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The “little” things that just bug me with Delta Air Lines they should / could fix!

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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.

my skymiles mqm totals for dec 2014 skymiles eNewsletter from delta

I will end 2014 with 130 segments or individual flights with Delta Air Lines and nearly 300,000 MQMs or Medallion Qualifying Miles. That, is a lot of flying. Since I do fly so much, I use, and now more and more the Fly Delta APP that for the most part works well, to navigate my way from flight to flight. With that, there are some things that Delta does that just drive me “bonkers” and I think they could fix if they wanted to. See if you don’t agree with me.

delta dumb things

The first two are on the home page and I have a big yellow box on them. Number one has been ongoing and makes me want to scream. Delta is GREAT about allowing changes when there are weather events. However, SEEING that there is an alert is all but impossible since Delta all but HIDES this alert below the first menu bar. Try it for yourself. Log in and see if you can even see the alerts! Delta, how about putting the alerts ON TOP of the page where we can see them. Now I know you can not make money from selling weather alerts, but gosh it would be helpful to this VERY frequent Delta flyer (and I bet others too).

Then we have Delta gift cards. Talk about a way for Delta to “print” free money and get into the lucrative gift card game. Why do I say this? While I have no numbers to back it up, I’ll bet my Diamond Medallion card that a HUGE number of these are just lost and never ever used. Delta even says in the T&C about the cards (both real and e-Gift):

“eGifts and Cards, including those that are lost, stolen, or destroyed, will not be replaced by Delta for any reason.” –

Now a simple way to fix this, like with EVERYTHING else that Delta offers as say a bump or other e-Credit, should be able to be tracked or entered into your “My Delta” to remind you that you have one of these to spend. That would be consumer friendly but not make Delta money when they are lost. #BigTimeFAIL here Delta. This needs to be fixed before some regulator steps in and fines the company. Step-up and do the right thing first (who am I kidding here – that is the only way this will be fixed).

delta selling upgrades at checkin on fly delta app

Next we move to the phone app as that is now the only means I ever use when I am flying for flight info (now that I can no longer print a free HOOU that is on You may think I am going to talk about selling upgrades in the APP. I am not, as I am 100% fine with it when prices are at the market levels for the seats. After all, as you can see from my offer, one would have to either be on an IV Thorazine drip or have a FAT company expanse account to have the mental deficiency to pay $169 to upgrade to 1st class for a 27 minute flight from Detroit to Grand Rapids. If I did happen to pay for it I would hope there was ice cream service by cart as CLEARLY shown in the photo for the upgrade I was buying 😉 (there was NO service in coach and limited in 1st btw – it was a 27 min flight). So what does steam me here? Notice the yellow box again. The “Default” or RED choice it to buy the upgrade. Talk about sneaky Delta. I have NO idea if there is a confirmation box “next” as I will never, on principle, EVER buy an upgrade from Delta this way. If there is not, then I bet a bunch of people “accidentally” end up buying upgrades they never really wanted thinking they are just checking in to the flight. How about you make the NO THANKS red and the buy now above it another color. I know, I know I am dreaming! Let’s move on.

same city search bug delta phone app

This next one is super picky but really makes me nuts. Over the top nuts. You see since Delta has pulled so many useful tools, like ExpertFlyer, you have to use Delta tech to check so many things. Say you have an issue so you want to check flights from A to B. The problem is it is simple to type the code for the departing airport into the arriving airport box. Plus, most times, Delta auto fills what they think we want. Then, BEFORE you can even click Find Flights, it gives you this warning and does not let you type the correct code. Hey Delta, how about you not warn me before I do something that I was not going to do anyway? Grrrrr (just breathe Rene, breathe).

no upgrade 3 days out

The last one I know is not going to get fixed and will just get worse and worse due to the full press to sell 1st class seats. Diamonds can upgrade at just about 6 days out and Platinum’s at the 5 day window. On a recent trip, 3 days out with only 2 seats gone I still had not upgraded. I really hate the stress of the gate upgrade and even as a Diamond my upgrade success rate at the gate is MUCH lower than it traditionally has been in the days leading up to a flight.

The last one I have no photo of but then again there would not be one anyway. What I so want Delta to fix is the disappearing upgrade list when there is any kind of delay or slight change to an itinerary. Like what? Your flight is delayed and “POUF” the upgrade list is gone. Even the brilliant minds of Delta IT should be able to fix this one but after putting up with it for a year I doubt it will happen. Again, I can dream.

What have I missed? You tell me (don’t say the award page that they “say” will be fixed in 8 days on January 1st 2015). Safe travels everyone! – René

Gold-Platinum-Reserve Delta SkyMiles®
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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. Get a higher res screen.
    Avisiories link is just under the action tabs on my screen.

    • @Lack – So your fix for the Delta issue is for me to buy new computer parts? Really?

  2. As a Plat flying out of MCI, I was only upgraded about 4 times this year even though I again reached Plat solely through flying actually almost reached Diamond. Now some of this was due to flying with my wife on the same reservation. But the other times I had the exact situation that you show above. Three days out there would be 80-90% of the First class seats available but yet I would not be upgraded. To be honest I was really starting to wonder if Delta IT even realized that I was Plat. Oh and for another data point I did also have the Delta Reserve card for 2 years until I canceled it a couple of days ago.

