This may have been one of my busiest January’s in the air ever with almost 30 segments completed. I have been from one side of the globe to just finishing the better part of a week in Hawaii (it was very nice if you were wondering – post on the way soon). January has also been a busy month for Delta and yesterday marked the start of the new 2018 Medallion year. What else has been happening?
First off, is Delta done with the changes to the old VX loft, that is, the super tiny T3 club desperately needs expanding. So far they have removed the “grab-N-go” snack coolers and replaced them with more standard-ish Sky Club bits (will update the club review soon). I know many enjoyed these coolers so sad to see them go. I really hope this is not all the changes we will see in this micro-club.
Speaking of clubs – boy does Delta know how to do one thing really well, that is, spin something that is nothing. Oh and they got all the mega blogs to jump on board and spread this “Fake News” that there will be “free” spa treatments for Diamond members (for a limited time that is). Take a look at the PR e-mail:
“As a Diamond Medallion® Member, you can enjoy select complimentary 30 minute spa services at the Asanda Spa Lounge in the Atlanta E, JFK T4 and Seattle A Delta Sky Club® locations through July 31, 2018. This exclusive offer is in appreciation of your loyalty as a Diamond Medallion Member.
Complimentary services offered are Dream Weaver, a light and sound experience designed to help achieve the benefits of meditation instantly, or Audio Guided Relaxation Experiences, where you can listen to noise canceling headphones while being reclined in a Living Earth Zero Gravity Chair or Wave Lounger. Both experiences are designed by Deepak Chopra MD, world renowned wellness expert and mind body health pioneer, so you can relax during your travels.
You must show your Diamond Medallion credentials to the Asanda representative to enjoy the complimentary services.
As a reminder, if you don’t already have Delta Sky Club access, you can select it through your 2018 Choice Benefits.” – e-mail from Delta to members
To put this politely, what a load of horse manure. When I think of complimentary spa services I think of unlimited massages like at the Centurion or even free manicures. Sitting in a chair with headphones on? I can do that with my Noise Hush headphones anytime I want, Delta – this is not impressive – this is just PR spin.
Oh but I know why they are doing this and have seen the reason why first hand (cuz everything Delta does is for the bottom line). Now that the medallion year has ended the Sky Club reps are PUSHING (and I mean PUSHING) folks when they enter the club to spend one of their very valuable Diamond Choice Benefits to get Individual Sky Club membership. Well not so fast. Remember that starting next year club membership is no longer true membership. You must be flying Delta (or Skyteam partner) same day to use you “membership”. Thus, holding a card like the non-Delta Platinum Amex personal or business card (next year) is just as good as being a member of the club. If you get either of these cards and take say a $200 travel voucher and use the $200 travel credit you are almost getting into the club net free (next year). Oh the reps are trying to stop you from choosing this wise choice as they say – “that saves you the hassle of getting a card out each time you enter”. Ah, OK then Delta!
More interesting bits afoot this week in Deltaland. If you have not noticed Delta is using and talking in text more and more about Delta 360° members. This has been, up till now, much more a hush-hush membership level above Diamond. Interesting right. It has also been interesting to see how those who are no longer Delta 360° members have been contacted either by phone or by e-mail or letter. Most are told Diamond is still very nice.
Also it seems the twitter experiment of Delta 360°-lite that is Delta Assist on @Delta on twitter has ended this year. I was never included as I just don’t spend enough with Delta (I spend my own dime so I am frugal). Don’t get me wrong I still like @Delta and most times for minor things they are quick and great in fixing things but I never had a dedicated twitter rep looking over my travels. As much as I tinker maybe that is best anyway! Are you an X-Assist member?
In case you missed it the Delta spin machine is claiming victory over the ME3. Well, let’s call them the ME1 as Delta changed it to in the last few weeks. I do not get political on this blog nor will I here and if you want a real overview of the truth of all this Gary has a good post. Bottom line is Delta spent a ton of cash and got the Delta folks all worked up and then… Well… See for yourself.
Next up we have the ¼ million Delta Amex MQD spend issue. There is much talk behind the scenes about this I can not share but as you can imagine it is going over like a lead balloon with card holders (shocking – said no one ever). For those who have been enjoying just visiting their local Simons Mall and knocking out nearly 10k per visit it seems by many reports that those charges are not counting toward your spend goals. This is a maybe however as we need more data points as I am also told Delta / Amex is having major issues reconciling just plain old every day spend reports. There is something going on and we just need more time to see if this is a change or a bug or both.
>350 mile flights.
In addition to any number of long flights this year so far I have also had many shorter hops that are in the now “we do nothing unless you ask” fight distance. One FA summed up how I feel about this when she said: “Next time we hope to provide you service you have come to expect”. I will leave that as it is.
More good news-ish is that more Skyteam partners are joining TSA PreCheck. I say “ish” but overall it really is good but to me the long lines, most times, at PreCheck make it much less valuable than it once was. If you fly each month you must have both PreCheck and CLEAR to make security go fast – period.
So those are all the headlines that caught my attention while I was enjoying the sunshine on Kauai this week. Were there other Delta bits I missed? If so be sure and include a link in your comments below! – Rene