Are there any perks for Million Milers on Delta? Do they care?

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tweet from inside delta tour

This Monday Delta had a media day with bloggers and Jaunted tweeted out a screen shot of the most “valued” Delta flight for the day that had 13 million milers on it (12 of them were Diamond Medallions and 1 was a Platinum Medallion). But does Delta even care about MM’er now that the horrid Skymiles2015 is on the way?

I’ve written before about Delta recognizing passengers crossing the million mile mark, like Michael when Delta showed their appreciation to him. However, is there more than just this kind of one time event recognition that they could do? Well as we can see from the tweet above, million miler’s are noted on flights in manifests and on the Delta luggage tags. But does it really make any kind of a difference with Delta?

Officially, no (other than “annual” silver status, and so on). For example you do not get more upgrades as a million miler over one who is not. Nor are you given more access to low-level award seats than others. But there are unofficial things that do matter. Since Delta people do see you are a million miler you can expect preferential treatment as well as when you do make requests they are going to see you are a loyal million miler with Delta. Or say in case of an issue that Delta would not normally give you a free hotel room for the night – a MM may be offered one where a casual flyer would be on their own.

I have seen flight crews take real note of MM’ers and be willing to go out of the way to accommodate special requests. Like what? Say a non-rev is on an international flight and a MM wants that seat (for whatever reason); the purser may ask the non-rev to switch. There are many other examples that can pop up onboard as well.

Honestly, one of the things that shocks me most is that MQD spend is NOT on the screen shot above as spending, not miles, is what seems to matter the most to the airline.  Are you a Delta MM’er? Have you noticed any difference pre-MM and post-MM?- René
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Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.

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27 comments

  1. Hi Rene – I’m DM at 982,000 miles so will be hitting the MM mark soon. My expectation is not high as to any special treatment but hopefully it will make a difference in certain cases as you noted.

    On a separate note, was actually coming to your blog to ask if you’ve heard of any issues last few days loading OneVanilla to BB at Walmart? I’ve tried 3 different stores with both the old and new POS systems, ensuring I’m doing the process correctly to get “debit” and enter a PIN. Rejected on multiple tries at 3 different stores so far. OVs verified online as active and loaded. Hmmmmmmm. I’ve not been able to try the MoneyCenter ATM yet as all have been inop (hard to believe, I know! 😉 )! Quick googling did not show any info about changes last few days at WM.

    Sorry for the off-topic question and thanks again for all of your great info and help!

    Howard

  2. @Howard – Congrats (soon) for MM! On to OV to BB at WM. Yes, if you follow me on twitter you will see that AMOL from HackMyTrip has tweeted the change happened yesterday. Not to ALL VDGCs so we need to keep testing what ones will work and what will NOT work!

  3. @Rene – thank you! Knew I was asking in the right place! I do follow you on Twitter but missed the info so will check ASAP!

  4. @Howard B – I had the same issue at my local Walmart. The cashier needed to slow down they said. the other issue was it was automatically switching to CC and not debt. They hit the yellow cancel twice and lo and behold the debt option was there. The machine I was trying to swipe on was a pin and chip POS station at the register.

  5. I have had a couple of Skycaps mention my MM status when checking my bags. I’ve had a couple of gate agents mention it -one was a new one in training and the other was at an outlying station where they may not see many elites. Although it generated a comment, there were no special perks that went with it (formal or informal).

    I didn’t have any expectations that anything would result from the status and so far that is exactly what I’ve gotten -nothing.

  6. I had just over 1 million mqms when mm started. I will finish 2014 with 1.9+ million mqms. The only on-board recognition (other than the standard thank you to medallions and mmers) was this year a captain actually left the cockpit before takeoff to thank me personally. That was neat but at first I was concerned there might be some kind of problem when the captain asked me to confirm my identity. 🙂 It might just be coincidence, but I have noticed that when I have had close connections, scheduled or as a result of delays, my arrival gate and departure gate are often very near each other at ATL. I have also gotten some food vouchers and hotel accommodations when I have gotten stranded which many diamonds probably also receive. I had looked forward to spending many more years on delta. Skymiles 2015, however, has effectively kicked me to the curb since I can plan in advance for travel.

  7. No, haven’t noticed a difference but will be interesting because husband will be 2 million in the next year or so. And, every single one of those miles, except one trip to England, was earned in the U.S.

  8. Well, I am at 1, 274,500 and although, I’m generally well treated, I cannot say I’ve been singled out for special attention. Still waiting for that special gate to gate ride in a fancy black car . . . Although, our most recent trip, hours late due to airplane malfunction, forced us to overnight in SLC. Upon our arrival, a red coat was waiting with vouchers to a Courtyard by Marriott–which I suspect is at the top end of the voucher program. And, both boarding passes for the next morning were in first class, even though my husband languishes in Silver territory and seldom gets an upgrade.

  9. Rene, I became a MM during the time that Delta was in Bankrupty. I did my best to keep them alive. My gift was a tan Hartman CD case which I donated. Today it appears that as others have stated that Delta stands for Driving Every Loyal Traveler Away.

