I love it when Gary goes on a Delta rant. Before, when I was an unabashed, almost without question Delta “fan boy” I still loved it because I could fight back with reasons why Delta was better. That is much harder nowadays under SkyRubles2015.
He gets much of it right in his post but he leaves much out as well. The main point is that Delta is not being honest about rewarding those who spend the most. I agree. As I have posted myself flying is just about the dumbest way to earn SkyRubles this year. Anyone who says they are doing better under SkyRubles2015 is either flushing their own money down the toilet or their company’s money the same direction. Sorry, that is the truth. But only in regard to SkyRubles not elite points. But more on this in a bit.
Gary is correct that:
Delta has removed additional award space for elites
Delta is limiting award space on partners
Delta has capped how many SkyRubles you can earn per ticket
Delta can (and clearly does) over charge for award tickets
Delta covers things up by hiding the award charts online
Many things Gary leaves out are equally bad to me. For example, Delta removed additional award space for Delta AMEX card holders (this was an unpublished perk, but a real one as we have proved in the past). Delta has removed point-to-point booking online so you have to HUCB to get what should be a simple award booking done. And we could go on and on and on.
All of this boils down and supports what he says in this post title, that he is “Sick and Tired of Hearing that Delta Rewards Its Highest Valued Customers, Because it Just Ain’t True”
Delta beats this drum in their marketing but EVEN if they were rewarding over spenders, when you are playing “dirty pool” on the redemption side you can not claim you are rewarding anyone. That is the sad fact, but people are clearly falling for it.
Now where I disagree with Gary is on the product side. He says Delta has no 1st class. He means “real” 1st class, because Delta has 1st class. It is a domestic 1st class that is not 1st class but just called 1st class because it is just domestic business class that Delta has branded as 1st class. Phew! But Delta does have DeltaONE that was called Business Elite in the past that is VERY good. Is it Lufthansa 1st class good? No, but from product, to service to food to wines it is a product I enjoy each time I fly it. It is as good as “real” 1st class was not too many years ago.
I also will not get into his point valuations because they just make my head hurt. On the elite point side, you can still earn your elite points at great values of 3 or 4 CPM in coach and 7 or 8 CPM in business on mileage runs. But he is talking redeemable Delta points and again, we know flying is just a stupid way to earn those so let’s just leave that alone. To me arguing this is like fighting about what variety of skunk smells the best. 😉
Lastly, as to the reason to pick Delta, he is mostly spot on here too. If you are a HVC with Delta you are well taken care of both flying and when issues come up. If you DO NOT CARE about redeemable points and only care about:
Consistent product & wifi
Help with IROPS
Earning elite points
AMEX perks / spend exemption
If these matter to you then Delta, no matter where you are, is a great choice. On top of that Delta reps, with a little pushing or a HUCB or two will do just about anything for HVCs. Again, as long as you discount the frequent flyer points to just about zero, and only care about the travel when you are paying, Delta wins hands down over any other airline.
Now I get that is a VERY narrow subset of flyers. Most of us DO care about frequent flyer points. Most of us want to get value when we are flying and when we spend those points. But as long as Delta is flying full planes they do not have to care and they are proving that. That goes for HVCs and every day flyers and everyone in-between. – René