I thought I would pick on two of my favorite BoardingArea.com bloggers this afternoon and comment on their posts. Both of my brethren are Platinum Medallions with Delta (can’t get them to mileage run enough with me to make the top level). But, both of them know their stuff about our beloved airline.
First let’s pick on MJ a bit. He talked about the survey that more low level seats are opening up at Delta. Delta does award more space to higher level medallions but the survey he was talking about is for a normal flyer. I have not seen a huge change but then again I know how to work my way to find what I want most times. Is MJ and the survey right? Are you seeing what the WSJ reports above that is more award space opening up at low level?
Next let’s pick on PM&M. His post this afternoon made me go – HUH!?!?! – and jump on Delta.com and see what I could have missed as I am booking or checking seats all the time.
He is talking about expanded (really) use of miles for upgrades and that it can be a good move since upgrade space can be hard unless you happen to be a Diamond Medallion (I tend to get about 90% upgrade success). But his slides seemed confusing to me.
Depending on the flight you can pay a little or a lot to upgrade in cash or in miles and STILL EARN miles for the trip. How much more, well, not ALL that much more depending on your medallion status. Plus, for crying out loud, you may as in my test case, pay a large part of a low level round trip price in points for the upgrade!
And the route and price REALLY matters. Now if the price to upgrade is really cheap it could well be worth it but count the cost. For example, this LAX-JFK one. Not all bad in coach to just buy a ticket in cash but it is coach. What about upgrade with cash or points?
Holy COW! 271,000 points to upgrade one way? Really? Yes I am earning a bunch more MQMs but not all that many more Skymiles for flying first this way. Plus look at this:
I could just book a coach award seat. Now this price is round trip so next year, hopefully, this would be half as many miles or less. What about a business class award seat?
Ouch! Ouch ouch! But still notice the round trip business class award price is less than the cash+points one way total price. So clearly it would be foolish to upgrade this one.
The bottom line is there can be times either cash or points for an upgrade can be a good choice but for me personally I would MUCH rather save my points for award travel and work for those upgrades the best I can for free!- 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.
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.