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Let’s all help Delta save some money. Ideas that could fund SkyMiles rollbacks / improvements.

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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.

save money for delta

How about this. We, those who often fly dozens upon dozens of segments a year, help our Delta mothership save some money. Maybe, if we give them lots of good ideas as from our “boots on the ground” perspective if you will, they will consider plowing some of this saving back in to our so called “loyalty program”. After all, the SkyMiles team seems to have issues doing anything but cut as I pointed out yesterday. Let’s fix that!

What do you think? Does this idea have a chance of “flying” at all? I think it does. We all know a bunch because we are immersed in the Delta experience. But I need your help so I will get the list started and then please add your ideas in the comments section at the bottom of this post. Let’s dive in with my suggestions:

1) Remove newspapers from intentional flights.  Instead, offer them in Skyclub before flight as DeltaONE passengers have club access. This will save fuel (weight from non-used heavy papers) and have agents at check in remind flyers where they can get them. Simpler to recycle from Skyclub too I would think!

2) Dump individual Skyclub membership from Diamonds.  Now before you yell at me, I suggest this: just change the Choice Benefit “upgrade to Executive Membership” to become a full club member as one of the Diamond choices. That way, those who want it can get the perk, those who don’t care about clubs can pick other choices they value more. Maybe this will even make AMEX happier and lead to more Delta AMEX Reserve card holders retaining the card who will use that to get in to the club.

3) Go to mini soda cans.  I am sure you have seen them on KLM etc. Think how much time and cost and how much this would speed up service if you just hand them the unopened mini can and a cup with ice. Speeding up service would make everyone is happy and this frees up time for the FAs to spend their time selling EATS and other “stuff” to passengers. Cha-ching Delta!

4) Dump 800 numbers. Other businesses and airlines do this.  I mean how long has it been since you ever paid for domestic long distance? Anyone with a cell phone gets free domestic long distance I think. Plus, I never ever call Delta 800 elite number (ask me at the Chicago Seminars what number I call 🙂 ). So, Delta, just post ATL or CVG or MSP or SLC area code numbers on and in the Fly Delta App.

5) Expand what Delta Assist can do.  Now understand I am a HUGE Delta Assist fan. They can do a bunch. They are a great valuable tool but so many times they say I have to call the medallion line. I am sure that costs more than a rep already working on what I have an issue with fixing it. I am told Richard Anderson ONLY touches things ONCE. Hello, same idea RA!

6) Snacks before lunch / dinner domestic 1st class.  I do not need peanuts, pretzels and Biscoff cookies before my meal. Seriously. I get a snack basket after my meal. Save these goodies for coach.

7) Allow meal choice ahead of time for confirmed 1st class.  AA does this. Heck, have a box to allow them to choose NO MEAL. I know Delta meals do not cost “that” much but to be able to A) have just what I want (of the two choices for that fight) would be great and I am sure some would say NO and thus save money with less meals catered. Add that up on thousands of flights a day and I think that could save some real cash!

8) Sell MQSs each year.  I don’t care what the IT cost is to make this happen but clearly Delta is selling a boatload of people MQMs each year (at insane and crazy prices but still people buy). I can promise you dearest Delta, segment flyers will PAY YOU CASH if they can by MQSs to make the next elite level. Just do this or add it to the MQM sale-a-thon in December each year.

9) Offer status buy back.  I can tell you there are those who are departing Delta for other airlines (hello SkyMiles destruction). There are others who have medical issues or something similar and go from Diamond to just SkyMiles member. For whatever reason they dropped way down the ladder. Offer those who were whatever level a one time shot in their lifetime to buy back to that level for the medallion year as a shot to earn status for the next year and have past loyalty rewarded (for a price that is – I think folks will be happy-ish to pay up).

10) Uber and Delta.  Right now you get bonus points when you use Uber and stay at an SPG hotel during the same period. Delta could do the same. Team up with Uber to offer bonus points when you Uber and fly Delta (and have Uber pay Delta for the perk or if not choose Lyft). Then also have Delta work to get more airports approved for Uber use!

So tell me, do you like or hate my list? Do you have some better ideas? Can you dream up things that we will hate but could work? I am happy to consider ANY ideas if they will  SOS  or, like the old saying went, “Save Our SkyMiles” from further destruction, hits and “enhancements”. If our ideas can save Delta money, and they can plow that back into fixing SkyMiles, I am happy to help out all I can.

