Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Unless you REALLY spend a lot of time on Delta jets (and even if you do for that matter), it is very simple to get things wrong. Heck, Delta people get things wrong all the time so it really is up to us to know the rules.
If you happen to get any of these wrong, hang your head in shame and never fly Delta again. OK, I am totally kidding. But let’s see if you are as smart as you think you are. Starting with…
Comfort Plus gets you free wifi right? I wish. Nope! You get free Delta Studio that is streamed over the in-flight wifi but the only wifi you have free access to is Delta.com and a few other sites they allow.
Zone 1 boards first right? Nope. Well, you board before Zone 2 & 3 but after those who need help, 1st class called Premium that includes Diamond Medallions, then Sky Priority and THEN you get to board as Zone 1.
I can now under SkyMiles2015 earn SkyMiles for spending them on an award ticket. No, sorta. NOT for an award ticket. With the PWM or Pay with Miles, you can earn MQMs for spending them on a coach ticket and you can earn both SkyMiles and MQMs for spending them on a 1st class ticket.
How do I go about combining my and my wife’s SkyMiles accounts? You don’t. Well technically you can transfer SkyMiles, for a fee, from one person to another, but it will cost you more than they are worth so please never EVER do this. Now, there are other ways to get more points into one account. For example, say your wife has Starwood points from her SPG card. She is allowed to send them to YOUR Starwood account free. Then, you could send those points to YOUR Delta SkyMiles account and for every 20,000 you would net out 25,000 SkyMiles.
I want to upgrade my ticket with SkyMiles. I am told it is only a few thousand points to do this for a flight to Europe. That sounds nice but you probably can’t. You see you must have a K or higher class fare to upgrade with miles in the USA and M class fare or higher internationally and you probably don’t have that because most times that fare is almost the same price as a discounted business class ticket. These fares tend to go to last minute flyers or those who can pick expensive coach fares on their business accounts and then use points to upgrade.
I booked 1st / business class so I get into the Skyclubs right? Well, mostly no. You do if you are flying internationally or if you are flying the JFK/SFO-LAX route. Otherwise no, you don’t.
OK well I am booked internationally in business I can get access to the lounges where I land right? Again, sorry nope unless you are making a connection to yet another Skyteam partner. Then YES you do. You also get access before you fly home.
I am a Diamond and I have the Delta AMEX Reserve card. My wife can get in free on my card since I have membership as a Diamond right? Nope. In the past you could often work that but not today. They are HARD on the fact that everyone over 2 years old must have their own way to get in. Sorry!
OK I paid the $29 to get into the SkyClub. That is good all day right? Nope! That is a one time fee. You go to another club even in the same airport you must pay again. Only a 24 hour pass is good in and out as you wish.
I have TSA PreCheck so all those with me can use it right? Nope. If you have Sky Priority then those with you can use the Premium line with you but each one has to have their own TSA PreCheck unless they are your children under 12 years old. 13 and up they need their own KTN to use the PreCheck line with you.
I have a Delta AMEX card. As long as I buy the ticket they get a free bag right? Nope, only if you are flying with them on the same itinerary. It can work if you are not on the same reservation but the gate agent will have to override and you will have to be on the exact same flights.
I am NOT in Comfort Plus (i.e. C+) seats on an international flight. I have to pay for alcoholic drinks right? Nope! They are free no matter where you are sitting on an international flight. Enjoy!
Why would anyone do a Delta mileage run anymore now that Delta is revenue based? Because, only SkyMiles is revenue based. The elite points, that you do not spend, are still distance and fare class bonus based. So, if you want status, you can still mileage run and the cheaper the ticket the better.
I got the Delta AMEX Gold card that comes with a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within the first 3 months. I got a GoGo pass but it did not give me credit. It should have right? Nope! That is not a Delta purchase. Only Delta purchases will work like something on-board like a drink or snack. Many report even $50 e-Gift card reportedly is working.
If I earn medallion status I earn it for this year, right? Nope. Now you will have status this year for free but you are earning NEXT YEAR’S status. Why does this matter? It matters because first your status is good until 1FEB17 and if you are PM or DM your choice benefits is the 2016 one NOT the 2015 one.
I am a Delta Diamond Medallion and my wife is Gold. We booked awards with her points. I get free changes as a Diamond right? Nope! The free changes apply to the account they were booked from. If you book, for you or anyone else, you can change them all you want. Otherwise, you are stuck with your tickets unless there is reason to get a free re-deposit.
I have completed my $25,000 spend on my Delta AMEX Platinum card but have not got the bonus points. Why not? My bet, you spent just about to the penny and your annual fee does NOT count toward that spend total. Plus, they do not hit until 1-3 days after your statement closes. It’s one of those two.
So there you are. Did you know them all? Did I trip you up even a little? Did I forget any of the ones people always seem to ask you? If so, I really want to know – 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.