I get about 100-200 e-mails a day. I try to always get back to folks the same day the mail comes in because if I don’t they end up buried in days past. I always tell myself I will get back to a mail if I don’t respond right away but it just never seems to happen. So if this ever happens to you please cut-N-paste and resend (I will not be offended in the least bit).
The other day I was cleaning out my spam folder and this e-mail from Dustin got stuck. It has been a few days since it landed in there but I think Dustin’s e-mail deserves more than just a mail back. Notice what he asks:
I am curious why Delta? I am new to the points/miles travel hobby and live in Portland, OR. The Delta AMEX gold was one of the first cards that I picked up but have since converted that to a no fee Hilton. I found the miles somewhat hard to use (read, get good value). I’m assuming you are in a Delta hub, but curious as to your preference for Delta. If you have an article that explains this, I’d be appreciative if you could point me to the link.
Thank you Dustin for the mail and sorry G-Mail sent you to spam. Let me first help you with one mistake you made – never downgrade or upgrade an AMEX card EVER unless you have had that card before. Now that AMEX is 1x bonus in your lifetime (per card) you always want to apply for a new card, get the bonus points, then cancel the old card.
Now on to your question as to if there is an article that explains why I choose Delta as my preferred carrier. First off the reasons I do NOT choose Delta. It is not for:
- SkyMiles – They are all but dead to me and should be to you as well.
- Award page – It is broken, unreliable and over charges you most times.
- 1st Class seats – Delta does not have any 1st class, only business class.
So those are the three glaring negatives about Delta. The award program is all but trashed and the award booking page I feel is intentionally busted. Sure there can still be some value extracted and I do that each time I spend SkyMiles but I do not fly Delta for the award program and no one else should either. It is a component that I “enjoy” (maybe not the best word) but way down on the list of choosing Delta. Lastly on the “con” side is the lack of a real 1st class seat. I like the Delta business class domestic and the international business class ones called Delta One but they are nothing like many other airlines 1st class options. I am fine with that.
Now on to the reasons why I do choose Delta as my airline of choice since I am not really a hub captive.
- Impressive elite program including awards
- Ridiculously good performance
- Reliable and consistent product
- Decent wifi and getting better
- Delta people and service
- Technology that works well
- Skyteam fits my travel needs
There is the short list of why, IMO, you should choose Delta as your preferred airline. Let’s touch on them one by one.
First off I really like the Delta elite program. No matter what level you attain Delta does treat elites well. Sure upgrades are MUCH harder to get than in years past, but I still get a bulk of mine as a Diamond and know how to work the system for max advantage. Same goes for awards. Delta does make them hard to get at good value but with such flexibility to change and tinker free of charge as an elite when I do book them I can work them as I see fit. There is value there.
Next up you have performance. Now I am not saying every single flight is perfect but a bulk of the time they are not just on time but early. And you can rest assured, almost no matter what, Delta will at some point complete the flight. I know Delta will get me where I want to go – at some point. Worst case, they will make it right. I never ever buy travel insurance because there just is no need when I fly Delta.
In the world of slim-line and cut to the bone products I like the Delta choices. No, they are not perfect but I like the choices they have made. The seats are comfortable and, most times, I expect and do have power and IFE and worst case if there is none of the latter there is Delta Studio beamed free over the in-flight wifi to entertain me. Nice.
Speaking of wifi, Gogo (or as many call it SlowGo) is consistent on Delta jets. Sure the older system is buggy, can be very slow (or almost unusably slow at times) but it is normally there and works enough to get by and Delta is working hard on upgrading the wifi to much faster speeds. Sure I wish it would happen faster i.e. the upgrades but they are pushing this so more good is to come and what is there, for now, does work. Again, unless you are talking a CRJ200, I expect to find and do find wifi when I get onboard a Delta jet. Very important and trustworthy.
Then we have Delta people and I am not just talking about the flight attendants. I am talking about the gate agents, the Sky Club people and more. Just about everyone who works for Delta is amazing (not talking VP level here I am talking about the real Delta people). They respect me and appreciate me as a frequent Delta flyer and often go out of their way to show this. This makes me fiercely loyal to Delta.
After that we have technology that works. Now clearly I am not talking about the award page. I truly in my heart feel it is intentionally broken and busted (and almost worthless). I feel and believe this is done from command on high as in the old days it was amazing and really worked – not so much now. But that is not my point. Let’s talk about the Fly Delta App. Amazing! Period. It really works and provides just so much information I need. Delta.com, when it comes to normal things like booking and using the tools inside, just works and works very well. Not perfect mind you but solid for my needs.
Lastly on my list we have Skyteam (deep sigh). I debated if I really wanted to include this on this list of great things Delta does because really Skyteam is not really one of them like the others. Delta loves Delta. All the Skyteam members know this and get that Delta does not “really” love them at all. However, they fake it well and that works for me. Plus, the alliance flies where I really need them to go and I can work with the partners to get where I want to fly. Clearly very important.
So there you are, Dustin. Does this help. To me Delta is a great choice for the reasons described above. They are a great operational airline and if you are willing to not let them run “rough shod” over you and bamboozle you with ways to fleece you when it comes to awards, you can even enjoy those perks (with a lot of work) as well.
Have I sold you, Dustin, on flying Delta? You tell me! – René