Now it is your turn, comment below as a frequent flyer who is seeing places that can save Delta money. I know you are aware of some and maybe a bunch for that matter! Let’s make THIS the post everyone at Delta CORP reads and say YES for this much savings we can save SkyMiles and dig the program back out from the rubbish bin! – Rene

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. Dan Diversky Reply

    1) I like your list.
    2) Unfortunately Delta’s past behavior indicates that it would take your idea, use part of it in a way that is purely negative, and claim it has done what people asked for.

    EXAMPLE 1: They will offer you the option to choose “No Meal” when you check in. They won’t offer you your choice of meals.

    EXAMPLE 2: They will offer the Individual SkyClub membership as a Choice benefit and eliminate the upgrade option.

    EXAMPLE 3: They will eliminate the snack basket from FC completely.

    • @Dan – Yeah thought of that but “trying” to stay positive (better than crying hysterically during each “enhancement”) 😉

  2. I don’t understand this post. Delta is making lots of money, has shown no interest in their frequent fliers, and you’re giving them ideas for more cuts to fund a program that offers a terrible return on your investment? This feels like an abused spouse trying to keep the marriage from breaking up.

  3. Don in ATL Reply

    I like the choosing your meal in advance. Since so many upgrades are at the gate these days, it may not help all of us, or possibly not even most of us, but I like the idea. I just booked an intra-Turkey flight on Pegasus in coach, and a sandwich is offered as a meal. During my online booking process, it asked if I wanted a cheese sandwich or chicken sandwich. I thought that was nice and VERY CUSTOMER FRIENDLY.

  4. John Hayes Reply

    I think Delta should give 1 Million Mile flyers 25,000 MQMs each year, 2 Million Mile flyers 50,000 MQMs, etc., in addition to lifetime Silver, Gold status, etc. Not really a cost saving measure, but certainly would boost loyalty and give us a head start on achieving a higher elite status each year.

  5. I hate #2. The choice benefits aren’t good enough as it is and I sure don’t want to blow a choice on the SkyClub. I’m already burning a choice on Exec membership so I can get my wife & daughter in on vacation trips – which I loathe because this used to be free for Diamonds.

    Get rid of newspapers altogether would be my suggestion. Tell people to read the passenger Safety Information card instead. LOL. Or Sky Magazine.

  6. Why is this blog/boarding area now asking to use my current location on my iPhone browser? Please stop. None of your business and that prompt is annoying.

  7. I like John’s idea a lot. It means I could put my Amex reserve spending on another card because I have to work really, really hard to charge $60000 a year. If I could settle for the $30000 spend knowing I already started with 25000 moms is appealing. It may also reward those early frequent fliers who didn’t get a credit card bonus when we first got the platinum card because there were no such things as points sign up bonuses and i can’t get one now because I already have the card.

  8. First off –

    I agree with Dan Diversky’s Point #2 Delta will USE these against their FF’ers ! YIKES

    Tom’s comment “abused spouse trying to keep the marriage from breaking up” is SPOT ON! In fact, I have a response for that René (that I’ll share separately)

    And John Hayes’ suggestion is an excellent (true) enhancement which might stop some of the bleeding Delta s going to experience in 2016’s FF program year.

    René, this rings of desperation…and I do not like where you are going with this…the best of intentions can be spoiled by lousy execution (or even intentional re-design)

    • @laptoptravel & others – I do have very little faith that the SkyMiles team will do anything but keep cutting but we are at or really past the tipping point here. Maybe a post like this will show that. Maybe! 😉
      PS – So much for anyone suggesting MORE ideas to help Delta. I guess take all we can, give nothing back is a better attitude for medallion now? 🙁

  9. Delta has clearly shown, over and over again, that they are all about maximizing revenue and cutting cost. Those are the changes they’re interested in, not making things better for their FF customers.

    Save them money, and they’re going to simply pocket it. Expecting them to put some of that towards their FF program is laughable.

  10. “take all we can, give nothing back is a better attitude for medallion now?” or in other words, just follow the lead of the mothership.

  11. Nice try Rene. Now go back into the dog house. Delta does not need our help in the destruction of benefits. (thought I did like the paper suggestion. )

  12. Delta cares about investing in its hard and soft product and service, not having the best value mileage program.

    While most people on these forums care more about redemptions than anything else, the executives and businesses Delta targets care about service, operational performance, and comfort.

    Now if they continue going down the path of gutting elite perks like they did with the same day change a few years back, that’s a different story. By the way I don’t consider selling first class seats this type of change, no one is guaranteed a seat up front (you could be a united flyer stuck flying 3-4.5 hour flights on RJs without first class, after all!)

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