    Safe Travels,

    John

  10. Thanks for this post. I am several years away from hitting 1,000,000 miles and am hoping to have some status when that happens.

  11. Rene- Im at 900,000 as we go into the 2015 black hole. Do they not give away luggage anymore at 1,000,000?

  12. LOL Rene! Your toaster comment reminds me of the old Ellen joke. When homophobes used to accuse gay people of “recruiting” our sons and daughters she would say what do you think we are giving out free toasters???

  13. Hi Rene, I became a MM a few years ago on DL. The best thing is the leather travel bag that I chose from a number of gifts for becoming a MM. On some flights they add thanks for the flying elites and MM. Sometimes it does help with during a phone call to state that you are an MM to get better help. The DL reps do know our status. My long term goal is to get to 2MM. There are no other perks that I know of.

  14. I am a MM and Diamond. Thursday evening I was connecting from T2 (incoming domestic flight) to T4 (outgoing international flight). The incoming flight was a few minutes late arriving and I was expecting that I’d need to move quickly to make the connection. However, immediately upon deplaning, I saw a DL rep holding a sign with my name. I identified myself to him and he told me that he’d be driving me to my connecting flight. We walked down the stairs of the jetway to the tarmac and he drove me to my connecting flight at T4 in a Porsche Cayenne. He mentioned my MM and Diamond status and said that DL wanted to make my JFK connecting experience a bit easier. We reached the connecting flight and he escorted me up the jetway stairs and on to the plane. He took my passport and boarding pass into the gate area, scanned them and returned them to me as I was settling into my seat. Meanwhile, one of the pilots stopped by, told me he was glad to see me and thanked me for my MM and Diamond status.

    So, the point is that my MM status was mentioned throughout this process and it is obviously significant to DL. Of course, there’s no telling how much of this would have happened if I had been just Diamond and not MM but I do have to say that it was a great experience that made me feel like a very valued customer. FWIW, I was traveling in Business Elite, having booked a T fare using a Global Upgrade Certificate.

  15. I’m responding while on DL 240 from SFO to ATL. When I land I will have 193,100 MQM’s for next year and 2016. I am about 20,000 miles short of my 4 million miler designation and will have it this year. Once, about a year ago, a flight attendant saw my Flying Colonel tag (which most people probably don’t even know about as it was so long ago) and my MM/DM status and she announced it over the loudspeaker on the plane. That was nice and Delta often picks me up in the Porsche and it seems more so when my wife (also a MM and a Diamond) is with me. ON the other hand, on INTL flights, they no longer come by and thank you for DM status (they stopped about 3 years ago).

    Grover

  16. Rene

    I presently have 2.2 million miles on Delta. I have maintain platinum status for many years but have the opportunity to get to Diamond since many times I must use alternate airlines for some travels to South America. Since they have implemented the Diamond status I have noticed the MM do not seem to get any special perks, also I believe since there are so many additional ways, without flying, Million Miler and Platinum status may not have the same position as it did for me a few years ago.

  17. With Skymile 2015 kicking in, everyone is going to get less miles for their travels. That would infer that less people are going to hit that specail MM mark. Am I correct? Seems like those MM should be even more apprecicated by DL. You’d think.

  18. @Dale – not the way it works. MQMs DO NOT CHANGE under Skymiles2015. We earn just as many MQMs as we did before. Only if people fly other airline over Delta will it impact MMers!

  19. I’m a 1MM and currently at Platinum. Other than the published perks (1MM gift, “lifetime silver”, and the “1M” on my tags), I’ve noticed no difference.

    In fact, I didn’t qualify for silver during the year before I hit 1MM, but I was really close (a couple of flights) by the time my previous status expired. So, naturally, they dropped me down from DM to FO for a few weeks before I hit my 1MM. Seriously? I’m sure that they would’ve granted me SM given how close I was, but it wasn’t worth the bother.

    Honestly, if 1MM came with “lifetime GM” it might be more of an actual benefit. Or if it helped out on the upgrade list…

  20. Just crossed 1M and I got an email and gift, nothing spectacular. I always get treated so well on Delta and I’m a loyal, almost exclusive, customer. Anything above and beyond is appreciated.

  21. Delta should offer lifetime Sky Club for million milers.

    Do you have any stats on the number of Delta million milers? It’s probably more than I would think; on a recent flight from SAV to ATL the flight attendant announced there were 17 million milers on board, that’s about 12% of the passengers. I was very surprised.

  22. I was surprised that multi-million milers get the same recognition as single million milers. I would have thought that the more millions we get, the greater the recognition, but the manifest recognizes us all simply as “Million Milers.” Frankly I think that it takes a good deal more loyalty to rack up lifetime miles than miles in one year, and MM status should take priority over annual status. We could all just switch to another arline and get equal benefits after just one year. This makes no sense, and doesn’t build long-term loyalty.

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