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Old Jul 3, 12, 11:00 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 22
Status match, AS to Delta? Not sure what to do...

I thought I had a plan, but now that the time has come, I'm not so sure.
Sorry for the long post.

Since i moved to the NW in the mid 90's, I have been Alaska-centric. Flown most of my flights with them, or AS partners. Have a couple of Signature Visa and use them as much as possible.

I haven't flown enough in the last few years to warrant more than plain MVP (barely), but starting last Sept I have been flying between SEA and MEM twice a month. Since Delta rules MEM, I have been doing all my flights on DL and using my AS #.

This arrangement looks to continue for the foreseeable future, plus I am now adding quarterly flights to Taipei and/or Shanghai to the mix.

I've been thinking of status matching to DL, since I am doing pretty much all my flights with them.

I recently tried to redeem some miles for a SEA-ALB trip for me and my kids, and there were NO flights available using AS miles, even checking other west coast cities. When I looked on the Delta website, there were plenty of options (using Delta miles).

I just turned MVP Gold and had thought I would try to status match onto Delta when that happened, including getting an Delta Amex, but I started reading a bunch on FT yesterday, and I'm having second thoughts.

I even got the crazy idea to match to United, since they are partners with EVA (which has non stops from SEA-TPE), and people seem to think their mileage program is better than Delta, but the last times I flew with them a couple of years ago I hated everything from the nickle and dime-ing website, to the surly staff. FWIW, I do have 660k lifetime miles on UA from 20 years ago.

So: should I stick with Alaska? Match to DL? Match to UA?

Also, the Status Challenge form on Delta's website doesn't mention Alaska, would I still use that?
TIA
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Old Jul 3, 12, 12:32 pm   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
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What is your main goal for your FF miles? Benefits/status when you fly for work? Award redemption options/availability when you redeem for pleasure? Do you have any significant leisure travel, and if so to where and will you purchase or redeem miles for those tickets? Do you fly Coach or First for work domestically? Coach, business, or first for work internationally?

What did you read about DL that gave you second thoughts?

Sorry, lots of questions, but I think if some of this information is included in your query, you'll get better advice.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 1:06 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
What is your main goal for your FF miles? Benefits/status when you fly for work? Award redemption options/availability when you redeem for pleasure? Do you have any significant leisure travel, and if so to where and will you purchase or redeem miles for those tickets? Do you fly Coach or First for work domestically? Coach, business, or first for work internationally?

What did you read about DL that gave you second thoughts?

Sorry, lots of questions, but I think if some of this information is included in your query, you'll get better advice.
Good points.

Main goal for FF miles: At some point I may have to switch from my company buying my trips to me paying for them, so i want to be able to use miles for SEA-MEM trips. Once or twice a year, leisure travel for myself and 2 kids (+ maybe S/O, if one magically appears ).
I fly coach for work domestically, and in general, don't want to spend miles for upgrades, but free ones are appreciated.
Fly coach internationally, but if I could find a decent price for biz, i could probably convince my boss to spring for it.

DL: I saw lots of comments that made it seem like the Sky Miles program had a lot of Elites, so the perks (like upgrades) were very diluted, it wasn't great when it came to award redemption (as in availability of fights and bang for the miles buck). And that it wasn't a very strong program, compared to UA especially.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 1:26 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Redmond, OR
Programs: Alaska MVPG, Delta PM, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz #1 Presidents Circle
Posts: 623
Quick response - I challenged from MVPG 75K over to DL Gold in late 2011, and am now DL Platinum, and have never looked back. The fact is, though, I'm on DL metal about 95% of the time now. I still have AS Gold until the end of the year so we'll see what kind of pain I'm in in 2013 .

My experience with upgrades as a DL Gold (which is what you'll challenge to) on DL is that you'll not find much success on long-hauls out of Seattle. But the same can be said of AS to the E Coast much of the time. If you travel through SLC to MEM, though, you should find yourself upgrading much/most of the time as Gold.

Dave
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Old Jul 3, 12, 1:58 pm   #5
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
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Several thoughts:
-you're right, staying with Alaska doesn't make a great deal of sense as it sounds like you'll rarely actually fly them. OTOH, if you really dislike Skymiles and are convinced you want to continue flying on DL, you'll get some bennies on the SEA - MEM flights by sticking with AS status (free bags, priority seats, occasional upgrades), and maintain better award options of AS miles.

