Old Dec 23, 10, 6:55 am
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Wayne, PA USA
Programs: DL MM, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium, HHonors Gold
Posts: 6,950
Originally Posted by mooper View Post

This combo is especially useful for flexible/discretionary travel that is near-term. For example, if you were thinking of visiting some friends on the other side of the country and decided last minute to do so (say, 7 days out), and saw a 25K award available. You could snag it for no fees, and if you wanted to change/cancel/improve it, you could do so... even if it was the day of your trip and your only reason was a failure to snag a first class upgrade on one or more segments. I do something similar frequently, often for business travel too, and as a DM, I get upgraded 95%+ of my segments. Sometimes I even get a voucher, etc. out of it. No other domestic airline gives you this full combo, albeit parts of the puzzle are available elsewhere. Few people calling SkyMiles "SkyPesos" take this into account, as most of them think that international award travel (where Delta is indeed weak) is the only thing that matters.
I can see how this might benefit some people, but it certainly doesn't dillute the argument that SkyMiles are essentially useless for the really valuable rewards. In my book, SkyMiles are valuable for three things:
  1. Emergency, last-minute travel. Even if I have to do the stupid "pay with miles" thing, I can probably get from point A to point B in an emergency using SkyMiles. I may drain a ton of miles doing so, hence "emergency".
  2. Paying for SkyClub memberships (and just why did PMs lose the complimentary Crown Room Club membership benefit anyway? )
  3. International First Class travel. Oh, ooops, I forgot, Delta doesn't want me to be able to use SkyMiles to enjoy truly premium international travel experiences. Since Delta only wants me to travel in Business Class on the "what's leftover alliance" of fat chicks at the prom, I may as well either shop around for a cheap I/M fare, or else suck it up and fly coach, hoping for an op-up.
So, as you can see, practically speaking, SkyMiles have only one real use for me - the 40K/year for the SkyClub membership, which I make up with my personal travel.

Until Delta realistically rectifies #3 (and we used to have partners like Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and access to First Class and Concorde on Air France), SkyMiles will continue to be <<<< SkyPesos.
jimrpa is offline