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What Are All the Things Delta Could Sell Us to RAISE CASH? Lifetime Sky Club Anyone?

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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 needs cash (and lots of if)! Flying is nowhere near what it was pre-COVID19. Very soon government “free cash” will run out and Delta is desperately doing everything it can to reduce “daily cash burn” to zero by year end. To stave off bankruptcy, they need funds from anywhere they can find them.

The above is a photoshopped version of one of my old Sky Club cards to include what very few fliers hold, that is, a real “lifetime” Delta Sky Club membership card. Before the merger with Delta, you could buy a Northwest Lifetime membership from $500 in the early ’80s to just under as $5,000 before they went away (even cheaper in the 70s if you got a “Western” membership).

Delta has, for years now, tolerated those who were grandfathered in with these old memberships. I say tolerated because when some of the last rounds of changes to the clubs rolled out (i.e. you must be flying Delta to enter EVEN if you have a full membership) they did not exclude lifetime members from the changes until members raised a stink about it.

Those kinds of irritating experiences would make it hard for Delta to now, when they need cash, bring back what Northwest sold to us so many years ago.

But just think of how much money they could bring in?

While I am not personally inclined to shell out say $3,000 or $5,000 or — eek! — $10,000 for a lifetime Sky Club membership I bet there would be a number who would or whose business would pay for this. Why not consider this, Delta? What else?

Delta, for years and years, offered a Delta Sky Club “day pass” that was good all day long. You could use it at the club at the airport you departed from as well as the one you connected though and finally the one where you arrived.

Why not bring back a real solid day pass — and make them with NO expiration date! The likelihood that they will all be used is remote and this would be a great way for Delta to raise CASH that will cost them little over time.

Delta, for now, is not serving adult drinks onboard. You can bring your own but what fun is that? Delta gives away boatloads of free drink coupons to elites (and others) each year. They even (well, pre-COVID) would sell them to you as an add-on before your flight at a discount over buying a drink onboard. Why not simply sell drink coupons with NO expiration date? Again, I bet most of them go unused like the one above that is a relic from years gone by. What else?

Now on this next one, I really REALLY don’t expect Delta to do this. Yes, other airlines have done it but not Delta. I would be beyond SHOCKED if they did this. Having said that, Delta could outright sell folks 2021 Delta elite status for a really large chunk of cash. Say $10,000 for Silver, $20,000 for Gold, and so on (or some other crazy number). I think, if someone is willing to pay, then Delta should at least put the offer on the table (yes, I get that you could “buy” status via mileage runs for WAY cheaper).

How about another wild idea, that is, the ability to pre-book and pay for a Porsche ride gate to gate on your next flight? I have had the ride a bunch of times as a now-and-then perk of being a Diamond Medallion (related: Can you request a ride). But I will admit that for, say, my anniversary trip I would be happy to prepay to book this service month from now (are you listening, Delta?)!

If you are not a fan of the lifetime Sky Club membership idea – what about a lifetime “free” bag card? Delta already gives away “free” bags in so many ways (status, fare class or partner credit cards, and more). Why not simply put a number on what someone may pay for bags for a “lifetime” and sell them the card?

Delta Air Lines 757

Your name on the side of a Delta jet! This idea might be both ridiculous and stupid and I have no idea how much it would cost to get the FAA and who knows what else to OK simply painting someone’s name on the side of a jet, but I am sure someone would pay a large amount to have that bragging right. (Although American Airlines did something slightly similar last year to raise money for charity.) Yes? No?

The SkyMiles program. Now, this last one I think would be the final act of desperation and, longterm, a really dumb idea as Skymiles is one of the biggest assets Delta has. But they could spin it off and sell it. Who knows, maybe buy it back one day for 10 cents on the dollar?

So these are all my brilliant or not so brilliant ideas to raise cold hard cash for Delta. What do you think? Love them or hate them? Have any other better ideas? Let’s help Delta out! – 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.

8 Comments

  1. The EASIEST way is to sell “ Day of Upgrade” to Delta Open Suites on International flights(No Medallion Upgrades) and purchase by any class if service. Understanding that Revenue Management would be burning the midnight oil, but STOP with the employee automatic upgrades to Delta One internationally.
    The Delta Employees were given $1.6 BILLION USD in profit sharing and Ed Bastian said that although Delta is not flying much, the employees will get no less $1.6 BILLION this year as well. Trust me, Delta employees are treated well.

  2. American offered unlimited lifetime first class passes in the 80’s. They lost many $millions on these and sued most of the pass holders. However, I think it would be neat for delta to offer these.

  3. I (spouse included) have a lifetime AA Admirals Club card that I got for $250 in the early 80s when there was a club at DTW.

  4. This is an interesting topic…

    Some things I would consider buying are:
    •Diamond Status (either lifetime or maybe limit it to the next 5 years)
    •GUCs (that don’t expire for at least 3 years)
    •SkyMiles at $0.005 each
    •2021 Delta vacation package
    •$2500 for prepaid ticket in Delta One for international destination in 2021.

  5. Unfortunately there’s no value in anything “lifetime” if the company loses its life.

    Painting names or logos on planes is a cool idea. “Flight sponsored by …”

    Delta could sell fractional shares of aircraft ownership with the timeshare owner getting free flights.

    Scott

  6. The value of selling a lifetime membership to SkyClub is the fact these members guarantee future revenues for flying Delta. My 3 year membership at WorldClub was purchased during the heydays of the merger, about 5 months before the merging of the lounge programs. Since I have achieved Diamond Medallion status every year since merger, my membership to SkyClub has been extended every year. I have never paid for my membership since 2009.

    Now, I have another 2 years of individual membership remaining. But the lesson of this story is that I was held captive to flying DL since paying the membership (even more when they instituted rollover MQM).

  7. Lancelot,

    Don’t be going crazy, my man!

    Sky Miles at $0.0025 or less.

    Why pay actual currency that matches Delta’s valuation? Ed Bastian wants us to think of their value as $0.01 each, but the real value is even less. My $0.02 LOL 🙂

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