They really shouldn’t let Delta bloggers out in public (where medallions are to be found)!

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During my Delta travels in the Skyclubs I have been “enjoying”, after first handing a medallion my card, asking them just what they think about the change to MQD’s starting in 2014.

The first thing I always get it is “the LOOK“; ya’all know the look I’m talking about! It is the one your wife gives you when you didn’t do what you promised to do! Oh yeah – that look!!!

They then always ask: “Why is Delta doing this to us?” and then they just shake their head and say: “I guess Delta doesn’t want me anymore”!

Now this new program is so new that I don’t think Delta or medallion flyers (other than “us” who are socially tuned in) can fully understand what has been unleashed on us (medallions that is).

This is why I am doing my little field trips to the Skyclubs and pestering medallions who are just trying to enjoy some free drinks, snacks & wifi. I want to see if the normal flyer (you all understand that is NOT us) has a clue about what is to come and what has been announced so far. I can tell you they don’t get it! Those who have seen the email, many think it said EITHER OR not both. Others just are not sure what it means. Once they get it, like at the end of 2014 when they thought they were going to be DM and end up FO, oh my is Delta going to “have some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy“!

Like I said, they really should not let me into Skyclub’s anymore – René

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  1. I will say that the change is going to make my “should I keep the Platinum Delta Amex?” decision easier come June… Gosh those tails on the AA look pretty good now, or even Suncountry and their new program. Just back from MX and they do a nice job.

  2. I seriously don’t see this being a huge issue. If you’re flying 50K MQMs per year then hitting $5k seems simple. I buy the cheapest flights I can for my flights and I was well over the spend.

  3. Rene – The problem is that if you are clueless Medallion, you probably got that status by taking a bunch of company-paid high dollar flights. They won’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s the smart shoppers, like those of us here, that will suffer the most under the new rules.


  4. What is FO? (Referenced in the end of your article?)

    I fly with corporate dollars, I refuse to use Amex, and I see no point to this. Why should I even need to be concerned about yet another gate to pass when NO other airline is doing this. I may even make these qualifications, but that misses the point. You are asking me to track another credential, with NO additional benefit. Why would anyone subject themselves to that when there are plenty of other options out there.

    My only loss in switching would be that I’d lose access to some direct flights. (I live in ATL, but even that might help me better qualify under another program. (UA?) )

  5. What? I guess the author is concerned that it will become more difficult to acquire enough status t o enjoy the lounge while flying on a coach ticket. Yup, it probably will be. It is not that the majors don’t want you in their lounges (OK the don’t) but the lounges and offerings are space and budget-limited. Many have become a crowded as the regular waiting areas and far too many PAX are expecting a (free) full meal before boarding. In truth, the folks that they really want to accommodate are those flying on FC or BC tickets – that day. The rest, no matter how entry is acquired are the folks that they really don’t want. I can see even some AMEX Platinum access being curbed in the future. Too many flyers with too many points and/or ‘status,’ cheapens the benefits for all and tends to piss-off the folks that buy the high revenue tickets. I guess…

  6. @Ellis – FO is short for Silver Medallion as SM stands for SkyMiles
    @Cook – I think you are new to the blog, I am Rene btw, and I am not talking about club access, as there are 100 ways to get that EZ, we are talking about status with Delta and MQD’s!

  7. Chris, of course, if you are not an aggressive shopper, then you don’t see the big deal, because you have always been spending that much money on flights. The big deal is for those shoppers who have been getting status and the associated benefits for a miniscule spend for years, first with Northwest and then with Delta. Since I don’t think the majority of people have the knowledge to do this, I do agree with you that for the majority, the change is meaningless. Nothing changes for the guy who already pays too much or who has his employer footing the bill so he is price insensitive. It only changes for the bargain shopper, who can’t justify paying $5K a year to be Gold and pretty much be guaranteed upgrades etc. It’s a nice perk but it isn’t $5K worth of nice for a person on a budget. Delta’s position is pretty clear. They don’t want this bargain seeker’s business. I’m not in a real position to analyze if the concept makes sense financially. From my point of view, remaining loyal to Delta no longer makes sense, and I know they will definitely lose customers. They know they will lost customers. But these may be customers they are eager to lose, those who pay the smallest price per mile in the first place. But it’s no use saying these customers don’t exist. There are students, leisure travelers, trickit dudes, etc. who spend nowhere near $5K a year to get 50,000 BIS miles. And the party was going on for years…tens of thousands of dollars saved over the 9 years I’ve been chasing status is indeed “huge,” at least to me. It does make a different to most middle class families that are true middle class, as opposed to highly compensated business flyers who only think they are middle class but are in fact what the average person on the street would consider well to do. Keep in mind that the median income in America is somewhere around $50K and that $5K a year spend is already 10% of that…however nice any benefit may be, and the benefits of Delta Gold are indeed very enjoyable, it is not a priority to spend that much money on it for people in the category of average, normal people just looking to have fun when they travel.

    In other words, what is “not huge” for you can be very “huge” for some people. Whether Delta cares or should care about those people is, of course, a different argument. Maybe they are doing the right thing for their business model, who knows.

  8. As a PM who commutes between JAN and LGA, I really have no choice but to fly through ATL, whihc means I am on DL flights sometimes 4 times a week, and that is before business and leisure.

    So for me I can’t say that it will change anything as long as I am working. For the casual flyer, this will probably drop them down a notch in the Medallion standings.

  9. Thanks for the update regarding “global Entry”. It sounds like a much better option than standing in the “other” longer line for TSA clearance. I currently do not have the American Express, but am planning on obtaining later this year. I’m just waiting until another App-party in March.:)

  10. I was in the Sydney Marriott executive lounge a few days ago, and overheard a few guys talking about the changes to Delta and the minimum spend. They weren’t too pleased about it.

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