I am always stunned by how many folks who travel infrequently — or even those who travel all the time — do not pay attention to details that can impact travel experiences in a negative way.
Some impacts can be minor. But others can be major — and create stress that does not need to be a part of the adventure (i.e. bad stress not good stress).
One of the “bits” you should always do, when flying more than one airline, is to get a hold of the PNR or Reservation number for the other airlines – even if all on the same Delta reservation.
The simplest way I have found is via Twitter. This is one reason — even if you do not like Twitter — you should have an account. (Read our guide to using Twitter and @Delta.) I first sent Delta a direct message first Delta and then Hawaiian in the above case to get just what I wanted.
This was needed because, most times, you can not select your preferred seats on Delta partner airlines inside the Fly Delta App.
If you simply wait until check-in to allow partners to assign you seats, you may not be very pleased with the results or just where the airline has decided to put you. By that point, all the decent seats may be gone.
Also, when it comes to your Delta elite status, even with the partner PNR you may not be able to choose online a really good seat on their website.
Here again — Twitter is a great way, in private, to ask an airline to get you, say, an exit row or preferred seat at no charge due to your SkyTeam status (sidebar: Hawaiian and Delta no longer play nice together as they did years ago).
The above is just one example of why having the partner PNR matters; there are many more.
When it comes time to check-in, most times, Delta.com will simply redirect you to the partner website. But having the partner reservation number is helps if things go sideways or if you need to call them for whatever reason.
In my situation with Hawaiian, I had to pay for bags on my return trip even being a Diamond with Delta. It was $30 per bag (I had two). But they were online offering first class upgrades for $50 and if I could have snagged one I would have saved $10 in bag fees because first class gets two bags free with Hawaiian (they did interline the bags with Delta to my final destination, BTW).
Bottom line – partner PNRs are something you want to get to make your travel experience better. – René
PS – Be sure to checkout my YouTube video review of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Courtyard by Marriott
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