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Traveling! Delta Swapping Free Roundtrips for Los Angeles Lakers Tickets. Should They Extend The Program To Other Events?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Delta sure has a curious preoccupation with event tickets.

First, they announced a SkyMiles promotion with Ticketmaster. Now, the airline teamed up with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers to launch the “Showtime Seat Exchange,” a charitable campaign allowing fans to exchange game tickets for plane tickets.

It’s an interesting concept — and might make sense for other event tickets, too.

The Showtime Seat Exchange

Fans may exchange their tickets to one of four games this season and receive a voucher for one free Delta main cabin roundtrip in the US 50. The flights aren’t eligible to earn miles and voucher holders are responsible for taxes and fees.

For the Showtime Seat Exchange’s inaugural game (November 15, Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings), only the first 50 donated tickets are being accepted. The game tickets “will be donated to After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles, a youth organization that provides free, comprehensive after-school programs to keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life,” Delta explains.

CNBC says Showtime Seat Exchange is for season ticket holders. My research didn’t turn up anything precluding single game ticket holders. People with complimentary game tickets aren’t eligible.

Interested fans must already have purchased tickets and have them virtually in hand. They can submit either two or four seats.

"New York USA - October 26, 2011: Boeing 737NG Delta Air Lines lands on at the John F Kennedy International Airport located in New York which is one of the most busy airports in the world"
(©iStock.com/rypson)

Is it a Good Deal?

Aside from the warm and fuzzies of donating Lakers tickets to kids, donors could make out nicely — depending on how much they paid for their tickets and where they travel. From the Lakers’ perspective, this could be an effective, easy way to keep people with great seats from selling them to ticket brokers or scalpers.

I checked ticket prices for the November 15 game. A seat in the arena’s very top row was available for $68. Seats about 20 rows from the court were going for just shy of $350 each.

I believe courtside seats cost somewhere in the low four figures.

So if someone exchanges a pair of $1500 tickets, they’ll end up in the red. (But again, it’s a donation going toward a good cause, so there’s that…) People donating seats in the $200-$300 range will likely come out ahead.

Should Delta Consider This Exchange with Other Events?

Ever had game, concert, or show tickets — only to have your plans fall through? Me, too. Been there, done that.

Personally, I hope Delta expands the Showtime Seat Exchange concept to more events such as concerts, other sports, and Broadway and touring shows. (Yes, I know “Showtime” is a Lakers theme and Delta would probably rename an expanded exchange.)

Concert spectators in front of a bright stage with live music
(©iStock.com/Cesare Ferrari)

Vouchers wouldn’t have to be for entire roundtrips, either. Delta could do some sort of sliding scale with ticket prices and voucher value. I’d be fine donating $50 baseball tickets and getting a $75 or $100 Delta voucher.  (It would have to earn MQM, MQS, and MQD, though 😉 ) Besides, $50 tickets end up costing about $75 after obnoxious addons service fees.

I’m sure Delta could partner with charities to send kids to ballgames and production shows. Concerts might be a little tricky, depending on who the performs are 🙂

Would you like to see the Showtime Seat Exchange concept expand to more events? Is it something you’d take advantage of?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the below Comments section.

–Chris

Cover photo: ©iStock.com/TuelekZa

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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