The other day, Delta Corporation had the earnings call for the year. It was ugly.
“How ugly?” you ask?
Much of that massive loss was due to Delta being so closely tied to business travel that has all but evaporated. Most business managers are saying travel will resume, at the soonest, in Q4 this year but it could be even longer.
And that brings me to today’s post. Last year, Delta made the only sensible move to extend Delta Medallion status for everyone for another year. That “free” year begins on February 1st. Delta also extended a bunch of other things for a period of time past the official expiration date. I think some things should be extended yet again and right away! But what things?
HOOUs or “Have One On Us” certs. Delta auto extended them through July of this year (from the end of 2020 expiation date). This is not enough. I doubt I will be flying enough to use them before the end of July if I am flying at all by then. Change this to the end of 2021.
Upgrade Certs. As I talked about in regards to what Delta Diamond Medallion Choice Benefit I am strongly considering just picking all Skymiles as my reward because Delta has “only” extended expiring Global and Regional Upgrade certs to June or July of this year (for most of us it seems).
That is not enough.
For the same reasons as the HOOUs, there is little chance it will be safe to fly, i.e. that I will have had the two COVID vaccine shots before these expire. Delta needs to at least extend these again to the end of the year.
Delta Amex Platinum and Reserve card companion certs. These also have been extended for a bunch of flyers but not for everyone depending on your anniversary month (fyi both my cert from NOV2019 and NOV2020 are extended to the end of 2021). Delta in the earnings call again bragged up how amazing the relationship is with Amex. If they want to keep cardholders happy, they need to simply blanket extend ALL who have one no matter what your anniversary bill date is till the end of 2021 – or even consider the end of 2022!
Bump vouchers. This one is a little bit harder to fully justify like the points above. With a bump, you have one year to spend them — but then another year to fly it. So there is, basically, a two-year expiration date from the outset. However, a one year “push” I think is in order until we can again start to fly without fear. But this also emphasizes how wise it is to take an AMEX gift card if you are able to when you get a bump from Delta.
Is that it? Yes but there are clearly a few other things that I do think Delta should wait on until this summer to make a call. Take a look:
MQM and MQD bonus offers/incentives. I feel it is too soon to start to promote bonus offers to get business folks to travel more. I do think we will reach a point that Delta should offer bonus points and that time would be sometime this summer if it looks like the vaccine is in the arms of at least half of America. That ties into the next point.
Another year of rollover elite status and MQMs. Unlike my call last year for Delta to right away rollover status, I think Delta should wait for a while much like bonus offers just touched on. Now if things by September 1 are still a total mess and it does not look like business travel is going to resume until after early 2022, then at that point – YES – it is time to again push status for another year. If not I could see a lot of really upset loyal business travelers.
As talked about the other day, I really hope my plans to fly a TON in Q4 of this year works out. I hope we are climbing towards a cruise level of normalcy and the utter mess of 2020 is well behind us. Even so, until then, Delta really should implement the above and be ready for more.
What do you think? Do you agree with my suggestions? Do you think Delta will implement these or make other changes? Let us all know! – René
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