass when available, or I print at home w/o the extra “stuff”, so I’ve never seen or known about this HOOU thing! Very cool!

  9. Have been using Google Chrome to check in and no coupons.
    Husband is Diamond and I am Gold. Re-checked in using IE and there was the coupon!
    I’ll be checking in using IE from now on.

  10. FYI, they appear to track the number of times you use it and have a limit to the number of these that they will fulfill. I was using this on nearly every leg at the beginning of last year and then I guess I hit my quota and it no longer worked for the rest of the year. Once Jan 2013 hit, I have them again.

  11. I just checked in for a flight for which I was not upgraded I did NOT get a Have One on Us coupon. This is a single flight, no stops and no connections, and I was not upgraded. This is the first time in YEARS that in such a situation I did NOT get a Have One on Us coupon. I was Platinum through February and then dropped to Gold but this is the first flight since that time for which I’ve been able to check in online. I don’t know if my travel so far this year is too low to merit Have One on Us or if they’ve changed and they’re not doing it for Gold Medallions any longer. I have long been a Chrome user so I wouldn’t expect my use of Chrome to check in today to have any impact (in other words, since I received Have One on Us coupons previously while using Chrome, I can’t see why I wouldn’t now be able to get them using Chrome, though of course Delta could have made a change) but nevertheless, after reading SueG’s comment above that she didn’t get the coupon when checking in with Chrome but did with Internet Explorer, I tried again with Internet Explorer and I still did not get the coupon. Bummer.

  12. Follow up comment: on a popular message board (I won’t mention it by name here because I don’t know what your policies on that are), I found that a lot of people who are in V and X fare classes are not getting the Have One on Us coupons on their boarding passes. Apparently Delta has changed what some fare classes represent (it seems this is as a result of Delta and KLM/Air France doing a fare class alignment over the last few months) but the programming logic for determining when to grant a Have One on Us coupon has not changed and as a result, some non-upgraded flights (like mine for tomorrow) are not getting the coupons while at the same time some upgraded flights are getting the coupons. Come on, Delta, fix this!

  13. I had 4 flights on this past weekend’s mileage run and was upgraded on all 3 of the flights which had a first class as a Gold Medallion.
    A colleague of mine told me about the coupon so I tried it. It printed with one of the flights that I got an early upgrade on, so I’m not sure. I thought about giving it to another passenger since I was in first class, but I wasn’t sure if that was frowned upon. If there is a quota, I am even more likely to not share them.
    4 legs down last Saturday… 8 legs this weekend. These mileage runs are fun – especially when flying in front of the curtain!!

    • @Mark – many give them to the FA’s and suggest they buy a drink for a service man/woman or just someone who seems to “need it”. There is no “quota” I am aware of but keep in mind on legs you do not get upgraded to you can use 2 or 3 from other flights as they are good for a date range!

  14. I am GM and flight on May 6 ATL-EWR with Economy V ticket did not yield a HOOU coupon. Last trip in April with V ticket I did receive a coupon. Another Delta poke in the eye!! Not sure how much more I can take !!

  15. Thanks for this tip, I never used to bother getting all the extra info and hence no voucher.

    Another thing I noticed was related to the ad blocker running in my browser, this was actually causing the voucher not to be displayed! is now in my ad blockers whitelist.

  16. Texasyankee Reply

    I wondered how long it would take for someone to figure that out. 🙂

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