Should medallions fear upgrade with miles – “the sequel” post

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upgrade with miles

You would not believe the flood of e-mails and tweets I have recived from readers telling me about the e-mail that Delta is now allowing, on some existing reservations, the ability to upgrade with miles. And yes, I did mention something about this on Monday plus the similar option when buying a ticket last month. Without rehashing the old post I said:

“So should we be afraid of this latest marketing effort by Delta? I’m not.”

But perhaps I was a bit naive and quick to say I had no fear. After all, I value my Skymiles more than 1 cent each and there are very few times I am willing to pay for first class. I expected most to feel the same way and would not just dump their miles. Then again:

flyertalker used points to upgrade to 1st class on delta with points

As you can see from the screen shot from this Flyertalk post above, someone who apparently once was a Delta flyer, and now has switched to United, is burning their miles to upgrade to first class for a trip this weekend. Perhaps I have underestimated the “toaster effect” that is those who are let’s say no longer loyal to Delta, or those have no clue of the value of the miles, and are willing to just burn them to get to first class at near full retail price for the seat.

Truly when you think about this Delta is going to make out like a bandit with this program. They are doing everything they can to unload as many SkyMiles as possible and the masses may just do that with all these enticements and ways to dump their Skymiles. This really could end up having an big effect on available first class seats. It will be very interesting to see if we notice less seats are available the rest of this year compared to pre-miles for upgrade rolling out.

On the plus side, it will have the desired effect of reducing the amount of miles in the market and making it easier for Delta, under Skymiles2015, to offer more low level seats as they have promised they would do for us.

They say a sequel is never as good as the first; the more I think about it the more afraid I am getting. It you think it was hard to get an upgrade as a Silver, Gold or Platinum Medallion before – this is not going to make your upgrade percentages go up from this point on. MileageRun to Diamond anyone? – 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. HM…

    I sort of have done this with pay with points. I have the DL Plat Amex that allows me to pay with points. Knowing that work will pay for the coach ticket, I found 1st class RT seats for only $200 more. I used 20,000 miles to pay the $200 upcharge for first class, got all of the bonus mqm and bonus miles.

    so I ended up with a net loss of about 10,000 miles for the cost of the upgrade. Since I am a GM I felt it was worth while since I was doubtful I would get the upgrade based on where and when I was going.


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