Delta quickly downgrades Virgin Atlantic’s Diamond Global Upgrade Cert Perks!

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delta had this service as a perk - not now

How quickly things can change!

Delta made a nice change to allow us to use our Diamond Global Upgrade certs from our  Choice Benefit  on Virgin Atlantic as of the 15th of July. This was truly great news as well as the fact that you could request chauffeur car service (per Delta.com) to the airport. A really nice perk since this is NOT available when you are on an award ticket. Well, today Delta downgraded this perk.

current wording for Virgin GU flights

Current wording on Delta.com

Notice the difference between the Delta.com page via the Way Back Machine and the current live page on Delta.com? Yep, car service is no longer listed as a perk. And there is more:

“In addition, Global Upgrade Certificates can be used for Delta-marketed Virgin Atlantic flights outside of transatlantic travel, including Virgin’s London-Heathrow flights to Dubai, Shanghai, Johannesburg and Delhi.” – Delta.com as of 15JULY16

The above wording has been removed as well. Has Delta back peddled on this perk also? I have reached out to Delta for clarification and comment on these changes but have not yet got an answer back. When I have a quote to publish I will update this post.

Update from Delta CORP:

1. Chauffeur service follows Virgin policies—we are not restricting and customers can receive under Virgin policy (we just don’t list out all of their restrictions).

2. We edited the language to limit customer confusion as it is very hard to book outside the JV with current IT limitations.

I further asked for clarification and confirmed that Global Upgrades, like Delta ONE or Upper Class award tickets, are excluded from the chauffeur service.

Truly the chance to upgrade from almost any published fare (other than E Basic fares) is a HUGE perk of the Delta Global Upgrade certs and reaching Diamond Medallion status with Delta. The loss of the car service is not a deal breaker but still sad that it was included at the time the offer went live and now is gone. If you did book under the old T&C at the time I would push Delta (and Virgin) to honor this for you. – René

 

 

6 comments

  1. I am convinced that all airlines now have a full time staff member reading travel blogs all day long to identify any “imperfections” in their program that they can immediately eliminate in order to increase their bottom line. The staff member’s job security depends on their ability to identify any opportunity to increase the bottom line of the airline by saving a few dollars here and there. There is ZERO regard for the customer and all benefits that do not directly increase profitability are to be eliminated.

  2. Prior to the internet it was much harder for airlines to identify “short comings”(from an airline’s bottom line perspective) in their loyalty programs. But with all the travel hacker bloggers out there broadcasting any potential “shortcomings” of a program to the world, they are helping the airlines, credit card companies, and hotels etc quickly identify ways to increase their bottom line by eliminating, changing, or manipulating the terms of their loyalty programs. I am sure the airlines and banks really appreciate the free service/intelligence that travel bloggers provide them with.

    I am convinced that all airlines now have a full time staff member reading travel blogs all day long to identify any “imperfections” in their program that they can immediately eliminate in order to increase their bottom line. The staff member’s #1 responsibility is to identify any opportunity to increase the bottom line of the airline by saving a few dollars here and there. There is ZERO regard for the customer and all benefits that do not directly increase profitability are to be eliminated. What’s left are teaser benefits that can be used by the marketing department to create the illusion that they care for or appreciate our business. Bait and switch is becoming the standard practice for airline disloyalty programs.

    When an airline practices disloyalty tactics and gets away with it. The executives of the other airlines follow suit to improve their bottom line so that they can make more money for the company and in turn increase their personal performance bonus. These short term gains are then leveraged to get even higher pay packages for themselves. Most companies have simply become nothing but tools for its high level executives to manufacture great performance bonuses for themselves. Short term profit gains are important not just for performance bonuses but for promotional opportunities or to get better job offers from competing firms.

    The above are why the loyalty programs are just getting worse and worse every year. The executives are not planning to stay there for the next twenty years, so who cares what is in the long term interest of the company or its customers.

  3. Actually @Jason its just that the government let all the airlines merge and now there is not enough competition, so they can do whatever they want.

  4. While the Car pickup/drop off is not available after first seeming like it was, I am still very happy to see that at least can use a GUC on VS. Its been the same if you book a VS UC ticket but its on a Delta Ticket. You don’t get the car pickup. I am doing just that next week (Delta ticket on VS UC) and knew when I bought it that I would not get car. Considering at the time we got the tickets, the difference was several hundred bucks difference in VS ticket vs Delta ticket, Im ok with it. I welcome ability to use some KLM and now VS flights and not just Delta with the GUC’s.

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