Q1 is over and in the books. The past year under the new CEO has been a challenge. Personally, I have been most impressed by many of the changes to much of what Delta does but at the same time Mr. Bastian has simply done nothing to reverse the destructive course of crushing the life out of the SkyMiles program. Sure, I will take SkyMiles if I get them for free, but there are just so few reasons to actively collect them anymore and it’s much smarter to focus on other more valuable points.
But the year is flying along (ok, some pun intended) and we have much to focus on for the rest of 2017. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. Let’s dive in:
Date of who knows till we see another round of SkyMiles cuts. The SkyMiles team has been diligent and relentless over the past few years and most recently the one last sweet spot that was partner awards. I expect more unannounced cuts this year. Nothing like kicking a wounded dog when it is already down a bit more.
Date of never again i.e. no more meltdowns. We have over the past year had 3. In baseball you have 1, 2, 3 strikes you’re out. So let’s not have 4 or we are talking a walk and I truly would hate to see a walk for the current CEO who is trying to do some good for us flyers.
April 27th the Freddie Awards 2017. Delta has zero chance of winning anything (or likely even being nominated – again). This would require caring about loyalty points. They don’t. So sad really but something has to radically change like dumping the entire SkyMiles team and starting over.
April 30th SkyMiles bonus #1. If you were targeted, or Delta shows you were registered, this will be the last chance for round 1 of the promotion. It seems unless you were targeted it does not show up as valid in your “My Delta” so you will likely have to gripe to get any bonus points fyi. Last day is coming up soon if you are going to try.
April 30th Delta/Alaska split is complete. As of the 1st of May you will no longer be able to earn and burn as the partnership is over.
June 30th SkyMiles bonus #2. Everyone should have been able to play along with this one if you wanted to. Due to the sinking value (or totally sunk) I think few are chasing this one. I did one task and that’s it. Last day to play is the 30th.
1st of July status match. Each year, if you are not a fan of another airline but have status, you can try for a Delta status match / challenge. This is the time to do it each year as once you complete it you get status for the rest of this year and all of next year as well.
Date of sometime in Aug/Sept the first A350 flight. I can not wait for this and will be doing whatever I can to try to be on one for the first few domestic flights and maybe even the first international one. Most exciting!
October 1st downgrade your Sky Club membership. Even though Delta took it down from Delta.com it seems that this is the date Diamonds at long last get to use the “Guest Privileges” choice benefit. Not exactly timely and if I were you I would wait till the next Medallion year to use it. Still shocked Delta announced it when we can not use it for most of the year.
December 17th the last Delta 747. This, from all reports, should be the last 747 flight from Delta. It will be such a sad day and it is a shame Delta can not find some 747-8’s that could be a good balance of cost and function.
December 31st get MQMs. I know this is months away but better to plan NOW than later. This is the last day for any Delta AMEX card spending to be finished to earn bonus MQMs on your Delta AMEX Platinum (personal or business) as well as Delta AMEX Reserve cards (personal or business). It does not matter if your statement closes into 2018 it is the charge post date that matters. Also any flights that depart on this date count on 2017 even if they land on the 1st of January.
So there you are. Maybe you can bookmark this to keep these important dates in mind. If other critical ones pop up I will do my best to keep this post up to date and highlight them as a reminder! – René