It came as no surprise for most of us since for many months now we knew something was coming after I confirmed changes were in the works from sources. I personally am still pleased there remains a narrow path, compared to no path at all, via Amex spend. But with RAT teams expanding wording, things may not be all that simple next year to get the bat crazy ¼ million in spending done.
This means those who do reach Diamond will be in “rare air” if you will. I can tell you it does not build confidence when the Delta CEO, Ed Bastian all but tells us that most 1st class upgrades are going away. Take that, those who rejoiced over the “thin the herd” talk after these mega program changes have been confirmed. 😉
So all this got me thinking – what does Delta have to do before the 2019 medallion year begins to keep these Delta HVCs happy? I have a few suggestions they should implement:
Confirmed GU space. If Delta is going to thin the herd then surely there are going to be less folks trying to burn GUs or global upgrade certs. If this is going to be a “real” Choice Benefit for the very few Diamonds remaining then mention to revenue management that these should clear if there is even one single Delta One seat open.
End SHENA once and for all. Speaking of the Delta CEO… How about enforcing the suggestion that T40 really be the upgrade time at the gate and if a Diamond does board you not give their 1st class upgrade seat to an employee last minute? I mean if I am giving $15,000+ net spend a year to Delta I would expect not to get gate gamed and end up in a middle seat “upgrade” in coach? #JustSaying
Only the “best” phone reps for DM line. There are some just ridiculously good and amazing Delta Diamond elite phone reps. Then there are those who should not be working for Delta at all – let alone the top elite line. Delta needs to take anyone who does not have all “5s” on the phone survey and dump them to the non-elite ranks or just show them to the door. Bottom line, they should not ever pick up the line for the 2019 Diamonds!
Request a Porsche ride. Delta is expanding the Porsche ride service day by day but it is never guaranteed. As a 2019 Diamond, if I reach out, Delta should get me a car and drive me where I want to go. If it takes adding a few more cars – do it Delta. You need to make these mega Diamond spenders feel really valued.
Guaranteed Level 1 award space. Delta published they reward those who spend the most with Delta. Clearly we know that is simply not true as has been proven over and over again. The math is simple. But if Delta wants to really reward those who spend the most and earn Diamond in 2019 then they need to guarantee Level 1 award space when they go to spend their SkyMiles. We know Delta can do this if they want to – so just do it!
Free drinks and a snack in coach. This is not hard. I mean really not hard. Delta FAs via their GST (guest service tool) hand units (called SkyPros) 100% know who you are – even if you are an escorted prisoner. They know if you are a Diamond Medallion. Thus, if a Diamond is stuck back in coach let them have all the free drinks they want and one item off the FLIGHT FUEL menu. Other airlines do this for their top eiltes so mother Delta can too in 2019.
Guaranteed overhead space. Before I am blasted about this I get that a bin cannot be labeled, or held, for “Diamond Use Only”. Well, I mean they could and it would be mostly ignored like the current signs for C+ overheads. But the point is that if a Diamond wants to stay in the Sky Club and not rush to the gate to be a #MeFirstMeFirstGuy boarder, then a gate agent should never ever force them to check their carry-on bag. There is after all always space for one more bag on-baord (even if it has to go in the coat closest).
Free Gogo passes each year. Delta is currently bragging up the fact that via 3 sources you can “text” to those who you want to keep in contact with. Thrilling. How about a real Diamond perk with a Gogo pass that I can use and then use my VPN to get real work done – with full security (hint: you need a real internet connection to use your VPN).
Pre-order 1st class meals. We are coming up on 2 years since Delta company reps promised that soon we could in 1st class pre-order a 1st class meal like other airlines have for YEARS now. Instead those who spend the most must A) understand FEBO or ordering meals is Front Even Back Odd numbered flights and then hope the FAs follow the company direction (kinda like the #TeamBoardLast already talked about). The better choices is to simply let us order in advance meals in 1st class.
Free CLEAR for +1. Delta brilliantly is offering CLEAR security free for Diamonds. They have also allowed +1s to upgrade at their rank – again smart. Time to add CLEAR to the +1s as well.
This is my suggested list (did I miss anything important?). Will Delta by 2019 implement any of these? I doubt it. I expect more cuts until Delta sales start to fall and it impacts the share price of $DAL. Then, maybe, it will start to again swing Delta back toward appreciation of loyal flyers. But will it be too late at that point? – René
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