  3. I called AMEX in November to find the balance of Delta cash in my account of my yearly $200 Platinum card spend and they stated I had $77 left to spend (There is NO way to do this online either) I decided to purchase a $70 Delta egift card and take the chance it would apply to the balance of my $200 spend…Fail! AMEX did not credit me so now I have this egift card. What REALLY bugs me is that Delta emailed me the card and if I lose that email..POOF! it’s gone because it’s not trackable within the “My delta” account where all of my other credits live. I feel like Delta wants me to forget I have this egift card.. Delta needs to FIX this!

  4. @Rene – I read your post before I made the purchase Rene. I got greedy and rolled the dice. At least now we know $70 won’t work 🙂 Now if I can only remember to “use” the card 😉

    • @DougP – I just plan to buy 4x$50 cards on 1JAN15 and be done. No guessing that way.

  5. Don in ATL Reply

    Great work on accumulating all those MQM’s! I bought two year end gift cards using my non DL Amex Plat Card and received the reimbursement. Now as you point out, I am frustrated that I cannot put these number into my Delta “wallet” online. I even called reservations for them to do it, and they can’t. So, the problem is to remember to use these, and not lose them, of DL has just made $100 unearned profit. Finally, another way DL is selling more FC seats (rather than upgrading Medallions), is that if you go to buy a last minute ticket (i.e. within a week of travel), the coach fare might be $750 RT (with only bad seat choices available) and voila, the FC fare is $900 (lower than it was several weeks earlier). Most people in their right minds (and have the means), will take the FC deal. That’s another reason they are not upgrading DM at 6 days out. They know their may be a few fish they can catch in the manner I just described.

  6. Please Carryover the MQS's.... Reply

    How about carrying over the MQS.s? I don’t understand this at all. If you have the MQD’s as the first requirement for Delta status and you can earn status either by MQM’s or MQS’s, why carry over only the MQM’s? no one has ever been able to explain that. Thanks.

  7. I would be nice to have the inbound flight info on the .com
    It appears on the app so it should be available on the .com

  8. something really simple…..if there’s something you just really need to speak to an agent about, it’s nearly impossible to get someone on the phone….the wait can be endless. I wish they could tell you how long it will be or call you back…..which they do occasionally, I think only when there’s huge weather problems…

  9. Along the lines of being able to see that there are plenty of FC seats available for up grade: I finally decided to use my companion ticket option because I couldn’t get a “free” ticket for under 60000 miles. First and foremost, I accepted that the companion fare is going to be a good bit more expensive than just purchasing a first class fare. What made me mad is that the fare to go through Atlanta was almost twice as much as connecting through Detroit, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis. I get that nobody wants to fly through any of those cities in January but seriously $954 versus $1500? And, there wasn’t a first class seat sold on any of the Atlanta flights. I did have to laugh when one of the flights priced out over $9000.

    I agree about the mqs too!

  10. Much prefer the phone app over the .com. However, one thing I dislike about new version is the location of the contact us. Use to be two taps away from reaching someone at delta now its added tapping and scrolling and annoying. Personally I contact delta much more frequently than I review my wallet or profile.

    Off topic but would also like to see them fix the PM benefits gift to 4RU OR 2GU similar to DM options.

  11. Dont forget the birthdate issue when checking in internationally… maybe they have finally fixed it in v3.0, but for almost a year now I couldnt check in on the app because i was told to “enter a date that occurs in the past” for my birthday information, which was always pre-filled in from the app and always correct!

  12. dotti cahill Reply

    i hate that when i travel and we land i turn airplane mode off and my delta app goes nuts and will not help me ..I think it is afraid of airports cause it does not work when i need it while traveling.. sometimes on my return home i have to delete the DeLta app and DL it again …nuts…

  13. Call me cynical on Christmas eve but I could live with the little things if the big things didn’t drive me nuts. Outrageous costs to redeem BOGO cert from Reserve? No more RTW tickets? No more stopovers and open jaws?? Rework the mileage earning for 2015?

    Bah humbug.

    Merry Christmas Rene!

  14. or app don’t show you where the inbound flight is coming from.

    This is stone age. UNITED has done it for years, American added it.

    Similarly, you can’t see a seat map or upgrade list from the flight status section. Basic info that UNITED provides as the world’s leading airline.

  15. I just booked a ticket using the gift certificates acquired with the Amex Plat credit. I noticed the following warning on the itinerary, “If you cancel your itinerary any time after purchasing, you will not be able to reuse your certificate(s).” Huh?? Why would anyone purchase these (other than for Amex credit purposes) if they are invalidated by canceling your flight?

    • @Mike – Yep, once you book you can not cancel (well you can, pay a fee, but you do forfeit the cert).

  16. Pingback: 2014 December Delta Points newsletter - a month of #KeepDescending Delta - Delta PointsDelta Points

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