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Two Ways Delta Could Improve Their “Have One On Us” Certificates

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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.


Sit down and crack open open a cold one. Let’s chat for a sec.

Delta Medallion elite status holders receive four complimentary “Have One on Us” (or HOOUs, as we call them) certificates each year. (SkyBonus members can also cash in points and receive 10 HOOUs. I also received them from a Red Coat after volunteering for a #bumpertunity that made his night easier.)

“Have One on Us” drink coupons are redeemable for a free liquor, beer, or wine beverage on Delta-operated flights. (Alternative: the $2 headphones sold onboard can be had for a HOOU.)

Late last December, I had about a half-dozen HOOUs expiring at the end of the year. During my family’s final flights, I gave them to a couple of flight attendants and asked if they’d like to play Santa Claus to some passengers who order drinks. (I also said that if the flight attendants wanted to use them for their own personal purposes, that they certainly deserved it and I’d be happy with that, too. 🙂 )

We were in Comfort+ (where adult beverages are complimentary) and didn’t them.

The “Problem” with Have One On Us Certificates

Geez! Complain, complain, complain! you may say. Bloggers whine about free stuff!

As well-intentioned as HOOUs are, there are several reasons they may difficult for some people to redeem. And, yes, most of these are #FirstWorldProblems.

Now, Delta may see that list, twiddle a mustache, and cackle, Yes! That’s the point! Or they may genuinely want people to redeem them for free things.

But it’d be great to see a little more oomph added to the HOOUs. And here are a couple of easy ways I think Delta can do that.

Allow Them to Be Used for Flight Fuel

When Delta resumes full service in all cabins, it’d be great if HOOUs could be redeemable for the Flight Fuel premium snack boxes.

Delta Air Lines Flight Fuel Protein Box premium snack.

Here’s a menu from about a year ago. Prices ranged from $8.99 to $10.99, depending on the item.

Delta Air Lines Flight Fuel menu as of December 2019.
The Flight Fuel menu in December 2019.

My Medallion friends who don’t drink usually roll their eyes at HOOUs.

But making coupons redeemable for Flight Fuel boxes would be a great way to acknowledge those SkyMiles members. And, in general, people who aren’t served meals during longer flights would probably enjoy a Flight Fuel snack. (This would be a great option for Comfort+ passengers — who receive complimentary adult beverages anyway.)

Heck, my family of three could easily burn all four of my yearly HOOUs during one flight: a couple of Flight Fuel boxes for us to share and then a cocktail each for my wife and me. (If we’re in Main Cabin.)

After that, we’re paying out of pocket for premium snacks the rest of the year (well, at least until the airline incidental credit runs out on our Platinum Card from American Express 🙂 )

Plus, it gets a good product into customers’ hands. People are more likely to talk about the Flight Fuel boxes — and SkyMiles program.

Make HOOUs Valid for THE BAR Purchases at Delta Sky Clubs

Some Delta Sky Clubs have self-service alcohol with several complimentary house/well offerings.

The T2 Sky Club at LAX

Others have staffed bars (officially titled “THE BAR”) offering not just complimentary drinks but also premium alcohol beverages — for which there’s a charge.

The bar and liquor bottles are seen at the Delta Sky Club Austin airport lounge at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Austin, Texas. Photo © Chris Carley / PointsLounge
Delta Sky Club in Austin

Three forms of payment are accepted at THE BAR in Delta Sky Clubs:

  • Credit or debit card
  • Cash
  • SkyMiles

Here’s another area where Delta could further impress its Medallions (and/or other HOOU coupon holders). What about letting people redeem the certs for a complimentary premium beverage in Sky Clubs?

And here’s another potential upside for Delta: if I burn my last HOOU on a Woodford Reserve in a Sky Club, I may be inclined to buy a round after that. (It’s hard to go from Woodford to Old Forester or Jack Daniel’s…)

I don’t know how many Medallions have access to Delta Sky Clubs through a qualifying American Express card (listed below) or Sky Club membership. But adding value to the HOOU certificates certainly gives those without Sky Club access more incentive to join the party. And it adds a bit more potential value to those Amex cards.

Final Approach

Have One On Us coupons are a cool gift from Delta. But I wish the airline would make it easier to redeem them. Making HOOUs available for Flight Fuel boxes and Sky Club bar purchases would be a #KeepClimbing move, for sure.

What do you think? Please tell us your thoughts in the below Comments section.

Enjoy Complimentary Admission to Delta Sky Clubs!

These cards give cardholders free admission to Delta Sky Clubs on days you fly Delta Air Lines marketed or operated flights!

The Platinum Card from American Express.The Platinum Card from American Express (learn how to apply)

American Express Business Platinum cardThe Business Platinum Card from American Express (learn how to apply)

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card (learn how to apply)

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card (learn how to apply)

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.

15 Comments

  1. Note that you have no access to your DL wallet and these HOOU coupons while in the air unless you have already downloaded the flydelta app or printed them out on paper. You can access delta.com for free in the air and log in to your SM account but the My Wallet section is not accessible.

  2. HOOU certificates penalize the non-drinkers. I have complained about this in Delta.Com.

  3. I have Delta flights in C+ scheduled for February & May. Both only show water available not adult beverages of any kind. I haven’t flown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can someone give me an update?

    • Bill, I have now been on several flights, with 10 in the past month, and even as of last night from Charlotte to Minneapolis, beer and wine were provided free to Comfort+ passengers. Nothing for passengers who don’t drink, but at least something normal is back!

  4. You are NOT allowed to use HOOU during COVID, so adjust your expectations. On most flights, only bottled water is avail in coach, and beer & wine in First. No coffee or poured beverages.

  5. I’m with you on the expanded use of HOOU coupons. For a long time I’ve expressed my disappointment to Delta regarding some of the perks they promote that do nothing for me as a single, non-drinking flier. HOOU certs for drinks are not useful since I’m sitting in Comfort+ or further front. But having the option to get food would be appreciated, even if I only choose to take it with me.
    I’ve also criticized AMEX Delta credit cards because the free companion tkt is not helpful since I’m usually flying to meet someone who doesn’t live near me.

    • Right. I’ve never been able to use any companion ticket ever … for decades.

  6. If only they’d allow use for travel from a different airport and meet your companion at a common location.

  7. Most flights only serve warm water no ice on board!Even the Sky clubs not serving alcohol depending on what liberal city you are in and food has to be take out!! Sad

  8. Barry Graham Reply

    I agree with your opinion, Chris, and I like the food fuel idea, as long as it’s kosher – but that’s a whole different discussion as to why it’s even necessary for me to make such an obvious and easy to implement suggestion (that would apply to all their onboard snacks, like I believe is the case with JetBlue).

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