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WARNING: Don’t Abuse Known Delta Workarounds (or They May Send You a Nasty Letter)!

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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.


Ouch! A letter shared was on a private Facebook Delta Diamond group and then leaked onto the web (disclaimer: I am not a part of this group or even on Facebook personally). It is an interesting read to say the very least.

There are a bunch of things that are very strange to me about the letter. First off it is odd because there is no Delta representative’s name attached to the letter. Most correspondence from Delta has a real rep’s name (even when you get an e-mail). Twitter reps use initials that can identify them.

I reached out to Delta communications folks to confirm that Delta really did mail this letter out. I was told:

Delta does not comment on any aspect of a communication specifically addressed to an individual.” – Delta corporate representative.

So they did not deny the letter came from Delta but, as expected, refused to comment about any individual flyer. With that out of the way, now on to why this letter is so disturbing to me and should get our full attention and also why this really is a frustrating correspondence. Let’s look at them one by one.

Big data and Delta. There are lots of jokes about Delta like the one that they are not really an airline but a southern law firm that flies a lot of jets. Perhaps the same joke can now be said about IT and DATA that they are really just a frequent flyer point seller and data-mining firm that also flies a lot of jets. In the letter the Delta the rep is angry about “practices in the past months“. We should all know Delta is all but tracking us in real-time and evaluating how valuable (or un-valuable) you are to them.

Waivers. Delta offers waivers for any number of reasons. But Delta likes collecting fees whenever they can. If you overuse (or in their view, abuse) published waivers Delta will not be happy with you. Be careful.

HUCB (or HUCA) that is Hang Up Call Back (or again). This has worked forever and most of the time it is truly needed because Delta reps either do not know the official Delta rules or just make up rules or give you flat out wrong and bad information. But each call you make (including to the medallion line) is logged. Call too much and Delta will be angry with you even if you have a valid reason to HUCB. Sigh.

Your status and membership could be at risk. We should always remember we do not “own” anything Delta “gives” us. Our SkyMiles, our Medallion status, our booked award flights – all can be revoked by Delta if they want to and deem you are not a “respected” member.

The flyer got a warning. Delta could have come down and just dumped the flyer but instead they got a warning letter to be nice or else. I find this interesting.

What else can we take away from this? Be careful with everything you have come to know (and love) that you do to get the most out of your Delta experience. If you are using what you know to get Delta reps to break the rules for you – you may get a letter. If you are calling Delta too much asking for things – you may get a letter. My guess is if you are booking online and canceling too many flights – you may soon get a letter. If you are dumb enough to use “hidden city” ticketing with SkyMiles awards – you may get a letter. We are being watched and watched closely.

What do you think about this “love letter” from Delta. Are you afraid any of your actions could possibly land you in trouble with Delta? – René


 

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.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

15 Comments

  1. I have a very difficult time believing that this poorly written letter came from an organization as professional as Delta. The letter is a grammatical disaster. Is no comment the same as confirming its authenticity? Why a letter? Is the lack of creases in the letter from it being sent via FedEx, UPS, etc? I have lots questions.

    Of course, it’s way more interesting if it is real.

    (I am still amazed by the poor writing in the letter.)

  2. René

    @Keith – As stated in the post, Delta communications folks did not deny the letter was from Delta. They would have told me if this was a fake.

  3. The airlines give and the airlines can take away. There was a recent story (IDK if I read it here first or not) about Aeroflot revoking preferred status to a passenger for the simple reason of bringing a cat on a flight in the cabin, taht was “too large”.

    So don’t pi** off the airline I guess.

  4. I too, kind of call foul on the letter. The wording sounds more like something from a travel blogger or FlyerTalk than anything Delta would write.

    As for data mining, that is the one beauty of the airlines’ frequent flyer programs – and why they aren’t going away. Before that, it was difficult to keep track of individual passengers but now they have a wealth of voluntary data. Would you even THINK about not putting your FF number on your ticket, even when doing shenanigans (like hidden city)? I didn’t think so. The airlines have us hooked on worse than crack. The official reason is that they want to track (and coddle) the HVCs, but track they can.

  5. Many years ago I amassed millions of AA miles. More than I could use and more than my family could use. I got letters from brokers wanting to buy my miles. They would fedex me big checks in exchange for me booking someone a 1st class fare to somewhere. Made enough money to buy a new car. Somehow, AA got wind of this and send me a stop and desist letter. Another transaction and all points would be taken. They also removed the lifetime credit for all miles sold and, at the time, left me with 600K AA miles, which is where my lifetime maximum is, instead of 4MM where it was at the highest before selling miles. This was just before the internet came to be. I learned my lesson and knew they meant business. After that, I would call them when I wanted to give the kids honeymoon miles to far away places, or fly mom and dad somewhere. The thought of that letter still scares me.

  6. +1 for it’s a fake. It just sounds too unprofessional to come from DL, not to mention, I suspect they would have a form letter for this sort of thing, not a specific detailed one. This smells, to me.

  7. Jennifer

    I read this letter several times and agree that this cannot be real. My assumption is that this letter was written by a customer service agent who had probably dealt with [the letter’s recipient] on several occasions and just didn’t want to deal with his requests any longer. Anyone at Delta in a customer service role would have access to the address and to Delta letterhead. To your point – there would have been the name of an executive or at the very least a manager and a phone number to contact. [The letter’s recipient] will continue to enjoy good service and benefits from Delta!

  8. Kathleen

    I agree with Jennifer. This is a CSR that has had enough of one individual or had a bad day. Delta wont confirm or deny anything ever while investigating who sent the letter.

  9. Susan Herin

    I agree with Jennifer’s assessment also…def not a real letter from Delta. It was probably sent to [the recipient] by a ticked off employee who was foolish enough to think Delta would never find out about it and track him down.

  10. Caleb Rolin

    Good for Delta, I cant stand freeloaders, especially those that immediately take to the media about how they have been wronged. I got news for you, most people think customers like this are crybabies. They unintentionally are proliferating the exact opposite narrative they are intending to push.

  11. Karen Buck

    As someone who has worked in customer service I can totally see this happening and that would be why Delta can’t deny it. They think one of their employees sent it

  12. Sean French

    Whether it’s real or not the fact is that I know first hand there are many frequent travelers that do this. This is not 1979 everything is documented nowadays, the frequent flyers know about the waivers they’re posted on the website. The letter may be written poorly however he knows the truth, and he knows what he’s done. I’ve been in this industry for a long time and I’ve seen EVERYTHING. The next time he tries to be shady he will get a letter from corporate security and be black listed from ever flying Delta again. Think I’m bluffing? Just try it and see what happens!

  13. One thing that seems odd to me is that I know Mr. [redacted] (it isn’t a common name) and I don’t think he’s ever been a Delta Diamond (due to the spend requirement and lack of a CC waiver). We’ve also talked over the last three weeks and he never mentioned anything like this. I sense a false flag/fake leak.

  14. Pingback: Delta's Shocking Warning Letter To A Frequent Flyer | One Mile at a Time

  15. Pingback: A Dishonest Customer is One That Doesn't Spend Enough Money On Delta - View from the Wing

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