-are there other options for your SEA - MEM flights besides delta that are reasonable? If so, you could consider that airline (UA, AA); if not, as above, you're stuck with DL or AS

-FWIW, I hear some FTers claiming that Delta treats their elites very well; the major dissatisfaction is the award redemptions for saver space anywhere. If you ended up diamond on DL, there's a reasonable chance you'd see pretty good upgrade percentages on your SEA - MEM flights.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 5:31 pm   #6
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As a Delta Plat you'll get free coach Economy Comfort seats on the long-haul international. That helps when the company won't go for Business.

On domestic flights, Gold is sufficient for free EC.

Depending on fare classes, routes, and time of day you might see a 75% domestic upgrade success rate as a Plat.

Award redemptions at Low band levels (like AS Super Saver) are indeed tough, although the award calendar, not actual availability, may be the bigger problem. More miles allows one to redeem for any Delta-operated flight. Unlike AS, DL allows mix & match of partners on awards: one could fly AS to Chicago, take Delta to Paris, fly AF to Rome, and return on Alitalia and Delta.

Last edited by 3Cforme; Jul 3, 12 at 5:50 pm..
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:23 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Thanks for the input. I think my first instinct, to go for the DL status match is probably he way to go. I've probably flown 12 trips on DL vs 1 on AS since Sept, and this looks to continue.

A couple more questions:
If I get a platinum or reserve Delta Amex, do the initial bonus MQMs count toward the 90 day challenge?
My next trip is a red eye 4 days from now. Is there a lag between the time I submit the status match form, and when the 90 day clock starts?
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Old Jul 4, 12, 2:02 am   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Redmond, OR
Programs: Alaska MVPG, Delta PM, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Gold, Hertz #1 Presidents Circle
Posts: 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannydog View Post

A couple more questions:
If I get a platinum or reserve Delta Amex, do the initial bonus MQMs count toward the 90 day challenge?
My next trip is a red eye 4 days from now. Is there a lag between the time I submit the status match form, and when the 90 day clock starts?
My experience - now 9 months old - yes, I used the 15K MQM bonus from the Reserve Amex (which also includes SkyClub membership) to jump-start the challenge. The 15K based on spend also helped me get to PM early this year.

There should be minimal delay between when you submit and when the 90 day clock starts. I both faxed and e-mailed my documentation. There is a good match thread over on the DL forum.

Dave
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Old Jul 7, 12, 8:51 pm   #9
uwr
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannydog View Post
Good points.

Main goal for FF miles: At some point I may have to switch from my company buying my trips to me paying for them, so i want to be able to use miles for SEA-MEM trips. Once or twice a year, leisure travel for myself and 2 kids (+ maybe S/O, if one magically appears ).
I fly coach for work domestically, and in general, don't want to spend miles for upgrades, but free ones are appreciated.
Fly coach internationally, but if I could find a decent price for biz, i could probably convince my boss to spring for it.

DL: I saw lots of comments that made it seem like the Sky Miles program had a lot of Elites, so the perks (like upgrades) were very diluted, it wasn't great when it came to award redemption (as in availability of fights and bang for the miles buck). And that it wasn't a very strong program, compared to UA especially.
I jumped from AS about nine months ago, and I chose UA. There have been issues with the merger, but it's been easier for me to get upgraded UA than on AS, and UA miles are relatively easy to use.

For you, FF miles seem to be more important than upgrades. Delta is easier for upgrades, but Skymiles can be significantly more difficult to use. If you haven't committed already, read:

Alaska Airlines #1 according to FT redemption satisfaction survey

http://www.frequentbusinesstraveler....ve-the-rest/2/

http://thepointsguy.com/2011/10/my-r...lyer-programs/

http://thepointsguy.com/2012/05/wall...e-redemptions/
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Old Jul 11, 12, 6:28 am   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 22
So I did a status match challenge a week ago with DL. I got an auto reply confirmation saying they got it. I emailed back right away with my Alaska credentials, but since then I haven't heard anything. When do I start bugging them to make sure everything is good?
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